On October 19, 2016, the International Trade Administration issued a press release reaffirming the commitment of both the U.S. Department of Commerce and Japan’s Personal Information Protection Commission (the “PPC”) to continue implementation of the APEC Cross-Border Privacy Rules (“CBPR”) system in order to foster the protection of personal information transferred across borders. According to the press release, the PPC’s “recent decision to recognize the system as a mechanism for international data transfers in the implementing guidelines for Japan’s amended privacy law marks an important milestone for the development of the APEC CBPR system in Japan.” Going forward, both agencies also have committed to cooperate in raising awareness and encouraging other APEC member economies to implement the CBPR system.

Developed by the 21 APEC member economies, the APEC CBPR system is a regional, multilateral, cross-border data transfer mechanism and enforceable privacy code of conduct developed for businesses. The CBPRs implement the nine high-level APEC Privacy Principles set forth in the APEC Privacy Framework. Currently, the U.S., Mexico, Canada and Japan are participants in the APEC CBPR framework.