Promises and challenges of digital connectivity

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Series Details 2021/23, Pages 23
Publication Date 2021
ISBN 978-92-9084-989-6
ISSN 2467-4540
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Digital connectivity – loosely defined as connecting people through digital means promises to enhance our quality of life, as envisaged in Japan’s ‘Society 5.0’, which aims to spur economic growth and solve social problems digitally. On the other hand, digital connectivity also creates challenges and demands a quest for optimum equilibrium between economic growth and national as well as human security. The COVID-19 pandemic which erupted in late 2019 has accelerated world dependence on digital connectivity in order to sustain human contact. Digital means have allowed us to continue our lives, work and pleasure connections, and have simultaneously expanded digital risks at home and globally. The COVID-19 scenario has also demonstrated how digital technology can even threaten our sovereignty and basic values such as freedom, democracy, privacy, human rights and dignity. Japan and the EU approach the digital age with a common emphasis on leading standards to set and promote a human-centred digital connectivity. The two zones can cooperate bilaterally and beyond in responding to challenges on digital connectivity, as is stipulated in three key documents, namely Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), Japan-EU Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) and Japan-EU Partnership.

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