The Prime Minister Visits Facilities Working with Robots
Thursday, June 19, 2014
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited a factory and nursing care facility working with robots.
The Prime Minister first visited a factory in Kazo City, Saitama Prefecture, where he observed dual-arm production robots that have been introduced into their production lines, and then had an exchange of opinions with employees and others. Next, he visited a nursing care facility located in Sumida City, Tokyo, where he tested nursing care robots and had an exchange of opinions with nursing care staff and others.
After the visit, the Prime Minister said,
“Today, I inspected a production center making use of the latest robots that will indeed be realized in the future. These are robots which are built in response to the kinds of needs emerging from nursing care workplaces and meant to assist with nursing care, for which there is an extreme need.
I was able to confirm the potential that robots have to greatly change lifestyles and industry through their use in places of production, or nursing care, or even in agriculture. At nursing care facilities, they will free people from extremely heavy work. Seventy percent of people working at such places suffer from lower back pain, and I hope that the use of robots will cut that number in half. Furthermore, in places of production, robots will free people from simple work. This will enable workers to perform the jobs that can only be done by people such as management, or jobs where they can make greater use of their capabilities. There are various other possibilities, too. These include the possibility that companies that have moved factories overseas in search of low-cost labor will be able to return to Japan again by using robots, and create places of employment. I think that robots will become a great pillar of the Growth Strategy.
On that point, I will establish a ‘Robot Revolution Realization Council’ to draw out the potential of robots, and use that potential for the growth of Japan. In addition, I would also like to aim to draw robots from all over the world to Japan in 2020 for a Robot Olympics, a competition of robot skills. Furthermore, by 2020 I would like to increase the size of the market for robots to three times what it is now, to 2.4 trillion yen.”