International data flows: Commission launches the adoption of its adequacy decision on Japan

06 settembre 2018

On September 5, 2018, the EU Commission announced to publish its the draft adequacy decision and the related documents related to  the conclusion of the EU-Japan talks on personal data protection in July 2018.

The key elements of the adequacy decision are the following:


  •       To guarantee a level essentially equivalent to European standards, Japan has committed to implementing the following additional safeguards to protect personal data transferred to Japan, before the Commission formally adopts its adequacy decision:
  • A set of rules providing individuals in the EU whose personal data are transferred to Japan, with additional safeguards that will bridge several differences between the two data protection systems. These additional safeguards will strengthen, for example, the protection of sensitive data, the conditions under which EU data can be further transferred from Japan to another third country, the exercise of individual rights to access and rectification. These rules will be binding on Japanese companies importing data from the EU and enforceable by the Japanese independent data protection authority (PPC) and courts.
  • The Japanese government also gave assurances to the Commission regarding safeguards concerning the access of Japanese public authorities for criminal law enforcement and national security purposes, ensuring that any such use of personal data would be limited to what is necessary and proportionate and subject to independent oversight and effective redress mechanisms.
  • A complaint-handling mechanism to investigate and resolve complaints from Europeans regarding access to their data by Japanese public authorities. This new mechanism will be administered and supervised by the Japanese independent data protection authority. 


The draft adequacy decision will now go through the following procedure:

  •      Opinion from the European Data Protection Board (EDPB)
  •      Consultation of a committee composed of representatives of the Member States (comitology procedure)
  •      Update of the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs
  •      Adoption of the adequacy decision by the College of Commissioners.

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