Concerns about the direction of revision of Telecommunications Business Law

The Japan Association of New Economy (JANE) expresses the following concerns regarding the direction of the revision of Telecommunications Business Law, which is under consideration by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) on December 17, 2021.

  1. Status of discussions at MIC
    The  “Telecommunications Business Governance study group ※1 and  “Platform Services working group ※2”  established under MIC are currently considering the tightening of regulations on telecommunication service user information.

    ※1 Telecommunications Business Governance study group – MIC(Japanese)
    ※2 Platform Services working group – MIC(Japanese)

  2. Serious concerns about the direction clarified by MIC

    The ongoing revision of Telecommunications Business Law clarified by MIC brings following concerns. It will invite a serious burden and even high risk of obstruction not only to the digital business but also the entire digitalization of Japanese society.
    ① MIC is trying to tighten regulations by widely targeting to internet-based companies and digital services.
    ② Telecommunications Business Law will turn into a “general law for handling information” and bring double regulation and over-regulation.
    ③ Galapagosization caused by regulations that are extremely unusual from an international perspective will cause a negative impact on Japan’s digitalization.

    In addition, it can be said there is a big defect in the attempt to make such a serious revision after hasty discussion at the undisclosed meeting for half a year.


  3. The necessity of fair and minute discussions

    The Japanese government has advocated  “Society 5.0 ※3 as the ideal future society that Japan should aim for, and the society is supposed to be “IoT (Internet of Things) connecting all people and things, and issues and difficulties being overcome by sharing knowledge and information and creating new value never existed before”(WHITE PAPER Information and Communications in Japan ※4 ).
    On the other side, the current direction clarified by MIC may control these connections brought by IoT, which cannot help but being considered as tightening control over information toward the realization of Society 5.0.

    In the era of any devices being able to connect each other on the network such as IoT home devices and connected cars, the “telecommunications business” prescribed by Telecommunications Business Law is actually operated in a wider range of industries, including manufacturing and service industries, and we cannot overlook the impact on all related businesses.

    It is necessary to reconsider the ongoing direction toward excessive regulation, which may hinder the stimulation of economic activities and the improvement of quality of life expected by the digitization of Japanese society.
    Instead of submitting the amendment in a hurry, we call for carrying out the other fair and minute discussions in an open environment.

    ※3 About Society 5.0 – Cabinet Office(English)
    ※4 WHITE PAPER Information and Communications in Japan – MIC (Outline) (English)