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Japan is attempting to bring together a "digital TPP," intended to unite members under one set of rules -- and to ease the deepening distrust between the U.S. and China. (Illustration by Eric Chow)
The Big Story

How to avoid a technology cold war

Behind the scenes, TPP members coax China to play by digital rules

YASU OTA, Nikkei Asian Review columnist | China

TOKYO -- What can be done to loosen China's authoritarian grip on technology, and prevent a "digital iron curtain" from dividing the world? Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his team have an idea. It's an initiative for new technology rules, aimed at easing the distrust between the U.S. and China that has boiled over in recent weeks over Huawei Technologies.

The Japanese government plans to launch the initiative, named "Data Free Flow with Trust," or the DFFT, at the Group of 20 summit in Osaka later this month. The core ideas of Abe's proposal stem from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the 2016 agreement that was aimed at cutting tariffs and setting trade standards among 12 Pacific Rim countries.

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