The European Commission (EC) and Japan have agreed to collaborate on the development of 5G mobile technologies, and €12m of funding has already been set aside for projects related to the use of superfast mobile services.
The deal follows on just three months after the EC announced its intention to reach such agreements with other major nations around the world, including China and the US.
Günther Oettinger, European commissioner for the digital economy and society, explained that getting the first of these agreements in place with Japan is a key step forward in ensuring that 5G technologies are developed along common lines.
"5G will be the backbone of our digital economies and societies worldwide. This is why we strongly support and seek a global consensus and cooperation on 5G,” he said.
“Our agreement with Japan is a milestone on the road to a global definition of 5G, its service characteristics and standards. It shows that our countries are ready to take leadership in building our digital future."
The partnership will see the two nations focus on 5G concerns ranging from the most suitable spectrum bands, to how applications that benefit from 5G services, such as connected cars or e-health, are developed.
Furthermore, the funding of €12m will be used for 5G-related projects related to the Internet of Things, the cloud and big data platforms that use 5G spectrum to transmit data.
The 5G partnership between Japan and the EU was announced as part of a wider strategic research agreement that will focus on collaboration across various scientific endeavours.
The countries will focus on areas such as ICT and aeronautics, health and medical research, environment, energy and physics.
Carlos Moedas, commissioner for research, science and innovation at the EC, welcomed the commitments as vital to future scientific breakthroughs.
"Europe and Japan must tackle many of the same challenges, such as energy security, ageing populations and access to critical materials,” he said.
“So it's only natural that we work together closely to find solutions to these challenges. The joint vision endorsed today will take our cooperation to the next level."
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