The Possibilities of Big Data 2

 This is a continuation of big data. ‘Individual’ can be placed along with ‘infrastructure’. Not only limited to the business field, it is also possible for individuals to take advantage of collective wisdom. 
Services that leverage on integrated content by collective knowledge, such as Cookpad, Kakaku.com, Weather News and others are getting more and more prevalent. Big data might expand Web 2.0 into unprecedented levels, into Web 3.0. 

Based on my calculations, within the 10 years from 1995 to 2005 when digitization first started, the amount of information available has grown by 21 times, and while it is still accelerating, part of it can be attributed to big data. Content = a viewpoint which incorporates people-to-people (P2P) and machine-to-machine (M2M).  

  By the way, “Big Data is Changing the Business” advocates the fact that the use of big data in the public sector, such as in education, medical and public administration spheres. Within education for example, big data can allow education to become more sophisticated. Different people can create different teaching materials, integrate them, and provide the most appropriate teaching material to each student. This is an example of collective wisdom. Field trials in the utilization of big data are required. I would like put a new theme for big data with digital textbooks and movement of teaching materials. 
  Big data is also important in the medical and health care business. However, as the data type of medical records between each hospital differs, there is a fundamental problem of not being able to consolidate inspection data. Although millions of medical information has been integrated in Europe and United States, it has been pointed out that the process is still insufficient in the case for Japan. 
  The obstacles present in this field might pose a bigger challenge when compared to the education field. Although national ID is required for the utilization of big data in government, Japan is still the only country that has not introduced this within developed countries. ‘My Number’ is also not implemented yet, right? 

In the book, three shocking data is published. Based on data provided by Professor Fukao from Hitotsubashi University, investment in information and communication per GDP is at 5% and has increased from 2003. Japan, on the other hand, is at 3% level and has been decreasing since 2001. Although usage by the general user is high, usage by companies remain low.  

According to the white paper on telecommunications published in 2009 on deviation values in information and communications utilization among the seven major industrialized countries, Japan is ranked first in the transportation and logistics business. However, it is also the last in the business management area. This is very shocking. It is a serious issue that IT literacy in the management level is low in Japan. 

  There is also a shocking data from McKinsey which reveals the fact that North America has 5000 petabytes, Europe has 2000 petabytes and Japan with only 400 petabytes in the amount of information accumulated in 2010. In terms of accumulated amount, Japan is only 11% of North America. Both the industry and government in Japan has not realized the importance of information.
The biggest problem is within ourselves, which is for us to recognize the importance of information and data. This is indeed a big challenge.


The Possibilities of Big Data 1

 Big data. By analyzing huge amount of information rapidly coming out every second with smartphone or sensor, one can create new values in various social and economic aspects such as in business, health care, crime prevention or urban design. Besides data such as weather, geography or road traffic, other information shared by people through social media, footages from security cameras and other data are increasingly being regarded as a mountain of treasure due to its explosive increase. 
 This is a buzz word, and also has increasing potential as a keyword. However, a clear definition does not exist yet. At present moment, it is best to give a loose definition such as “accumulation of huge amount of information” without narrowing the possibilities. 
  Besides enriching the society, big data is also expected to expand business opportunities. Leaving that to promotional publications, I will focus on the following two possibilities, “infrastructure” and “individual”. 

  Firstly, big data as a form of infrastructure. 
  As it is possible to estimate demographics by time or region by using data gathered from mobile phones, this will be very useful in disaster prevention and urban planning. Big data itself is being used as a form of social infrastructure. 
“Just like how the United States invented the Internet in preparation of a nuclear war, Japan which has experienced large earthquakes and brought trouble to the world with nuclear issues, has a responsibility to create an infrastructure for the next generation to withstand future disasters.”
“Although the Internet was uninterrupted in the previous earthquake, Japan must continue to lead in the development research in face of threats of future earthquakes to come.”
  These thoughts might be vague, but rather than designing a new communication network, what is required is to shape urban designs by taking advantage of big data. 
Smart City shares information from different kind of sensors through M2M (machine-to-machine), and is a concept which utilizes big data in the entire city. Japan might be a little late in this kind of approach but it is precisely what must be addressed first in the country. 
According to Shuichi Inada, professor in University of Tokyo, previously from Ministry of Affairs & Communication and author of ‘Big Data is Changing the Business’, Japan is a ‘sensor superpower’ that is using ¼ of the world’s sensors. That is something to be expected from an ubiquitous society with eight million gods. Despite sensors lurking everywhere, they have been not used strategically. However, this still presents itself an opportunity waiting to be explored. 


Nation-wide use of ‘My Number’

 The introduction of tax and social security number, ‘My Number’, by the law “on the use of ID in identifying specifying specific individuals in administrating proceedings” have finally been established, with preparations currently underway. 

However, there are many people who are afraid of this. Accordingly to governmental surveys, 46.9% chose “Depending on countries, citizens will be monitored with the national ID system”, 36.7% chose “By impersonating or forgery, personal information may be peeped or used illegally”, and 27% chose “Personal information is likely to be leaked”. However, speaking of nation-wide monitoring, monitoring can also be done today as passport and licenses are managed by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Police respectively. On the contrary, one will not be able to leave the country if passport is not managed by the relevant authorities. Even for information of name and adress leakages, will we really be in desperate trouble? For someone like me who has realized how convenient life has become after the conception of the Internet, I cannot justify how its merits can be crushed by criticisms founded on vague insecurities.
  Of course, it is important to build a system that people can feel at ease with. How much costs will be incurred is the issue. For example, the negative effects of personal information protection can be seen in cases where an emergency contact network cannot be created, hospitals cannot reveal the list of victims in an accident to the police, or when local governments cannot pass information to the Ministry of Civil Affairs Committee to follow up cases on home abuse. These are all ironic cases where more insecurity is caused due to actions which call for more assurance or security.

