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The Japanese Minister of Digital Affairs says he would like to become a member of the UPI network


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

Taro’s comments follow a March 23 interview with Mint, where he said Japan will send a team to India to study the UPI platform, and eventually consider linking the network if Japan adopts UPI. Taro had also spoken about cooperating with India in the security of telecommunication systems. In his views Wion, he said the convenience of the UPI payment system could be used for cross-border payments once it is also adopted by countries like the UAE or Singapore, which have also expressed interest. “It is very convenient to pay. Well, we can increase the interoperability of the payment system between Japan and India or other countries like Singapore, Thailand or UAE if they also join. It could become a standard for cross-border telepayment systems.” Japan is seeking mutual recognition of India’s digital identity program, which will lay the foundation for interoperability, he added.

“We are considering how to mutually recognize EID, starting with collaboration so we can increase interoperability,” he said.

He also added that at the G7 Digital Ministers Meeting attended last week by Indian talkcom and IT minister Ashwini Vaishnaw, the G7 agreed to set up a new international framework which is a permanent secretariat for cross-border data streams. “We hope that the Indian government will join this international framework,” he stressed.

Responding to the minister’s statement, Vaishnaw said the country’s Digital India vision has been well received by various global forums.

“Almost every global forum be it G20, SCO or G7 where we also showcase PM Modi’s Digital India vision has very good appeal. People understand how Modi ji has democratized digital technology. I thank Japan’s digital minister for accepting his very deep and comprehensive vision of Digital India,” said Vaishnaw.

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.