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Japan and Jordan agree to technical collaboration on digital public infrastructure

But faces digital ID criticism at home
Japan and Jordan agree to technical collaboration on digital public infrastructure

Japan and Jordan will henceforth share their expertise and technical knowhow on different modern technologies including the building of digital public infrastructure, Jordan Times reports.

The deal was signed recently by the Minister of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship of Jordan, Ahmad Hanandeh, and the Minister of Digital Transformation of Japan, Kono Taro.

Per the deal, the two countries will share technical knowledge and best practices on digital identity, data-sharing, digital payments, artificial intelligence and smart city technologies, blockchain, internet of things, robotics and cloud technology, among others. Other aspects of the deal include training and capacity building on technology, innovation, leadership, and digital government.

The two signatories highlighted the importance of the deal saying it will help boost their digital transformation pursuits, enhance technological innovation and strengthen their digital economies.

On July 4, Jordan also signed a technical cooperation deal with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to promote the artificial intelligence ecosystem.

A press release by JICA said the deal is meant to establish an operational platform using an industry-government-academia model to promote the use of AI technology throughout Jordan, which will contribute to the development of an ecosystem that fosters the use of emerging technologies.

Japan for its part has also been widening the scope of its partnerships when it comes to digital transformation. Recently, the country said it was willing to learn from Singapore in rolling out a digital ID scheme. In May, Japan’s Digital Transformation Minister mentioned that the country was also serious about joining India’s UPI digital payment ecosystem.

Resentment for My Number digital ID in Japan continues

Meanwhile, Japan’s government cabinet, led by Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, continues to face criticisms over a plan to expand the scope of the My Number digital ID to more use cases, including for health insurance. Part of the plan is to scrap health insurance cards and replace them with My Number.

Japan Times reports that approval ratings for the cabinet dropped recently partly due to the My Number issue, citing a recent nationwide telephone survey.

The survey shows 76.6 percent of Japanese are in opposition to the government plan to replace health insurance cards with My Number IDs in the coming fall. The outlet notes that the number is an increase from the previous survey (72.1 percent).

While some Japanese (32.7 percent) said they wouldn’t like to carry cards, others (74.7 percent) said they were not sure incorporating the My Number ID with health insurance cards will solve the problem government says it wants to solve.

The resistance to the My Number ID is partly due to concern about the handling of personal data.

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