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Japan’s digital minister says keen to join UPI network

New Delhi: Japan is actively exploring adopting the unified payments interface network, as part of an effort by both governments to foster digital cooperation and establish interoperability in digital payments to facilitate seamless cross-border transactions and enhance the convenience of payment mechanisms. “Japan and India are trying to promote digital cooperation. We are seriously thinking about joining India’s UPI payment system,” Japan’s minister for digital affairs Kono Taro told Wion on Thursday.

Taro’s comments follow a 23 March interview with Mint, where he said that Japan will be sending a team to India to study UPI platform, and will eventually consider linking the network if Japan were to adopt UPI. Taro had also spoken about cooperating with India on the security of telecommunication systems. In his views to Wion, he said the convenience of UPI payments system could be used for cross-border payments once it is also adopted by countries like the UAE or Singapore, which have also evinced interest. “It is very convenient for payment. Well, we can increase the interoperability of the payment system between Japan and India or other countries such as Singapore, Thailand or the UAE, if they also join. It could emerge as a standard for cross-border tele payment systems.” Japan is looking to mutually recognizing the Indian digital identity programme, that will create the bedrock for interoperability, he added.

“We are contemplating how we can mutually recognize EID for one starting with cooperation so we can increase interoperability,” he said.

He also added that in the G7 Digital Ministers Meeting which was attended by India’s talecom and IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw last week, the G7 has agreed to establish a new international framework which is a permanent secretariat on cross border data flow. “We are hoping to have Indian Government join to this international framework,” he highlighted.

In response to the minister’s statement, Vaishnaw said that the country’s Digital India vision had been well received by several global fora.

“Almost every global forum, whether G20, SCO or G7, wherever we are presenting PM Modi’s Digital India vision, has very good traction. People understand how Modi ji has democratized digital technology. I thank the Japanese digital minister he has accepted his very deep and extensive vision of Digital India.” Vaishnaw said.

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