• Kyodo


The government plans to begin negotiations with the European Union to gain access to passenger records on flights bound for Japan as part of security efforts ahead of the 2020 Olympics.

Currently, Japan receives passenger records from major airlines across the world, but has no access to EU member states’ records due to strict privacy protection rules.

An official said Tuesday the government aims to conclude a treaty to receive them from the 28-member bloc and also strike a deal to allow both sides to transfer personal information to make the pact feasible.

Passenger records contain names, nationalities, passport numbers and credit card data. Immigration officials check names against a blacklist to prevent the entry of suspicious individuals.

The European Union only allows countries and regions that pass its privacy protection criteria to access personal information from the region. Japan is not allowed to do so now, and it also lacks access to such data provided by European airlines.

The EU basically bans the transfer of records of customer and employee names out of the region, even to subsidiaries of Japanese companies operating in Europe that have collected such data in Europe.

The envisioned pact to enable the transfer of personal information beyond borders could pave the way for businesses on both sides to utilize such data, the official said.

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