• Kyodo

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Group of Seven ministers in charge of information and communication technology (ICT) will likely agree to private sector involvement in developing tools for an open Internet when they meet in Kagawa Prefecture later this month, according to sources.

The envisioned agreement, a draft of which was cited by the sources, is apparently aimed at countering government-led controls of the Internet in countries such as China.

Since cyberattacks targeting social infrastructure and causing information leaks have become a global threat, the draft states the importance of compiling measures to boost cybersecurity, the sources said.

The meeting will be held for two days from April 29 in Takamatsu, Kagawa Prefecture, marking the first ICT ministerial gathering by the G-7 in about 20 years.

The ministers from Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States are also expected to acknowledge the importance of involving business and academic circles as well as the government in crafting rules and regulations for the online world, according to the sources.

The meeting, to be chaired by Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Sanae Takaichi, is also likely to confirm the need to resolve the digital divide among some countries and regions and promote the development of ICT-related infrastructure in developing countries.

The participants are also expected to urge open information distribution to help promote technological innovation and economic growth, the sources said.

The outcome of the meeting is expected to be reflected in the G-7 summit to be held in late May in Mie Prefecture.

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