NRI Papers
No.33   September 1, 2001
  Positive Mind Redivivus:Redesigning Social Systems with IT as a Driving Force  
NRI Center for Knowledge Exchange and Creation
        Here we observe that the daily concerns of the Japanese people, such as health-related issues, are constantly intensifying to impel them to be self-protective. Simultaneously, however, two-thirds of them are trying to live positively, trying to enrich their life fully.
    Vitalizing social activities means realizing people's positive attitude to live more convincingly with a challenging spirit. Most importantly, administrative policies must veer quickly to stimulate them to live more actively. We, therefore, believe that an environment for such policies must be immediately created: this should include (1) reconstructing safety nets for life designs in the future, (2) building the fundamental systems to allow the citizens to develop variously as they will, and (3) restoring a mutual sense of trust and confidence between the government and the citizens.
    In this report we have proposed an idealistic concept for each of the key categories: medical care, pensions, education and local communities, working styles, living styles, administrative policies, and policymaking.
    In presenting these proposals, we have found it important to change the policymaking process to redesign the social/institutional systems for vitalization. This requires (1) an advanced evaluation system based on microeconomic viewpoints, (2) people's spontaneous participation, and (3) initiatives by the private sector.
    For changing the policymaking process, social experiment functions need to be established to redesign the overall social systems.
Contents
I Why Do We Need to Vitalize Our Life?
1 Where Do We Stand, and Where Do We Go?
2 What Is Necessary to Vitalize Our Life?
3 What Reforms Can Vitalize Our Life?
II What System Can Make Us Self-Reliant?
1 Reform Medical Care Through IT (Proposal 1)
2 Introduce Defined-Contribution Pension Schemes Immediately (Proposal 2)
3 Rejuvenate Communities by IT (Proposal 3)
III How Can We Diversify Our Life?
1 Construct a Parallel Occupation System (Proposal 4)
2 Construct a Parallel Residence System (Proposal 5)
IV How Can We Restore the Mutual Confidence Between the Government and Us?
1 Realizing Electronic Government (Proposal 6)
2 Create Social Experiment Functions (Proposal 7)
V Bottom Line

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