The balance between convenience and an ease of mind is equivalent to the balance between public and protection. As ‘My Number’ is a computer/IT system, the fear issue and convenience is similar to the Internet. Similar to how I am always looking to extend the convenience of the Internet, I am interested in spreading the benefits of ‘My Number’, rather than focusing on how it can be give people a peace of mind. 
  Hospitals, schools, banks, relocations, post offices, net, mails. There are many fields to consider even when focusing on public areas. Asset management advice to collectively manage financial and fixed assets. Exchange of medical data between hospitals. In addition, registering an ID once and using the same ID on other sites, and utilizing a variety of private services on the net with an open ID. 

Research done by Nomura Research Institute has estimated that an e-government with ID system will lead to benefits of 3.8 trillion Yen, and if this ID system is employed by the private sector, the economic benefits are expected to be at 10.5 trillion Yen. Given that there is considerable anxiety even just within tax and social security, there might be resistance to a widespread implementation. However, in that case, it will be difficult to justify the benefits associated with tax and social security only with the high costs needed to build the system. I think the huge costs would be unbalanced with the low benefits. 


Intellectual Property Strategy: Infrastructure Development and Overseas Expansion

 Content Policy of the Intellectual Property Division. Digitization and networking (infrastructure) and Cool Japan (overseas expansion) as the two pillars of advancement. 

1 Digitization and Networking 
  Digitization and networking is in full swing for the 20th year, expanding business opportunities.
   Over the past decade in particular, more attention has been placed into content, and with the amendment of the Copyright Act, various policies have been adopted in response to digitization. However, despite the explosive increase in content use and information production, expansion of the content industry appears to be shrinking. In addition, with new media innovations in recent years such as multi-screen, cloud networks, social services, digitization and networking has entered a new stage.  
  Within this context, the Japanese content industry is also not winning in the global competition in platforms. The country has been late in the production and use of content in fields such as schools and government. 
  In order to continue the development of new industry and culture in response to worldwide digitization and networking, it has become necessary to go beyond structural conflicts between users and right-holders, hard and soft, and create comprehensive institutional designs and new fields. 
  This means executing strategies by promoting content as the driving force of the Japanese economy and culture. It is hence important to prioritize such policies. 

2 Cool Japan
  It has been 10 years that the phrase ‘Cool Japan’ is used. 
Contemporary Japanese culture has won the hearts from people around the world under the ‘Cool Japan’ concept. This is not only limited to manga, anime, games, but is also expanding to fashion, food, traditional crafts, and tourism. In addition, attention has generally been focused on industrial design, service level, family-run businesses, lifestyle and other economic or cultural fields. 
 It is part of the government’s mission to connect this soft power with economic growth. As a method, outbound approaches such as strengthening of information dissemination in media and events are important. In addition, putting in people and technology into the breeding reactor of industry culture in Japan is also another method.   
  Although efforts have been placed by both government and the private sector to come up with policies which cross competitive industrial fields such as content and fashion, the results are in full-swing only from now. It will be important to show these results. 


Content to be converted

 Intellectual Property Division Content Specialist Committee. The committee bundles government policies on content and forms action plan, known as the “Intellectual Property Plan”. The division was formed 10 years ago, and I have been working as the chairman for five years, being involved in intellectual property planning. 

 Looking at the flow right now, while the world content market is expanding by 6% every year, the Japanese market is expected to shrink. On the other hand, based on my calculations, information dissemination in Japan has increased by 30 times in the past 10 years. With the increase in activity in M2M (machine –to-machine) and big data, this increase can be expected to move at faster pace. 

 However, according to McKinsey, information that has been ‘accumulated’ in Japan within the past 10 years does not exceed 11% of the volume in the United States. Although there is indeed new information, these are not stored as intellectual properties. Big data is also not being leveraged. Although traditionally, countries are set in their pursuit of industrial scale expansion, it has become important to also look at information amount and behavior. 

 The content policy has changed within these three years. 

1 More than the copyright system, policy moved from a defensive to an offensive stance with developing projects.

2 Infrastructure rather than entertainment: more focus is put in infrastructure and human resource development. 

3 Overseas expansion beside just domestic. 
 I believe this direction is correct. 

 There will emphasis on the following three in the future:

1. Strengthening of overseas expansion
Drastic measures such as buying media frame overseas and abolishing import restrictions are needed. 

2. Development of domestic infrastructure

 This is a long-term, bottom-up plan. Full implementation of digital textbooks, open data: A big-boned policy such as making government-owned data open and free for usage is necessary. 

3. Government integration
  Due to government integration in the past few years, all eight ministries such as the arts, general affairs, economics and others have been coming together around a single table to discuss about future initiatives. This might be the greatest achievement that has been attained in the past 10 years. I would like to continue advancing this. In particular, the combination of content policy and IT policy is a point which we should consider. Political power is also required for this.