2020年7月9日木曜日

The measures now for an Internet with safety and peace of mind

■ The measures now for an Internet with safety and peace of mind       

The task force on a safe Internet environment with peace of mind for youth is happening at Kasumigaseki.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and concerned civil parties are involved. I am serving as chief examiner.
This time, we received updates on the situations of four stakeholders.
 1. The Telecommunications Carriers Association (TCA) has standardized the name and icon of its filtering services, and has created a new “High-Schooler Plus” mode that can be used on social media.
 2. The Telecommunications Services Association handles MVNO.
It will create a common site to explain filtering. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, an obligation to provide filtering also exists with MVNO, but only 24 of 54 companies currently provide it.
 3. In the National Association of Mobile-Phone Distributors, 5,400 shops (64% of its 8,400 shops nationwide) have become “Anshin Shops” (“Peace-of-Mind Shops”), and the operation of filtering is carried out thoroughly.
 4. The Conference on Promoting the Creation of a Safe Internet is formulating educational materials for guardians on Internet overuse, as well as measures against inappropriate information.
 In response to these initiatives in society, criticisms were made that schools and the Board of Education were not participating adequately, as well as that guidelines were necessary.
I made this proposal: “as the computerization of education continues, although literacy education and safety measures are separate movements, it is important to move the light and the shadow together as a single movement. Let’s deepen our cooperation with the sectors pushing the computerization of education forward.”
 The amendment to the Act on Development of an Environment that Provides Safe and Secure Internet Use for Young People was approved in the National Diet.
It included obligatory measures such as requiring device manufacturers to preinstall filtering, as well as requiring OS developers such as Apple to put in effort to make filtering easy.
The implementation of the revised law has moved Internet policy for youth one level higher.
Effort from concerned parties is needed more than ever.

2020年7月7日火曜日

The conference on location shooting has started.

■The conference on location shooting has started.    

The Public-Private Conference on Improving the Environment of Location Shooting has started.
The Parliamentary Vice-Minister of the Cabinet Office is the chairman, while I am serving as the facilitator.
 Fuji Television, Kadokawa Daiei Studio, NHK, Shochiku, TMS Entertainment, the Japan Film Commission, ATP, Unijapan, etc. all participated.
Represented at the table are the Cabinet Office; the National Police Agency; the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications; the Fire and Disaster Management Agency; the Agency for Cultural Affairs; the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry; the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism; the Japan Tourism Agency; and Tokyo Metropolis.
 The Film Commission (FC) comprises 307 organizations from throughout the country. 282 location shootings happened in 2000, a figure that doubled to 581 in 2015.
However, the issue has been reported that the procedures to obtain permits and licenses are complicated, and the points of contact around the country are scattered.
 In response to this, it was said that the government is moving forward to aim for flexible and smooth usage. The police will issue licenses based on the meaning that the shooting contributes to the stimulation of the region. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism will simplify the procedures for road-occupancy permits, and will flexibly enter discussions regarding the use of the sea and sky (through drones).
 However, the point in question is what kind of “public benefit” has to be recognized before a permit for a location shooting is given.
The question is: the government does not emphasize the content of the film but the perspectives of local residents, and treats requests from local governments, etc., as the yardstick, but would it not be possible to rely only on the FC?
 Formulating guidelines on obtaining permits for location shooting will be the output of the meeting.
What kind of “public benefit” must there be and what kind of conditions must be present before permits can be given smoothly?
These are topics that stretch over different government offices and laws, and it is first important to share the current situation and knowledge.
 For instance, large-scale examples are the filming of Shin Godzilla in Kamata, or the filming of videos for the Rio Olympics closing ceremony at the Shibuya scramble intersection.

In the city of Kitakyushu, which has a track record of large-scale location shootings as attractions, a shooting of “Aibou” (“Partners”) included 3,000 extras, and involved six traffic lanes being shut down in the middle of the urban area throughout a Sunday.
However, some also pointed that people would not make their way to Kitakyushu for a shooting that was not of that scale.
 Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hagiuda (currently Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) made the comment that we had to be prepared. If we insisted that a shooting in a government office couldn’t deal with corruption, for instance, no progress would be made. He said it was important to recognize that this was “culture”.
 In these scenarios, it becomes important to prepare concerned parties for the fact that making movies itself is a “public benefit”.
The mission of this conference became to increase awareness of this in the government as well as in society, and to spread this message down to the regional level.

