NRI Papers
No.66   July 1, 2003
  Establishing the Ubiquitous Network Environment in Japan --From e-Japan to U-Japan--  
Teruyasu MURAKAMI
       The Japanese government is presently reviewing its e-Japan Strategy. While the concept of the ubiquitous network will be incorporated into its next-stage national IT (information technology) strategies, this is not necessarily the single strategic concept to be encompassed in the next round of the e-Japan Strategy. In order to contribute to a future exercise in establishing what can be called a "U-Japan Strategy" to replace the e-Japan Strategy, this paper proposes a set of structural measures that will be required at the time of promoting a unified and consistent approach to ubiquitous networking. The three specific areas of focus include constructing a new ubiquitous network infrastructure, establishing a ubiquitous network usage infrastructure, and promoting the utilization of the ubiquitous network.
       It is important that future IT strategies be designed to meet specific objectives; namely: (1) to put Japan one step ahead of other countries in IT rather than simply to catch up with them; (2) to establish an IT utilization environment that fully draws on the strength of Japan's continuing efforts and advances in every field of IT; and (3) to have impact not simply within the IT industry but in a wide range of manufacturing and service industries.
       With respect to network infrastructure, in addition to further promoting a shift towards broadband for wired systems it is necessary to organize a broadband network infrastructure for wireless and mobile systems on a systematic and integrated basis that envisions the movement towards ubiquitous networking.
       The key to setting up an appropriate utilization framework will be the module-based development of ubiquitous terminals that can better connect people to people, people to objects, and objects to objects. It is also necessary to establish a next-generation payment settlement infrastructure and security and privacy mechanisms.
       From the standpoint of usage and utilization, efforts must be made in the following core areas: (1) establishing a distribution and production structure that allows for highly diverse and profuse digital content; (2) promoting advanced ubiquitous electronics that can connect to consumers anywhere and at any time through broadband networks that take in various industries such as home information appliances, automobiles, IT, and entertainment; and (3) implementing a host of ubiquitous services that can attentively respond to a broad range of needs in the fields of medicine, welfare, education, transportation, and the environment.
Contents
I The Future of the IT Environment
II Progress in the Shift to Broadband and Reviewing the e-Japan Strategy
  1 Progress in Shifting towards Broadband and Measures Being Taken by Various Countries
  2 Basic Directions for Revising the e-Japan Strategy
III IT Environment Realized by the U-Japan Strategy
  1 U-Japan Strategy Aimed at Achieving the Ubiquitous Network Environment
  2 Better Connected Consumers
  3 Corporations Creating New Added Value
  4 Public Services That Reach Consumer's Real Needs
IV Conceptual Formulation of the Ubiquitous Network
  1 The Ubiquitous Network as a New IT Utilization Environment
  2 The Ubiquitous Network and Ubiquitous Computing
  3 From P2P to P2O and O2O
  4 Ubiquitous Network I and Ubiquitous Network II
V Policy Measures under the U-Japan Strategy
  1 Three Areas to Promote the U-Japan Strategy
  2 Policy Measures to Promote the U-Japan Strategy
VI Objectives of Policy Measures for the U-Japan Strategy
  1 Steps to Construct the Ubiquitous Network Infrastructure
  2 Specific Measures for Establishing the Ubiquitous Network Utilization Infrastructure
  3 Promote Extensive Utilization of the Ubiquitous Network
VII Impact of U-Japan Strategy

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