Press Release
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For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Irene Oujo
(201) 996-1154


June 9, 2004//Hackensack, NJ: After only two months of operation, the Japan Privacy Resource a free service organized by the non-profit Center for Social and Legal Research has attracted widespread attention in both the U.S. and Asia. In fact, it has catapulted to the top two positions in a Google search for "Japan + privacy," the number one position for the web site itself and the number two position for the JPRs Monthly News Flash (out of 10,400,000 references). The bilingual Newsflash alreadyt has subscribers located in the U.S., Japan, the United Kingdom, continental Europe, Australia and China.

And, the JPRs Director, international privacy expert Dr. Alan F. Westin, reports that over 1,000 persons across these venues have downloaded the White Paper on Privacy in Japan that is provided at the JPR.

"Japans approach to protecting consumer, citizen, and employee privacy," Dr. Westin noted, "combines the comprehensive-national-law for both the private and public sectors, pioneered in Europe, with the decentralized, agency-specific regulatory and enforcement style of the United States.

With nine months remaining before Japans new Privacy Law goes into operation, hundreds of Japanese and U.S. multinational firms are focusing not only on how to comply with the new law and Ministry regulations, but also on how to repair the well-documented distrust of most Japanese consumers about how businesses are handling the privacy and security of their personal information."

"The Japan Privacy Resource provides the news information, examples, and strategies for companies in Japan to identify and successfully pursue strong privacy policies, " Dr. Westin added.

Visitors to the JPR can access of the following continuously updated databases in the JPR Library:

The Resource continues to grow and to offer timely information and unique insights into the issue of privacy in Japan. Dr. Alan F. Westin was a U.S. Delegate atrecently attended a Privacy Roundtable in Tokyo in May at which Japanese and U.S. businesses, as well as representatives of the U.S. Department of Commerce, shared their views on Japanese privacy laws and regulations with officials of the Japanese Ministries charged with coordinating personal data protection laws. Dr. Westins report on the Roundtable will appear soon on the Japan Privacy Resource. A rounbd-up of new Ministry guidelines under the national privacy law, prepared by Vivian van Gelder, the JPRs Legal Director, will be featured in July.

In addition, the site will soon post the second in a series of editorials by Dr. Westin, discussing the growing cost to Japanese businesses of personal data leakages, especially through the potential for class action-style lawsuits over inadvertent exposure of customer data. (Dr. Westins first editorial compared the impact of data leakages on Japanese consumers with that on consumers in other countries, and the possibility that identity theft currently at a comparatively low level in Japan may skyrocket unless businesses take steps now to prevent it.)

Future editorials will compare international and Japanese approaches to the role of corporate privacy officers, the use of privacy notices, the regulation of sensitive personal data use, and the impact of new technologies on privacy, among other issues.

Free access to these resources and many more is available now at However, to obtain the monthly Japan Privacy NewsFlash by email, please send your name, title, e-mail address and your organizations address to Please include "Japan NewsFlash" in the subject line of your e-mail. The information you provide will be used only for the purpose of registering you for the Japan Newsflash, and will never be sold or exchanged with any other organization without your permission.

About the Japan-U.S. Privacy and Data Protection Program

The Japan-U.S. Privacy and Data Protection Program was initiated in 1999 by the U.S. non-profit Center for Social and Legal Research (CSLR) to track and report developments in Japanese privacy and data protection. The Program is headed by internationally recognized privacy expert Dr. Alan Westin, Professor Emeritus of Public Law and government at Columbia University, author of Privacy and Freedom (1967) and Director of CSLR. The Programs advisors include Japans leading privacy expert, Professor Masao Horibe, U.S.-Asian privacy expert Russell Pipe, and Japanese business-strategy advisor Jun Sofue.

About the Center for Social & Legal Research

The Center for Social & Legal Research was organized in 1987 as a private, non-profit association of university scholars and social science researchers. Its purpose is to design, conduct and publish fieldwork-oriented studies of major social and legal issues facing the United States and other advanced industrial democracies. As it has evolved, the Center has also become a public policy think tank, studying the rising issues of consumer and employee/employer privacy and data protection issues both online and off in a new technological era.

The Center was organized by Dr. Alan F. Westin, a lawyer, political scientist and internationally recognized privacy expert and the author or editor of 26 books. Dr. Westin was joined in founding CSLR and its Privacy & American Business program by Washington lawyer and privacy expert Robert R. Belair, and by Lorrie Sherwood, who has been the Centers first and continuing Executive Director.