8 July 2014

Joint Press Release between the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan and the Department of Communications of Australia upon holding First Japan-Australia ICT Policy Dialogue

Japanese and Australian representatives have discussed mobile roaming rates between the two countries ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, at their first Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Policy Dialogue today. Representatives also reaffirmed their cooperation on agricultural and geospatial projects using Japan’s Quasi-Zenith Satellite System (QZSS) that operates over both nations.

The dialogue, expected to be the first of many, was initiated through a bilateral meeting between former Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan, Mr. Yoshitaka Shindo and the Minister for Communications, the Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP, in April last year. It was formally established under the joint statement by Japanese Prime Minister, His Excellency Mr. Shinzo Abe and Prime Minister, the Hon. Tony Abbott MP on 8 July 2014.

The Minister for Communications attended today’s dialogue to meet the Japanese delegation led by Mr. Yasuo Sakamoto, Vice-Minister for Policy Coordination (International Affairs), Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan.

Thousands of people travel between Japan and Australia every year and the dialogue recognised that there are substantial benefits to tourists and business people from international mobile roaming rates that are transparent and reasonable. Japanese and Australian representatives will explore opportunities for consumers to benefit from lower mobile roaming costs between the two countries focusing on data, particularly in the lead up to the Olympic Games being held in Tokyo in 2020.

Japanese and Australian representatives will continue to cooperate on projects demonstrating the capability of the QZSS. The QZSS is a satellite system, similar to Global Positioning Systems (GPS), that operates over Japan and Australia and results in continuous coverage of both countries. The cutting edge global satellite navigation system allows for advanced positioning to be used for commercial benefit.

The dialogue also discussed international cooperation on internet governance; the use of ICTs in health, aged care, disaster risk reduction and critical infrastructure protection; privacy and data protection; and the Australian Government’s recent announcement of the Digital Transformation Office. Japanese and Australian representatives concurred they will strengthen their cooperation in these various fields of ICT.

Media contact: media [at] communications.gov.au
02 6271 1777