Estonia and Japan sign digital cooperation agreement

Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Andres Sutt (Reform) and Japan’s Minister for Digital Karen Makishima
Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Andres Sutt (Reform) and Japan’s Minister for Digital Karen Makishima Source: Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications

Minister of Entrepreneurship and Information Technology Andres Sutt (Reform) and Japanese Minister for Digital Karen Makishima on Friday signed a memorandum of cooperation (MOC) between Estonia and Japan regarding the exchange of experiences in the digital field and the creation of new export opportunities for companies.

The MOC between Estonia and Japan reflects the willingness of these two highly developed digital societies to share their knowledge and experience, Sutt said according to a ministry press release.

"Digital development and sustainability are important drivers of economic growth in both Estonia and Japan," he said. "Digitalization leads to a more efficient use of resources, but it cannot come at the expense of security. Therefore, the cooperation agreement places a strong emphasis on cybersecurity, secure digital identification, secure cloud solutions, data protection and the secure use of data."

Makishima said that cyber resilience is becoming increasingly important, and Estonia is at the forefront of the ability to respond to cyber threats.

"Estonia has developed extensive expertise in the cybersecurity area, becoming one of the most recognized and valued international cybersecurity experts," the Japanese minister said. "This MOC is a good opportunity to gain experience and knowledge from a country that has successfully coped with large-scale cyberattacks."

According to the ministry, people in both Estonia and Japan are active users of national digital services, but their needs and expectations are changing rapidly.

"Finding appropriate solutions requires learning from best international practices, and this agreement will support the exchange of expertise," Sutt said. "Estonia and Japan are global digital pioneers, and we have a lot to learn from each other — for example, about the X-Road solutions that enable secure data exchange between public authorities and with the private sector, or IT developments that make the education and medical sectors more efficient."

The Estonian minister highlighted that the MOC will also help open up new export opportunities for Estonian companies on the Japanese market, as well as to introduce Estonia as an attractive destination for foreign investment. He noted that the small size of Estonia's domestic market motivates local companies to create products and services on a global scale, and that Estonia has the highest number of unicorns per capita in Europe.

"With this MOC, we will explore further ways to enhance partnerships between technology companies and communities as well as promote innovation," Sutt said.

Japanese Minister for Digital Karen Makishima is currently on a business trip to Estonia, Finland and Germany.


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Editor: Aili Vahtla

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