2020年7月2日木曜日

“Ending” the anti-piracy conference -2

■ “Ending” the anti-piracy conference -2
 This matter is an opposition between two values protected by the constitution, namely the privacy of communications and property rights (copyright); it is also an opposition between IT policy and intellectual-property policy. I viewed this topic as being about adjusting the two.
However, this opposition was an incorrect one. I realized this through our discussions - that the question we set for ourselves should have been how to create a place where the two can coexist, and a region where IT and intellectual property can flourish together.
 By the way, it was pointed out in the countermeasure conference that although Europe places the emphasis on protecting privacy while the U.S. places the emphasis on freedom of expression, Japan places this weight on the “privacy of communications”. Even some within the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications have said that this Galapagos syndrome is restricting policymaking.
The ability to broadly discuss the “privacy of communications” head-on was meaningful. A point was also made that this issue was too heavy to be handled in the intellectual-property headquarters.
Yes. It would be good to have a place to handle the “privacy of communications” in the IT age in its entirety, wouldn’t it?
 Yes, this issue also raises questions about the system that handles policies dealing with IT and intellectual-property issues.
IP issues are mainly handled by the IP headquarters and the Agency for Cultural Affairs, while IT issues are mainly handled by the IT headquarters and the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
The limits of this system are being exposed.
This issue is one I have been raising since the reorganization of the ministries 20 years ago, when I left the Japanese government’s departments.
 14 years ago, when equipment manufacturers and copyright holders confronted each other over compensation payments for recording and filming, I personally felt the worsening of relations between IT and IP, which had been in a honeymoon period until then. The power of copies and of spread created by digitization was an advantage as well as a wonder. I participated in the discussions of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology and the Council for Cultural Affairs then, but a solution was not reached, and this issue has had lasting effects to this day.
 And 10 years ago, another confrontation occurred over the introduction of “dubbing 10” along with preparations for terrestrial digital broadcasting. This time, it was a three-cornered fight among right holders (the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology), broadcasters (the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications), and manufacturers (the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry). The setting was the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and the Telecommunications Council. Although a press conference was held by the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry and the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology over the expansion of compensation payments, society could not accept this and a split happened.
 At this time, the roles of chief and deputy examiners were occupied by Professor Jun Murai of Keio University and me, closely resembling the setup in the current piracy issue. It was history repeating itself - specifically, of government offices supporting cases where parts of society are confronting each other being unable to make a judgment.
Through this case, I felt that we had not learned from our past failure, and the difficulty of solving the issue had increased.
Interest in IT and IP has risen compared to the past, and both sides’ opinions are subject to strong criticism, making the situation intractable.
So, what actions must we take in order to aim for a horizon where IT and IP can coexist and flourish together?
I’ll continue wondering to myself.

