Japan to pitch data-sharing framework to bolster Asia supply chains

Nikkei coverage: “The Japanese government is set to propose a scheme to promote data-sharing among companies in Asia to strengthen supply chains in the region, Nikkei has learned.

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) hopes that a secure data-sharing framework like the one developed in Europe will enable companies in Asia to smoothly exchange data, such as inventory information on products and parts, as well as information on potential disruptions in procurement.

The ministry will propose the idea as a key part of Japan’s digital trade policy at an expert panel meeting on Friday. The meeting will propose a major review of industrial policy to emphasize digitization and a decarbonized economy.

It sees Europe’s efforts as a role model in terms of information-sharing. The European Union is building a data distribution infrastructure, Gaia-X, to let companies in the region share information on supply chains.

The goal is to counter the monopoly on data held by large technology companies in the U.S. and China. The EU is promoting the sharing of data by connecting different cloud services among companies. Under Gaia, companies can limit the scope of data disclosure and the use of data provided to others, based on the concept of data sovereignty.

The scheme envisioned by METI will also allow companies to decide what type of data they share and how much. The infrastructure will be developed on a regional basis, with the participation of various countries.

Google and China’s Alibaba Group Holding offer data-sharing services for supply chain, but the Japanese government is concerned that it will be difficult to protect Japanese companies’ industrial secrets unless it develops its own data infrastructure….(More)”