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McCain Institute Co-Hosts Event With Sasakawa Peace Foundation Featuring Japanese Minister for Digital Transformation Kono Taro

Event focused on the impact of data governance on geopolitics

TOKYO, JAPAN (June 6, 2024) The McCain Institute at Arizona State University (ASU) concluded a visit to Japan by co-hosting an event with the Sasakawa Peace Foundation featuring McCain Institute honorary Kissinger Fellow and Japanese Minister for Digital Transformation Kono Taro.


The event, “Harnessing Opportunities and Combatting Disinformation in the Digital Economy: A Conversation with Minister Kono,” featured a discussion between Minister Kono and The Washington Post Columnist Josh Rogin on how democratic governments can combat disinformation in the digital realm while protecting data, security, and freedom of expression. The discussion focused on Minister Kono’s work on data free flow with trust (DFFT), an effort to counteract the balkanization of data governance and support the cross-border flow of data, information, ideas, and knowledge.


The event also included a panel discussion on disinformation with Minister Kono, McCain Institute Executive Director Dr. Evelyn Farkas, and Sasakawa Peace Foundation Cybersecurity Fellow Jun Osawa. Sasakawa Peace Foundation Senior Research Fellow Watanabe Tsuneo moderated the conversation.


U.S. Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel gave opening statements.


We live in an era where addressing new demands and threats stemming from the realities of a digitalizing world is imperative,” said Japanese Minister for Digital Transformation and Honorary McCain Institute Kissinger Fellow Kono Taro. “I believe that political leaders should initiate more regular discussions on data governance. This necessity stems from a visible lack of trust among countries, primarily due to a misunderstanding of how big data and AI are transforming various agendas and redefining geopolitics.”


“As the world becomes more reliant on tech, Minister Kono is unrelenting in his desire to inform global leaders of the importance of implementing substantial data governance policies,” said McCain Institute Executive Director Dr. Evelyn Farkas.

“The McCain Institute applauds Minister Kono’s work as he revolutionizes global data privacy and is proud to call him an honorary Kissinger Fellow.”


Learn more about the McCain Institute’s Kissinger Fellowship HERE.

Publish Date
June 6, 2024