Japan Mulls Regulating Major AI Developers Amid Growing Concern Over Generative AI

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo

The government has begun to consider regulatory measures for major domestic and international developers of artificial intelligence. The strengthening of regulations is gaining attention overseas amid growing concerns over the safety of generative AI. The government is set to seek a way to revise its established approach, which has relied on the voluntary efforts of developers regarding AI safety.

The government will convene a meeting on AI strategy in late May, where concrete policies including possible regulations and other potential measures will be discussed.

Within the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, there are proposals to require major AI developers to undergo third-party safety verification and to share information with the government. These proposals could form the basis for future regulations. However, there are voices within the government opposing strict regulations, arguing that they could hinder technological innovation. Thus, the government intends to take a cautious consensus-building approach in the meeting.

In April, the government established guidelines for AI developers, urging them to implement measures against misinformation with safety in mind. The European Union has enacted the AI Act that classifies AI risks into four categories and regulates AI development and operation. There have been calls in Japan to follow these global trends and implement regulatory measures.