Companies Call for Asian Cooperation on PKI

A group of major Japanese companies announced on Friday the launch of an initiative aimed at creating cooperation between Asian countries to promote the use of PKI (public-key infrastructure) in the region.

Five Japanese companies, Fujitsu Ltd, Hitachi, Ltd., Mitsui & Co. Ltd., NEC Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp., are proposing the establishment of a regional forum to promote the use of public-key infrastructure and accelerate interoperability between systems.

On Friday, the five companies were to establish the Japan Promotional Association for Asia PKI Forum, to be chaired by Hitachi Chairman Tsutomu Kanai, to promote such forum activities in Japan, the companies said in a statement.

Noting that similar forums and other organizations in Europe and the U.S. already are studying PKI interoperability issues, the companies said that it was now time to set up an Asian forum to facilitate interoperability of PKI in the Asia region.

PKI interoperability could help bring about seamless electronic government administration in the region, and also contribute to the creation of a global electronic commerce market, the companies said.

Currently, talks are being held with Singapore and South Korea to expand forum activities to other parts of Asia. The forum activities will be supported by Japan's Ministry of International Trade & Industry and governments in other Asian countries, the companies said.

The forum will also use its interoperability studies to contribute to efforts aimed at achieving PKI interoperability on a global scale.

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