Why it matters: South Korea's Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) has signaled its intention to strengthen digital cooperation with Japan.
The development signals a new phase of technology cooperation between the two countries, following discussions with Japan's leading digital companies and government agencies.
- On May 31, 2023, representatives from South Korea's MSIT met with officials from SoftBank and KDDI, two major digital companies in Japan. The meetings followed a government-to-government discussion between MSIT and Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
- SoftBank, an influential player in Japan's telecommunications and high-speed Internet sectors, has actively increased its investments in AI semiconductor startups and leading companies such as Toyota. In addition, the South Korean delegation discussed potential collaborations in autonomous vehicles, Internet of Things (IoT) edge devices, and high-performance data center servers.
- The MSIT delegation also visited KDDI, Japan's second-largest telecommunications provider, known for its successful commercialization of 5G Open-RAN in partnership with Samsung Electronics. Discussions focused on the current state of Open RAN development and the potential for joint research on Open RAN technology, a critical aspect of future wireless communications.
- A meeting was also held with Japan's Cyber Security Incident Response Center (JP-Cert) to explore opportunities for cooperation in incident response, project collaboration, and information sharing on cyber security incidents and detection.
The Big Picture: The recent visit by the Korean Ministry of Science and Technology to leading Japanese digital companies will strengthen private-sector exchanges and cooperation and leverage the unique advantages of the private sector in both countries.
This initiative, which marks the beginning of a new era in Korea-Japan relations, aligns with South Korea's strategy of proposing mutually beneficial cooperation programs to revitalize private-sector interaction.