Sign In

Communications of the ACM

ACM News

Japan Goes All In: Copyright Doesn't Apply To AI Training

View as: Print Mobile App Share:
Mt. Fuji looms over Tokyo.

Not everyone in Japan is on board with this decision. Many anime and graphic art creators are concerned that AI could lower the value of their work.


In a surprising move, Japan's government recently reaffirmed that it will not enforce copyrights on data used in AI training. The policy allows AI to use any data "regardless of whether it is for non-profit or commercial purposes, whether it is an act other than reproduction, or whether it is content obtained from illegal sites or otherwise." Keiko Nagaoka, Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology, confirmed the bold stance to local meeting, saying that Japan's laws won't protect copyrighted materials used in AI datasets.

Japan, AI, and Copyright

English language coverage of the situation is sparse. It seems the Japanese government believes copyright worries, particularly those linked to anime and other visual media, have held back the nation's progress in AI technology. In response, Japan is going all-in, opting for a no-copyright approach to remain competitive.

This news is part of Japan's ambitious plan to become a leader in AI technology. Rapidus, a local tech firm known for its advanced 2nm chip technology, is stepping into the spotlight as a serious contender in the world of AI chips. With Taiwan's political situation looking unstable, Japanese chip manufacturing could be a safer bet. Japan is also stepping up to help shape the global rules for AI systems within the G-7.

View Full Article



Maggie Mcfee

Does anyone have corroboration of this story. This one story on is the only place I can find this.

Simon Mayer

Following Maggie Mcfee's note about corroboration and after having had a look at the close-to-primary source that is also referred to in ( and consulting with colleagues for translation:

1. The circumstance that current Japanese regulations permit the usage of "any" resource for the training of AI models is correct.

2. However, rather than arguing that "Japan should go all in", the ministry has rather critically evaluated this circumstance: ". . . new regulations are necessary to protect copyright holders."

Displaying all 2 comments

Sign In for Full Access
» Forgot Password? » Create an ACM Web Account