(Provisional Translation)

Statement by Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori at the Eleventh Joint Meeting of the Advanced Information and Telecommunications Society Promotion Headquarters and Their Advisory Council

Friday, 19 May 2000

I would like to say a few words on the occasion of this Eleventh Joint Meeting of the Advanced Information and Telecommunications Society Promotion Headquarters and their Advisory Council. Let me first express my deepest appreciation to all the members of the Advisory Council for taking time out of your busy schedules to gather here today.

The information technology (IT) revolution is exerting a significant impact on the economy, society and culture of Japan. I believe that the steady promotion of this IT revolution serves as a major key to ensuring the prosperity of Japan in the 21st century.

I shall work to further advance the Millennium Projects into which former Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi channeled so much of his energy, and in the IT sector I shall strive to prioritize such areas as effecting an information revolution in education, realizing e-Government, and developing cutting-edge IT.

At the same time, the negative side to the IT revolution is also being evidenced in the emergence of high-tech crime and the leaking of personal information. Further, the increasing spread and utilization of IT has served to highlight a divide between those who reap the benefits of IT, and those who are unable to do so. The Government of Japan will promote swift and accurate measures in order to ensure that the people of Japan can feel secure and confident about the advanced information and telecommunications society.

As the Chair of the Kyushu-Okinawa Summit to be held in July this year, I shall give major emphasis to the various challenges raised by the rapid development of IT, or by the IT revolution, at the Summit level. In this endeavor, as Chairman of these Headquarters I would like to take the opportunity to engage in an exchange of views with both domestic and foreign experts in the lead-up to the Summit.

I am determined to take an active approach to ensuring that the promotion of IT will serve to catapult Japan into the 21st century, and in this regard I would ask for the continued cooperation of relevant Cabinet Ministers and all members of the Advisory Council.