2020年7月1日水曜日

“Ending” the anti-piracy conference -1

“Ending” the anti-piracy conference -1         
 The anti-piracy conference has been indefinitely postponed. My tasks as chairman are over for the time being.
The current “situation” is that:
We will coordinate to review the results of the actions we were able to take up to this point, such as measures regarding legitimate versions as well as creating a legal framework regarding leech sites.
The issue of legislating blocking is “unresolved”.
 As the harm caused by piracy worsened, an uproar was created for and against the government’s “emergency evacuation” explanation regarding the old topic of blocking. Perhaps because of this, the issue of piracy subsided for a while, and the government set up a task force that has held nine sessions of focused discussion.
 The general situation regarding blocking has been that publishers and right holders have been in favor of it, while telecommunications companies and ISPs have been against it. Still, complexities have existed within each industry, and opinions have been divided. There are also industry affairs that cannot be discussed at this table, and no industry is one-dimensional.
 The government and the secretariat also had the suspicion that declaring the creation of a legal system would be overbearing. The facts were that opinions were divided among stakeholders in the government, such as the Prime Minister’s residence, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and the internal adjustments sometimes exceeded the adjustments in society in their intensity.
 The situation was that neither the sides for and against the issue were fully happy. All that had happened was that the points of disagreement as well as the main issues had become clear.
As this conference was not a place to decide on the legislation of blocking, but rather a place to focus on questions at hand, I believe that it fulfilled its role.
 I took a neutral stance. As I was the chairman of the intellectual-property headquarters, some also labeled me as someone on the side of copyright. However, I have been proud of my work in telecommunications policy before this, and attach equal importance to both sides.
 Although I had a lot of content-related work this time, working on the formulation of systems regarding the Telecommunications Business Act at the time of the liberalization of telecommunications was my start as a working adult in society, and this is where I have my origins. That both sides could aim to solve the problem without breaking apart - I racked my brains for this one goal.
 Moreover, I think an important result of this meeting was that we were able to almost reach a consensus on 10 issues apart from blocking.
I’ve made a special note of three of them at the start.
1. The long-term measure is education. If literacy is not maintained among users, regulations will be placed on the Internet.
2. The medium-term is legitimate versions. We need legitimate versions that are as attractive as Mangamura.
3. The short-term measure is creating a system through coordination between government and the people.
 The question now is whether this coordinated system will be possible. If a scheme can be created to carry out measures through coordination between publishers and right holders on one hand and telecommunications companies and ISPs on the other, the first step is to carry out and review this scheme. If this is not possible, this will be a pretext to move towards the legislation of blocking.
I think that the fact that the conference on countermeasures ran aground and was postponed was also because the ball had been thrown to the people.

2020年6月25日木曜日

The anti-piracy measures progress towards the creation of a comprehensive package

■The anti-piracy measures progress towards the creation of a comprehensive package  

This was the fourth session of the anti-piracy conference. The use of blocking in the U.K. and Germany, constitutional and copyright-law issues, technical issues, as well as measures apart from blocking such as filtering were discussed.

Blocking in the U.K. operates through court orders based on copyright law. In Germany, blocking orders can be made by the supreme court. I have been told that the Munich district court has made judgments to acknowledge blocking requests. The previous session of the conference featured an intense back-and-forth on the ineffectiveness of blocking and the pros and cons of introducing this system; however, even so, courts in the U.K. and Germany have issued judgments that blocking can be done.

Professor Ueno of Waseda University summarized the issue by saying that although the argument that blocking could not be recognized in Japan was strong, there was a school of thought that said it could be recognized based on current laws as well, and it was possible that blocking would be ruled acceptable if a court were to rule on the issue.
Professor Shishido of Tokyo University queried the pros and cons of blocking from a constitutional perspective, and said that the review of the effectiveness of filtering was insufficient.

The point was made that apart from blocking, there are various other ways to stop access, such as education, filtering, search suppression, and domain cessation. There were also calls to accelerate the process of turning restrictions on leech sites into law, as well as to illegalize the download of illegally electronically published items.

The opinion was expressed that this matter involved an inquiry into the balance between circulation and protection in an information society, and that there was a need for a place as well as for procedures to solve this issue. I think as well that this issue represents the place where IT policy and intellectual-property policy butt heads, and is a touchstone to work out this area of policy, which will grow more and more moving forward.

Based on the discussions up to this point, I believe that although there are still things to delve deeper into, the key issues have been put on the table. I also think that it is consensus that we should create a comprehensive package of measures. What direction we will set this package up in is a matter of sharing wisdom.

