Only around a quarter of Japanese businesses have made progress on meeting some of the easier requirements under Europe’s new data privacy regulations while about another 20 percent plan to do so….

But the number of companies who say they are currently equipped to deal with more onerous rules, such as those relating to data breaches and dealing with requests to provide personal data to customers – drops drastically to just a few.

The results of the Reuters Corporate Survey, conducted June 4-15, shows only modest progress by Japanese firms in their efforts to grapple with the new European Union General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR, which took effect last month.

The rules, designed to protect the online data of European citizens, apply to all businesses that offer goods and services within the bloc, regardless of whether they have incorporated units. Violations can result in fines of up to 4 percent of global revenue or 20 million euros, whichever is higher.

“The rules are really too tough,” wrote one manager at a chemicals firm.

The survey, conducted for Reuters by Nikkei Research, showed that 26 percent of firms have updated data privacy policies to take into account requirements such as the need for clear language and the seeking of affirmative consent, often effectively an opt-in email.

Eight percent said they are working on the issue while another 15 percent say they plan to.

Similar numbers could also be seen in response to a question about whether companies have created the position of data protection officer or if they have appointed someone specifically responsible for data protection.

Some 539 big and medium-sized businesses were polled in the survey. Around 215 responded to questions about GDPR, answering anonymously so they can express opinions more freely.

Many firms noted they did not believe the rules would directly affect them as they did not do business in Europe.

Some rules are, however, proving tougher to meet than others.

Just 7 percent of companies said they were currently in a position to comply with a rule requiring them to notify authorities of data breaches within 72 hours of becoming aware of a breach and to notify people affected by a high-risk breach without undue delay.

Ten percent said they were working on it while another 25 percent said they aim to.

A similar trend could be seen with the rule requiring companies to provide personal data free to EU customers should they request it.

While not directly comparable, separate data by consultancy PwC Global in January suggests that U.S. and British companies have made far more progress.

Just 19 percent of Japan firms in Europe have completed or set about steps to respond to the new regulations, compared to 39 percent of U.S. companies and 43 percent of British businesses, the PwC data showed.

A member of the EU delegation to Japan told Reuters in early June that while “there has been a perceptible interest across the business community about the GDPR”, the delegation had not received much in the way of enquiries from Japanese businesses.

“We talking at most 10 questions,” the person said, declining to be identified.


Japan is planning to use artificial intelligence and big data for crime prevention

Once again, Japan is taking advantage of the technological advances available to them. The country’s government is already discussing about the development of a crime prevention system using artificial intelligence and big data, as reported by The Japan Times.

Mami Kajita, developer of the data-analysis company Singular Perturbations Inc. says she hopes to “create a smartphone app for citizens in order to reduce the number of crimes, even if only slightly.” Since street crime prediction has been successful in Europe and the United States,  Kajita said that “We need to continue examining crime mechanisms unique to Japan.”

Kajita also reportedly researched on street crimes in Tokyo by studying the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department’s emails that entail cases like theft and molestation. Together with her own algorithm, Kajita was able to predict the areas where crimes were likely to happen. More improvement can occur if combined with data like weather, traffic, and even Twitter posts.

“The AI-based system would employ a ‘deep learning’ algorithm that allows the computer to teach itself by analyzing big data. It would encompass the fields of criminology, mathematics and statistics while gathering data on times, places, weather and geographical conditions as well as other aspects of crimes and accidents,” reports The Japan Times.

The Kanagawa prefecture reportedly announced that they will be the first in Japan to use predictive policing and aims to try out the system before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Aside from ensuring a safe way of keeping and gathering personal information, the system is also reported to have an information and communications technology just before the Olympics.

This article is sponsored by:

GDPR certified

Show your customers that you care about their privacy! European Center for GDPR Certification is the “Consumer Trust Body” of the General Data Protection Regulation. Visit to read about how to add “GDPR TRUST SEAL”™ to your website in order to gain more business and distance you from the not so serious competitors – It Pays Off!