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Top Page > List > Dialogue with Mr.Kato - Japan Digital Agency (2022.12.28 wed)

2022.12.28 wed

Dialogue with Mr.Kato - Japan Digital Agency

1 year has passed since our first dialogue about Peppol.  We review the latest situation of Peppol adoption in Japan.


Good Morning Kato-san!  More than a year has already passed after our 1st dialogue in October 2021.  I assume that there are a lot of progress around Peppol e-invoice introduction in Japan.


(Hiroyuki KATO)

It made a great progress in Peppol e-invoice initiative in Japan. On 1st July 2022, Japan Peppol Authority started the accreditation process for Peppol Certified Service Provider in Japan. So far, 21 service providers completed their processes and became Peppol Certified Service providers in Japan. On 15th December, one of the biggest accounting system vendors in Japan finally launched the service that supports Peppol e-invoice.


(AS) Seeing the latest accredited company list, we see more foreign service providers than those Japanese, we heard many times about the hurdle for the foreign companies because of the particularities of Japanese market, however it was just unnecessary worry!


(HK) Indeed. I always say that our door is always open. Thats what I say all along.


(AS) If you may know, could you kindly let me know major reason why foreign service providers are entering into Japan for Peppol operation?


(HK) In general, international service providers have various purposes. For instance, some service providers have aims to support Japanese subsidiaries or branches of European based companies to adopt Peppol e-invoice. And the others have an intention to support subsidiaries or branches of Japanese companies in European countries together with their HQs in Japan.


(AS) We can say that Japan is still very important and interesting for international business scene!  How about Japanese ERP companies and accounting software vendors?  You mentioned in various occasions about the advantage of Peppol e-invoice, which is not only for exchange of the data but also for its processability.


(HK) Exactly.  Peppol e-invoice is a structured invoice data and is processed by systems automatically. In that context, Peppol e-invoice would be one of the best tools to accelerate ‘Digitalization’.  On the other hands, unfortunately,  many Japanese ERP system vendors or accounting system vendors still think that Peppol e-invoice is just a tool for exchange of invoice data.


(AS) I am personally interested in the real digitalization since long, which can be brought also by the wide usage of structured data, to add more value on its exchange.  Just electronic data exchange is not digitalization, I believe.  As you mentioned, we should highlight more on the value of the structured data of Peppol e-invoice, and it is interesting to see a new product or service which is based on the structured data, simply so!


(HK) I wouldn’t deny the fact that Peppol e-invoice is a tool for exchange of invoice data. In addition, Im sure the company that undertakes various billing operations can utilize Peppol e-invoice. A business that outsources billing operation prefers to use ‘human readable’ format of an invoice. To meet such needs, unfortunately, a paper invoice or a non-structured invoice data is still used.


(AS) It is a bit pity to see, however it is understandable because in middle of paradigm shift.  Do you have any promotional activity to change the old-fashioned manner?


(HK) For now, I suggest the use of Peppol e-invoice.  Some companies are considering the support of Peppol e-invoice.


(AS) It is good to know. For example, BPO companies try to use structured data for invoice outsourcing business aiming to get digitalized, it must be challenging but very meaningful for the market, as it might become a De Facto Standard.  DNP is one of them and it can be interesting to hear more about their idea, if we have a chance.


(HK) In fact, at this moment, ERP system vendors and accounting system vendors are focusing on the function for the process of received invoice. So that, I feel that the developing the function to generate and issue Peppol e-invoice is a little behind the schedule. To promote wide spread of use of Peppol e-invoice, the function would be essential. Therefore, I expect that vendors also enhance the development of such a function.      


(AS) So, issuing with Peppol e-invoice data is a key for new steps It is important to exchange (issue – receive) the data correctly, and then, it is equally or even more important to use the structured data in right process.


(HK) I totally agree with you. Needless to say, to utilize a structured invoice data, the exchange of the structured invoice data would be necessary. However, its not the sole purpose. I want to emphasize that the utilize of valuable information in invoice is one of the most important purposes. In addition, I also expect that more services that enable business to utilize the information in invoice would be launched.


(AS) There seems to be some use cases/plans based on the Peppol e-invoice structured data for communes, infrastructure, logistics and retail, I heard it in various international conferences.   Recently, Singapore introduced InvoiceNow linked to PaymentNow based on Peppol, and a bank started new service mainly for SMEs based on Peppol e-Invoice data.  It is not easy because there are already existing and functioning EDIs, however they are trying their best to create new value, with smooth integration to the current market.


(HK) It might take some time. But the role of financial institutions including banks is the most remarkable point. I think that it would become a next milestone of our Peppol e-invoice initiative.


(AS) It is good for our future that the Peppol e-invoice structured data is used as one of the triggers for more interoperable digitalized society, with good innovations by various companies.  I try to keep an eye on such movements internationally. 

I appreciate for your time, in particularly busy year-end period, to have this interesting dialogue. 

We wish you, Kato-san, and all readers of this article a happy new year.