"Survivre Aux Crises"

 Jacques Attali's "Survivre Aux Crises" presents a view of the 21st century as seen from a person who became the right-hand man of former French President Mitterrand at the age of 38, and contended with heavyweights such as Thatcher from the UK and Kohl from West Germany.
This book has a number of columns written separately from the main text, and they are arguably more enjoyable. Try reading them as summaries of the main text.

 From issues such as the economic climate, technological advancements, and terrorism, the book says that 1913 and 2013 bear striking resemblances to each other, and that with the current situation, it would not be unusual even for World War 3 to begin. This is shocking coming from Attali, because he accurately predicted the 2008 financial crisis.
In March 2013, both the Church of Rome and China elected new heads, and both have very similar laws regarding the election of their leaders. Indeed, both are closed systems facing the same problems. The difference is that the church's system has been around for 1800 years, whereas China's system has only been around for a few decades.

 In order to foresee future prospects for a country, the book says that one should not concentrate on GDP, but instead look at the 3 indicators of "Demographics, food, music". Looking at a country's demographics, savoring that country's food (=culture/lifestyle), and listening to that country's music (=innovation/beauty) will easily allow one to do so. Such a bizarre opinion is very much like Attali.
With the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the US military-industrial complex lost its enemy, and so arbitrarily conceived of China as an enemy. In order to do so, it needed to put forward a pretext of protecting Japan, thus it had to cause a mutual opposition between China and Japan. This is America's basic strategy, and it plans to continue putting China and Japan at odds with each other in the future. --- This is also an opinion typical of the Frenchman, but I find it hard to agree.

 He also leaves behind these words ---- The total number of humans that have ever existed is 100 billion. With the growth of media, the number of people that a single individual may be able meet has risen to 1000, but this number will rapidly increase. "The number of connections between fellow people living in this age has exceed that of all the previous ages in history combined."
How will mankind make use of that power? I hope to take on that question and attempt to think of an answer.


"The New Digital Age"

 I have read "The New Digital Age" by Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen.
 It paints a picture of countries, revolutions, and the future of conflicts spearheaded by the Fifth Estate, otherwise known as the Internet, not as a fantastic story, but as a true premonition of the future.
 In 10 years, the virtual human population will exceed that of the actual human population living on Earth, the citizens of that virtual human population will become unable to control their personal information in cyberspace, and these will cause effects on the real world. Governments will strengthen surveillance measures and impose restrictions on technology and their use, for reasons such as maintaining public order and preventing unlawful transactions. This will apply no matter whether they are democratic or dictatorial. With regulations by governments in place, the Internet will be mish-mash of the webs of various countries, and balkanization will occur.
 This is what the book explains. I believe that one's online ID will matter more than one's offline ID in the future, and that the surveillance carried out by countries will increase whether or not it is effective. Differences in the approaches taken by different countries will result in pandemonium. We can already see it in the varying models adopted by China, Turkey, and Germany. This will probably just accelerate if Google and other global enterprises do not reach an agreement with the governments of nations around the world. What should we think of these observations by Mr. Schmidt from Google?
 The book says that although Bin Laden concealed himself in Pakistan for 5 years without the use of phones or the Internet, this is the precise reason for the discovery of his exact hiding place: a huge mansion in the city that did not have communication lines laid out to it. The offline world is no longer safe anymore.
Will the Internet bring about more revolutions? Will drones and 3D printers contribute to more terrorism? Will there be more government policies concerning the virtual segregation of minorities? Will robots replace humans as soldiers? This book also asks these questions.
 Our group has teamed up with Stanford University to form an "IT Policy Research Association" to debate policies for the future. We hope to consider what should be done, with inspiration from the points of discussion offered by this text.


"The End of Big"

 I have read "The End of Big" by Nicco Mele.
 It is a book that warns about how individuals connecting to the Internet can bring about the demise of "big things" such as traditional systems and power structures. Though it is not a particularly novel point of view, it is a good text that gives a comprehensive overview of the changes induced by the Internet.
 Mass media, political parties, Hollywood, governments, armies, universities, and large corporations. The book mentions many examples of how these "big things" have been overthrown by individuals connected to each other through the Internet. Across all sectors, this is more likely to be an image of the present than a depiction of the future.

Vannevar Bush, Engelbart, Ted Nelson, Tim O'Reilly, John Perry Barlow, Eric Raymond, Sherry Turkle, Salman Khan… It is also a catalog that allows you to learn the genealogy left by these digital pioneers.
 The programming language of Logo, ARPANET, the Telecommunications Act of 1996, One Laptop Per Child, OpenCourseWare, Fab Labs… It was also a useful listing for me to check the effects of the work I was involved in when I was in places like MIT.
 The book also presents a paradox: On one hand, there are small-time artists who have become able to send information directly to the world, but on the other hand, "even bigger things" such as YouTube have seen the light of day and flourished. However, is that merely a simple power shift? It would be good for all you students out there to use this book as a text to consider and ask yourselves such questions.

 The book makes 3 proposals regarding structures to make use of the power of individuals, the selection of capable leaders, and the management of online platforms respectively. The final issue is the biggest topic when formulating government policies on IT, and concerns the management of platforms such as Facebook, Google, and Twitter. However, the method has yet to be described. Students, what do you think?


The Tokyo Olympics and information infrastructure

 My first memory was that of the torchbearers of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. No, the torchbearers were not on television. I waved flags while watching the runners on the wide streets with my very own eyes. The previous time, instead of focusing on the media, all the stops were pulled to develop bullet trains, highways, as well as distribution and transportation networks. It was an industrial society.
The 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be held right smack in the middle of an information society. It will be held in a global city. And as the previous Olympics focused on development, the one after that must focus on maturity. I hope for information infrastructure that will serve as a model to show the international community what a safe, peaceful, and mature country should be.

 In terms of digital networks, Japan is already at the forefront of the world. However, there are still issues to address. Firstly, we have the issue of Wi-Fi. In order to welcome visitors from all over the world, I want to arrange for the availability of wireless broadband throughout the entire city of Tokyo.
 Next, we have the issue of the usage of broadcasting signals. Although digital terrestrial broadcasting is already available, the true test lies on providing new services from now on. I wish to make it possible to use next-generation video services that combine both communication networks and broadcasting networks.

 When the Olympics officially begins, we should not concern ourselves with communications or broadcasting anymore, but instead concentrate on welcoming international visitors with the signage within the city, and making it possible for them to view the progress of all matches via their smartphones. We should also prepare multilingual information and public screenings with 4K/8K ultra-high definition television.
The "Digital Signage Consortium", which I represent, has issued these proposals aimed at 2020.

I want people from all over the world to enjoy the Olympics through multilingual public screenings, while sending messages of encouragement on their smartphones, buying sports goods that athletes are using, or partying and connecting themselves to social media. I hope to build up the excitement, yet show the world a Tokyo and Japan that is safer than anywhere else.