Reinventing Japan’s Digital Economy

Date: Aug 24, 2015
Tokyo, Japan

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The Internet is becoming an increasingly indispensable part of businesses across all sectors of the economy. However unlike digitally-borne businesses that have been developed specifically around the Internet, many non-tech, pre-existing industries have yet to catch-up with this digitization. These sectors often need a deliberate shift, if not a complete overhaul, in their business processes to reap the benefits that digitization promises. While Japan has a world-class broadband infrastructure, and an educated and skilled workforce, sectors such as education and agriculture seem to be still in the early stage of the digital shift. Competitiveness of these sectors is of vital importance to create resilient society and build future economy. Japan has to take action to address issues such as its negative population growth and declining agriculture, especially with external forces such as the Trans Pacific Partnership looming. Fostering digital enablement in these traditional sectors will be essential to promote growth and innovation, and ultimately improve the competitiveness of Japan’s ageing population.

In the forum on ‘Reinventing Japan’s Digital Economy’ (at Keio University on 24 August, co-organised by GLOCOM and TRPC, co-sponsored and hosted by APRU’s Internet Summer Seminar) we look at examples of traditional sectors from across the region that have gone through, or are in the process of, digital transformations. We will identify and discuss the challenges still facing Japan as it aspires to fully transition towards a digital economy.


13:30 – 14:00 Registration
14:00 – 14:05 OPENING REMARKSJim Foster, Director, International Center for the Internet and Society, Keio University
14:05 – 14:25 KEYNOTE ADDRESSMakiko Yamada, the Director General for International Affairs Global ICT strategy Bureau of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan (MIC)
14:25 – 14:45 FRAMING THE DIALOGUE: LAUNCH OF THE “GOING DIGITAL” WHITEPAPERThe session includes a presentation and sharing of highlights and key findings of TRPC’s “Going Digital” whitepaper.Dr. Peter Lovelock, Director & Founder, TRPC
14:45 – 15:15 PRESENTATIONS: GOING DIGITALIn this section, leading digital entrepreneurs from Japan will share in-depth stories of how they have made use of the Internet to challenge conventional business models and rejuvenate traditional sectors.

  1. Yoshimi Fukuhara, Executive Director, Secretary General, JMOOC ; Professor, Meiji University
  2. Tomoyuki Watanabe, Chair, Japan Agricultural Information Systems Association
  3. Makiko Yamada, the Director General, Global ICT Strategy Bureau, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan (MIC)

Moderated by Dr. Peter Lovelock, TRPC

15:15 – 15:25 Break
15:25 – 16:25 PANEL DISCUSSION: DIGITISING JAPAN’S INDUSTRIESIn this section, panellists will explore the obstacles and opportunities that arise with the digitisation of traditional industries in Japan.

  1. Takeshi Doi, Deputy Director, National Strategy Office of ICT, Cabinet Secretariat
  2. Satoshi Nagawa, Advisor, Granpa Co.Ltd; Senior Principal, Accenture
  3. Masanori Kusunoki, Visiting Research Fellow, GLOCOM; CISO Board, Yahoo Japan; Special Advisor to Government CIO
  4. Jim Foster, Director, International Center for the Internet and Society, Keio University

Moderated by Dr.Tomoaki Watanabe, Executive Research Fellow, GLOCOM

16:25 – 16:30 Closing statements and conclusion


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