According to the case law of the Court of Justice (147), and as recognized in Article 45(4) of Regulation (EU) 2016/679, the Commission should continuously monitor relevant developments in the third country after the adoption of an adequacy decision in order to assess whether Japan still ensures an essentially equivalent level of protection. Such a check is required, in any event, when the Commission receives information giving rise to a justified doubt in that respect.
Therefore, the Commission should on an on-going basis monitor the situation as regards the legal framework and actual practice for the processing of personal data as assessed in this Decision, including compliance by the Japanese authorities with the representations, assurances and commitments contained in Annex II. To facilitate this process, the Japanese authorities are expected to inform the Commission of material developments relevant to this Decision, both as regards the processing of personal data by business operators and the limitations and safeguards applicable to access to personal data by public authorities. This should include any decisions adopted by the PPC under Article 24 of the APPI recognising a third country as providing an equivalent level of protection to the one guaranteed in Japan.
Moreover, in order to allow the Commission to effectively carry out its monitoring function, the Member States should inform the Commission about any relevant action undertaken by the national data protection authorities ("DPAs"), in particular regarding queries or complaints by EU data subjects concerning the transfer of personal data from the European Union to business operators in Japan. The Commission should also be informed about any indications that the actions of Japanese public authorities responsible for the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of criminal offences, or for national security, including any oversight bodies, do not ensure the required level of protection.
Member States and their organs are required to take the measures necessary to comply with acts of the Union institutions, as the latter are presumed to be lawful and accordingly produce legal effects until such time as they are withdrawn, annulled in an action for annulment or declared invalid following a reference for a preliminary ruling or a plea of illegality. Consequently, a Commission adequacy decision adopted pursuant to Article 45(3) of Regulation (EU) 2016/679 is binding on all organs of the Member States to which it is addressed, including their independent supervisory authorities. At the same time, as explained by the Court of Justice in the Schrems judgment (148) and recognised in Article 58(5) of the Regulation, where a DPA questions, including upon a complaint, the compatibility of a Commission adequacy decision with the fundamental rights of the individual to privacy and data protection, national law must provide it with a legal remedy to put those objections before a national court which, in case of doubts, must stay proceedings and make a reference for a preliminary ruling to the Court of Justice (149).