U.S. says Japan’s tech policy chief will join Quad talks on countering China

WASHINGTON — The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence, an independent U.S. commission, announced via its Twitter account Tuesday that Shinji Inoue, Japan’s state minister for science and technology policy, will be a virtual speaker for its July 13 Global Emerging Technology Summit.

The first part of the international conference on cutting-edge technology is a minister-level panel called “The Quad and Emerging Technologies: The Imperative for International Cooperation.”

The Quad is a strategic framework consisting of Japan, Australia, India and the United States.

Through the videoconference, the Quad members will look to strengthen cooperation in technological development and cultivation of human resources among various matters, with a view toward countering China, which is fast developing artificial intelligence, quantum technology and cutting-edge technologies in many other fields.

U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration is hastily trying to form an alliance against China and holds the Quad in high regard as the members share common sets of values such as democracy.

In March, the Biden administration held a virtual Quad summit, which concluded with a joint statement that stipulated cooperation on marine security, ostensibly aimed at China. The administration has been convinced that it is necessary to deepen international ties using the Quad as an axis with regard to high-tech fields that have direct bearing on the security of military affairs and the economy.

With each Quad nation’s strengths in mind, the forthcoming videoconference is expected to cover discussions on issues including reinforcement of competitiveness, nurturing of specialists and preventing the hacking of confidential information.

On Japan’s part, the government is placing more emphasis on economic security, such as securing material essential for manufacturing high-tech products and tightening the screening for accepting overseas students and researchers. India is making contributions to the alignment with its own specialist human resources in the areas of AI and information technology, while Australia will strengthen the production system of rare metals, including rare earths.

Global competition continues to grow in the development of advanced technologies because they have immediate impacts on economic growth and defense capacity.

In March, the Biden administration announced that it will inject $180 billion (about ¥20 trillion) over the next eight years in support of development of next-generation computers, telecommunication technologies, semiconductors and other high-tech areas.

China has produced a string of successes in advanced technologies, such as an experiment in quantum cryptography communication necessary in secure exchanges of confidential information.

The United States and some countries in Europe along with others around the world see it as problematic that Chinese authorities are allegedly exploiting AI facial recognition networks to identify minority people in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

The Biden administration is trying to deepen ties with Quad members as well as other democratic countries to take part in the high-tech development race by combining the technological capabilities of the allied nations and implementing international regulations in consideration of freedom and human rights.