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3. G7 ministers urge free flow of information

Information and communication technology ministers from the Group of Seven nations have called for promoting and protecting the free flow of information on the Internet across international borders.

The G7 ministers released a joint declaration on Saturday after a 2-day meeting in the western Japanese city of Takamatsu.

The ministers said in the declaration that countries need to secure an environment that ensures a free cross-border flow of information on the Internet while protecting data safety and privacy.

The statement is believed to be aimed at countering government-led online restrictions in countries including China and Russia.
The ministers agreed to promote research and development of cutting-edge technology for technological innovation.

The advanced technology includes artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things, or IoT, which connects everyday devices, manufacturing equipment at factories and products with sensors and the Internet.

The participants also agreed to cooperate in addressing global issues in such fields as healthcare and disaster prevention by utilizing information and communication technology.

The meeting was chaired by Japan's Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Sanae Takaichi. Speaking at a joint news conference after the meeting, she said the declaration will be an action agenda for the G7 nations.
She pledged to work actively to achieve the goals in close cooperation with international organizations.
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