e-Japan : Summary

(January 22, 2001)

Japan must take revolutionary yet realistic actions promptly in order to create a "knowledge-emergent society,"where everyone can actively utilize IT and fully enjoy its benefits. We will strive to establish an environment where the private sector, based on market forces, can exert its full potential and make Japan the world's most advanced IT nation within five years.

1. Philosophy

1. Historical significance of the IT revolution

(1) IT revolution and transformation to a "knowledge-emergent society"
The IT revolution is beginning to bring about a historic transformation of society, much like the Industrial Revolution did. The advancement in information technologies is believed to result in the transformation to a "knowledge-emergent society," where the interaction of knowledge will evolve to create high added value.

(2) Necessity for a new national infrastructure
In order for Japan to continue its economic prosperity and raise the quality of life, it is vital to promptly establish a new national infrastructure, including legal frameworks and information infrastructures, suitable for a new society.

2. Actions of nations for IT revolution and Japan's backwardness

(1) National IT strategies of other nations
The United States, European and Asian nations are aggressively developing their IT infrastructures as part of their national strategies, in order to secure world competitive leadership in the 21st century, in recognition of the importance of creating a "knowledge-emergent" environment.

(2) Japan's backwardness in embracing the IT revolution
It can be concluded that the main cause for Japan's delay in the popularization of the Internet has been institutional problems, such as high telecommunications fees stemming from a monopoly of the local telecommunications market and regulations hindering fair and free competition.

3. Basic strategy

(1) The need for a national strategy
In order to implement necessary institutional reforms and measures quickly and steadfastly aiming at the world's most advanced IT environment, Japan must establish a national strategy and ensure its common and shared understanding among the nation's citizens. The government should promptly establish an infrastructure that functions according to market forces, so that the private sector can engage in various creative activities through free and fair competition.

(2) Our vision of the ideal IT society

  1. Have all people information literate and able to exchange a wealth of knowledge and information.
  2. Have ongoing reform towards a diverse and efficient economic structure based on the principle of competition.
  3. Actively contribute to the development of a "knowledge-emergent society" on a global scale.

2. Priority policy areas

1. Establishment of the ultra high-speed network infrastructure and competition policies

(1) Targets

  1. Establish one of the world's most advanced Internet networks within five years, and enable all the people who need it to have ultra high-speed access networks (30-100Mbps as a standard) at affordable rates. (Aim to provide high-speed constant access networks to at least 30million households and ultra high-speed constant access to 10million households)
  2. Enable all the people to have constant access to the Internet at extremely low rates within one year through the use of fixed-line, wireless and other kinds of networks.
  3. Promote the shift to the Internet networks equipped with IPv6

(2) Government Actions

  1. Establishment of an ultra high-speed network infrastructure and promotion of competition
  2. Improvement of digital divide
  3. Support and promotion of R&D
  4. Establishment of the international Internet networks

2. Facilitation of electronic commerce
Facilitate e-commerce aggressively by 2002 through constructing the framework and market rules by which everyone can safely participate in it;

3. Realization of electronic government
Realize an e-government, which handles electronic information in the same manner as paper-based information, by fiscal 2003, and even expedite digitization of citizens and businesses widely;

4. Nurturing high-quality human resources
Form a solid foundation of human resources;