Commission welcomes Council’s green light to start negotiations for an EU-Japan Passenger Name Record agreement

Today, the Council gave its green light for the EU to start negotiations with Japan on an agreement to enable the transfer of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data from the European Union to Japan, essential to strengthen the EU-Japan partnership on fighting terrorism and serious transnational crime. The agreement will set out the framework and conditions for the exchange with and use by Japan of such data, ensuring full respect of data protection safeguards and fundamental rights, in accordance with the Charter of Fundamental Rights. PNR data is information passengers provide to airlines when booking flights and checking-in for flights. The processing of PNR data is an important and effective tool to prevent and counter security threats. It helps to trace suspicious travel patterns and identify potential criminals and terrorists, including those previously unknown to law enforcement authorities. Vice-President for Promoting our European Way of Life, Margaritis Schinas, said: “Criminals and terrorists increasingly operate across borders and their activities often involve international travel. Sharing PNR data with close partners like Japan in full respect of data protection standards will help us track them down.” Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, said: “It is of great importance to strengthen our security cooperation with strategic partners like Japan. This agreement will be a powerful tool to effectively fight against terrorism and serious crime, both for the EU and for Japan.” The Commission now stands ready to swiftly start negotiations and will keep both the Parliament and the Council informed about the progress of the negotiations.