Photo: REUTERS file
tech

Japan to join forces with U.S., Europe in regulating Big Tech firms

25 Comments
By Leika Kihara and Takahiko Wada

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© Thomson Reuters 2020.

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25 Comments
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Should have been done long ago. When you have twitter and facebook intentionally engaging in censorship, you've become the 1930s-40s japan and germany.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

First, do something about the monopoly of the the telecom companies in Japan. They have been charging exorbitant prices for many years and nobody cares

Just because the US did something doesn't mean Japan has to do the exact same thing, you know.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Hammer the big tech oligarchs. Break them up - can’t have capitalism with mercantilist companies destroying the free market.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

We thought we’d create robots but they’ve found the hardware and will just program us through the best algorithms that’ll capture are attention spans.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Split them up! Make Apple sell off its phone division.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

@R. T.

I keep hearing about this "telecoms charging high prices" thing.

Well then stop using the big 3.

Other than a land line ( who really needs one anymore), there are plenty of secondary service providers for Internet and cell service that charge low prices equivalent even lower than most other developed countries.

As for

Just because the US did something doesn't mean Japan has to do the exact same thing,

100% agreed but as we can clearly see with this pandemic, these tech giants are making a fortune while small businesses close.

In the end there will only be these giants left and once that happens they can control and charge whatever they want.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Ironic, given that Japan has no anti-monopoly laws that it applies to its own megacorporations and their vertically-integrated cartel networks...

11 ( +11 / -0 )

The Keiretsu system in Japan is left effectively unregulated. Foreign companies are smashed and regulated in comparison.

I have seen complaints in the Japanese media before that companies like Amazon have broken through the Keiritsu and are providing goods at a price the Japanese side (Rakuten/Yahooshopping/Monotaro) can't read; won't compete with.

I worry that this is just a step to further protectionism in Japan, not one to benefit the average person.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Kiwikid- you took the words out of my mouth. I concur 100%

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Japan only wants in so that it can introduce some of its inferior companies and products. If they were serious about this, they'd start at home, where companies commonly engage in price-fixing, like the big three phone companies and airlines, who always agree to "have a sudden fuel shortage" just before the holidays, and need to up prices, etc. Panasonic and other companies are no longer as competitive, so they need government intervention like this as a kind of handout. Japan's PayPay and channels like Gyao have been utter failures and this might help them get a foothold. That's all that concerns them. Or how about opening the medical insurance and drug markets here, and agriculture? No? Why not?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

I have no issue with Big Tech being regulated, but what worries me is the censorship from Big Tech not being regulated. Being openly critical of Israeli policies in the West Bank or in Gaza for example is something that shouldn't be interpreted as anti-Semitism or Holocaust denial which is what Facebook has decided. Also, its not just Big Tech that needs regulation, its the entire US Health Care Industry and Big Pharma. Even Wall Street is heading off the rails again. Japan should be skeptical about joining forces with the US on anything, as it could effect its "smawt powa" status.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Join ?  Or kiss their backsides ? There is a difference. 

Furthermore I agree that japan should look inwards first.  A lot of this comes down to defending Rakuten against Amazon and trying to keep Japans protectionist systems in place. 

What about breaking up Dentsu or Sumitomo, Mitsui, etc...

Or modernising the archaic banking system and in a timely manner, not like " we will combine the my number card with the drivers license…. by 2026

8 ( +8 / -0 )

It’s about higher tax-paying...lol No one applies anti-monopoly rulings to them or breaks them down into smaller entities. The competition is too weak and couldn’t replace them and in addition, you need big companies for those enforced big data and AI phantasies. The leading countries know that and those big companies know it, so there is a symbiotic ceasefire above all that stupid talking.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Oh please, these US digital innovators, are partially the answer to both Trump and Biden revenue and tax policy.

Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook built there dominance through digital innovation.

it was not by accident.

It is fanciful to believe that either Biden or Trump will just rollover and play dead.

Both will retaliate without quarter.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Too late, they already control the world. AI, facial recognition, mini satellites, chip implants, digital currency etc already started.

the best hope is to realize hope doesn’t exist.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Are Softbank, Rakuten and the Zaibatsu like mitsubishi, Mitsui, Hitachi not GAFA equivalents here in Japan yet we hear nothing of

breaking them up. where was Mr. Kazuyuki Furuya when Softbank tied up with Line. It is all about being unable to compete with GAFA and waiting for government to weaken them so that they can take advantage. Rakuten has failed having a foothold in Europe and the U.S. Viber has fallen since it was bought by Rakuten. They charge exorbitant prices and fees for their services and get away with it through protection and stifling of foreign competition, abroad, it is a different playing field and where they face real competition and no hidden hand to help them.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Are they eventually gonna include Asian companies?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

 Being openly critical of Israeli policies in the West Bank or in Gaza for example is something that shouldn't be interpreted as anti-Semitism or Holocaust denial which is what Facebook has decide

Sigh. It is a big enough chunk of US society for it to matter that has dictated that even the mildest criticism of Israeli government policy is "anti-semitism" and thus racism that must be stopped. The US government has been waging war against public universities that permit pro-Palestinian groups or that permit anti-Israel protests on campus, 1st Amendment rights notwithstanding. Media in general in the US are self censoring out of a well founded fear.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Rakuten has failed having a foothold in Europe

I use Rakuten in the US. I also use Mercari.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Other than a land line ( who really needs one anymore)

Well, when the power is out, such as after a major earthquake, a land line might be the only way to make a phone call and let relatives know you are alive, or to call around to hospitals to find out where your family members might be when you can't find them at the disaster scene after you've driven 2 1/2 panicked hours from another city to see how they did. Been there, done that btw. That is why I keep a land line and, you will laugh, an old first generation touch-tone phone that only needs the power on the phone line to run. it's hard wired from the receiver to the wall. It works when nothing else is working. That land line and ancient phone are priceless to me.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Landlines use cables swung between poles which are wiped out in major earthquakes and tsunami.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Landlines use cables swung between poles which are wiped out in major earthquakes and tsunami

No. Ours are underground and connect to buried fiber optic systems.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Landlines use cables swung between poles which are wiped out in major earthquakes and tsunami

I also have real life experience with major earthquakes where the power was out but the phone lines still worked fine as long as you had an old fashioned phone that only needs phone line power to operate. Having a land line allowed me to call around hospitals and find my parents after one big earthquake. I could not have done so with a cell phone as the cellular system was disrupted.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Desert Tortoise

then I guess you don’t live in Japan? But even buried cables and pipes can be broken from a powerful earthquake. Countries like America use buried cables in the inner cities but outside in the small towns and countryside, poles are still used.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

then I guess you don’t live in Japan? But even buried cables and pipes can be broken from a powerful earthquake. Countries like America use buried cables in the inner cities but outside in the small towns and countryside, poles are still used.

I live in a small town 150 km from the closest city and over 200 km from a major metropolitan area. Our phone lines in town are buried. For long distance communications the phone systems use microwave towers which have large on-site diesel generators. These dot local mountain tops and relay signals to antennas on the phone exchange buildings in towns in various desert valleys. There is also a major fiber optic cable system running through our area. Nobody puts telephone wires above ground. We just survived a M 6.4 quake followed the next day by a M 7.1 quake. There were major ground breaks outside of town including one that closed a major state highway for a day but no interruption in land line service while the power was out.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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