Japan, China and South Korea will work together on developing new technologies, including fourth-generation mobile phones, digital broadcasting, computer security and open-source software, a Japanese official said Monday.

Talks have been underway over the last several months to work out ways the three nations can cooperate in information technologies, including those for the 2008 Beijing Olympics and future Internet systems, an official at the telecommunications ministry said on customary condition of anonymity.

A meeting was held in Seoul in March among officials from the three nations, where they agreed to share information and work together on developing fourth-generation mobile phones by 2010, another ministry official said. No specifics on a standard have been decided, he said.

Telecom ministers from the three nations are set to hold their third annual meeting in July, and an agreement to work together on 4G phones may be discussed there, officials said.

The most common cell phones now in use are second-generation, although 3G use is expanding in some nations, including Japan and South Korea. There is now no single global standard for 3G, which promises more functions and faster data transmissions than earlier phones. Fourth-generation mobile systems are still experimental.

Japan, China and South Korea recently have stepped up their push to pool resources on new technologies and possible common standards for the region. Of particular interest is the development of Linux and other open-source software that offer alternatives to products from Microsoft Corp.

MSNBC News
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