India and Japan to collaborate on information and communication technology

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India and Japan have decided to set up a working group to identify specific areas in information and communication technology (ICT) where they can collaborate - in areas such as cyber security.

Masahiro Yoshizaki, vice minister for policy coordination, ministry of internal affairs and communications, Japan, and Anil Kaushal, member of Telecom Commission of India, signed a joint statement Thursday, which said the thrust area would be development of technology and standards.

"We wish to cover many topics in ICT under this partnership. The working group will implement the intent of the joint statement," Kondo Masanori, Director for International Cooperation Affairs, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan, told IANS in an interview.

Masanori said each country has its own expertise and they are looking at a mutual collaboration.

"Basically we have identified three key areas of specific work - cyber security, disaster management and capacity building," added Kaushal.

Masanori said Japan would look forward to Indian collaboration in combating cyber attacks. "Every day there are numerous cyber attacks. We are looking forward to combating those."

Talking separately to IANS, Kaushal said Japan is much ahead in broadband technology compared to India. "We have much to learn from them."

There are over 50 Japanese companies in India in the ICT filed. Some renowned names include Fujitsu India, Olympus (India), Ricoh India, Panasonic Industrial Asia, Sony India and Sumitomo Electric Industries.

There are also many Indian companies operating in Japan, mostly in software development.

Both the countries are keen on private sector collaboration as well, he said.

Talking about the importance of ICT in disaster management, Masanori said India has evinced interest to learn disaster mitigation through ICT from Japan. " The Indian government is keen to adopt our disaster mitigation strategy through ICT. We are also ready to cooperate and share."

Japan, which is very prone to earthquake, manages to mitigate natural disaster to an extent using ICT. It collects data through censor-linked function, do data analysis and sends out alert to people. "Data dissemination is very important. We have to build the entire eco-system."

Kaushal said it is important for India to learn disaster management, especially after the Uttarakhand floods in which thousands died.

The two countries will also look forward to mutually beneficial collaboration on international platforms like the International Telecommunication Union and the Asia Pacific Telecommunity.

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