Japan Diet Members Launch Group to Consider Internet Privacy Policy

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Shinjiro Koizumi, second from left, speaks at the inaugural meeting of a suprapartisan group to consider internet privacy policies in Tokyo on Thursday.

Diet members have launched a suprapartisan group to consider and propose policies on how to ensure people’s privacy on the internet while protecting freedom of speech. Over 100 members from both houses have joined the group.

More than 30 of them attended the group’s inaugural meeting in the Diet building on Thursday.

The group will be co-led by former Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi of the Liberal Democratic Party, lower house members Mitsunari Okamoto of Komeito and Manabu Terata of the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, Nippon Ishin (Japan Innovation Party) Secretary General Fumitake Fujita, and the Democratic Party for the People leader Yuichiro Tamaki.

In the meeting, Koizumi touched on the joint statement issued by The Yomiuri Shimbun and major technology company LY Corp. — which was formed through the merger of Line, Yahoo and another company. The statement says they will adopt measures to shield the privacy of people mentioned in online articles and other content.

“In response to the steps taken by the media, we politicians should squarely face up to this issue,” Koizumi told the participants. “I hope we can deepen discussions from a variety of viewpoints.”

At the meeting, a lawyer well-versed in privacy issues gave a lecture on problems in an internet society, such as the anonymity of those who transmit information online.