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(Nikkei BP Group)

(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • Mitsubishi, Others Work on Foreign Trade Guidelines
  • January 19, 1999 (TOKYO) — Mitsubishi Corp. and five other companies said they will cooperate on guidelines to computerize foreign trade financial transactions.
    The project is designed to realize electronic data interchange (EDI) in the field of foreign trade financial transactions. The guidelines are scheduled to be worked out by the end of March 1999.

    The five other companies managing the project are: Mitsui & Co., Ltd., IBM Japan Ltd., NTT Corp., Hitachi Ltd. and Fujitsu Ltd. In addition to the six companies, 23 companies will participate through user groups affiliated with the shipping, banking, insurance and transportation industries.

    Foreign trade procedures are currently carried out by means of written documents among shippers, financial institutions, transportation companies and government agencies. Such documents require changing information to another document format. However, there is little difference among documents in their information content, according to a spokesman for Mitsubishi.

    It is expected that EDI will increase the efficiency of foreign trade financial transactions.

    Guidelines on business boundary, active rules, certified functions and protocols to be applied will be worked out by the end of March.

    Although the guidelines will be limited to foreign trade procedures inside Japan, they could be easily be applied to EDI systems abroad once domestic procedures are computerized, according to the Mitsubishi spokesman.

    After the guidelines are worked out, they will be made public by the Electronic Commerce Promotion Council of Japan, an organization promoting electronic data interchange, and applied to transactions by connecting to EDI systems abroad.

    The project to lay down the guidelines is subsidized by the first supplementary budget of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry for fiscal year 1998. The six companies applied for the budget and have been granted the subsidy.

    Related story: Mitsui, Hitachi, Five Banks to Join Bolero Project

    (BizTech News Dept.)

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