Japan: Act on Facilitation of Information Processing Amended

(Mar. 18, 2020) On December 6, 2019, Japan’s official gazette published Act No. 67 of 2019 (Reiwa), which the Diet (Japan’s parliament) had passed to amend the Act on Facilitation of Information Processing (Act No. 90 of 1970). The amendment will take effect within six months from the date of publication. (Act No. 67 of 2019 (Reiwa) supp. provisions, art. 1.) The new Act grew out of the government’s recognition that many Japanese companies’ information technology systems are becoming out-of-date and that, because the economic losses from this will be enormous by 2025, the government needs to facilitate changes and enhance the competitiveness of Japanese companies. The current Act states that it aims to promote the advanced use of computers and the development of programs, facilitate the distribution of programs, and take measures to foster information processing services. (Act No. 90 of 1970, as amended by Act No. 37 of 2019 (Reiwa) art. 1.) The new amendment expanded the aims of the current Act to include the promotion of the advanced use of information processing systems, strategic use of information processing systems, and utilization of various data. (New art. 1.)

The new Act obligates the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry to establish a “digital governance code” that shows how to strategically use information technology systems in corporate management. (New art. 30.) The Minister must also establish a system to certify businesses that make excellent efforts to strategically use information technology systems. (New art. 31.) The certification expires in two years and it is renewable. (New art. 32.)

The Information-Technology Promotion Agency (IPA) was tasked with facilitating data linkage and sharing between different Japanese businesses. The IPA will facilitate coordination between different operators and managers of multiple information processing systems by investigating and researching the coordination mechanisms of the systems, the operation and management methods of such coordination, and the dissemination of achievements regarding these coordination mechanisms and management methods. (New art. 51, item 8.) The IPA was also tasked with implementing a cloud service security evaluation system for government procurements. (New art. 51, item 5.)

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