2020年6月24日水曜日

The discussion regarding anti-piracy measures reaches the core

■The discussion regarding anti-piracy measures reaches the core  

This was the third session of the conference to review anti-piracy measures.
The agenda was the circulation of legitimate versions and a review of the related measures up to that point, as well as measures by various foreign countries.
First, information on the status of existing measures was shared, such as police supervision, deletion requests, domain cessation requests, measures against advertisements, filtering, as well as education and awareness.
 It was reported that:
○As Mangamura and Anitube had been shut down, and measures to stop advertisements from being published had gone into full speed, the sales of legitimate versions were recovering
○People’s awareness of piracy had increased, and access to other piracy sites had significantly decreased as well
According to a survey by Dwango, 62% thought blocking access to these sites via legal measures was necessary, while 20% thought it was unnecessary. This result showed that a majority of netizens support blocking as well.
How should we process this?
According to a survey in 49 countries by JPNIC, which manages Internet resources, 71% had implemented blocking, of which 45% aimed it at copyright violations. This is more than the 37% that targeted pornography and the 33% that targeted crime and drugs.
A report was given by the Agency for Cultural Affairs on measures in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, and Canada. All countries had legal measures that provided for the deletion of pirated content; Europe had blocking, while the U.S. and Canada did not. The U.S. had measures for domain seizure and bans on individuals connecting to the Internet, while the U.K, France, Germany, and Canada did not.
The situation is that the systems vary.
The temperature was 35 degrees, and the air-conditioner in the room had broken down, so the conference heated up.
There was a confrontation between the opinions that blocking was effective and that it was not effective. There was also a confrontation between opinions about the government’s emergency measures. Some had the view that the government should change its policies based on majority rule; however, this conference is not a legislative organ, and even if a majority could be obtained within it, it would have no effect. As a result, it was decided to listen to the knowledge of the committee members and record it in the minutes, and end the meeting there.
The discussion is becoming more and more intense.

2020年6月18日木曜日

Measures against piracy sites - measures other than blocking

■Measures against piracy sites - measures other than blocking         
I will note down the situation of the anti-piracy conference.
 Manga was the central issue, but the market structure varied depending on content type and genre. In 2016, electronic means occupied 35% of the market share for manga, while for anime the market structure was 19% transmission and 4% video. For music, 8% of the market share was transmission, while live music rose to 24%. In this situation, the question of how to deal with electronic piracy is the main topic.
 We shared the situation regarding measures apart from blocking, such as efforts to circulate legitimate versions, requests and lawsuits for removal, competition with overseas parties, as well as measures regarding advertising.
Although critics have said that publishers have not made enough effort, I have the impression that the victims are trying hard.
The Publishing and Publicity Center, comprising nine publishing organizations, launched a piracy working group in March that created a mark to identify legitimate versions, as well as a whitelist. The various publishers are moving forward with deletion requests for pirated versions, requests to cease the publishing of advertisements, as well as coordination with the police.
This year, the deletion rate following site-deletion requests from CODA (the Content Overseas Distribution Association) was 91%. However, participants also described the situation regarding the sites that did not respond; although they were discussing the matter with the Chinese government or the Brazilian police, no progress was being made.
 Three advertising organizations are working with CODA on measures against illegal or inappropriate site content. However, as a large number of players operate in the Internet advertising market, and programmatic advertising is becoming more widespread, it is fairly difficult to create measures that are effective.
 It was also said that the publishing industry is preparing to launch campaigns based on popular characters in order to educate middle and high school students. Collaboration with Google or LINE is moving forward too.
 As initiatives in the domains of music and film were moving ahead through the conference, I felt the importance of rolling out strategies in publishing too, using music and film as a reference. Initiatives regarding legitimate versions are important too, and it is also important that public education should move forward in sync with the Internet measures targeted at youth by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. What we need is a comprehensive package that includes all of these things.

2020年6月16日火曜日

The start of the conference on anti-piracy measures

The start of the conference on anti-piracy measures             

When the government’s conference on measures against piracy sites began, I was joint chairman.

The government decided on emergency measures; while explaining the blocking as a form of “emergency evacuation”, it did not request implementation from ISPs. This gave rise to criticism and led to a lively discussion.
After this, the situation changed, and designated sites such as Mangamura became almost unviewable. The situation settled down for the time being, and is now in a stalemate.

In the government’s measures, the top goal was for the government to send a message.
Measures against piracy sites had been discussed by the intellectual property committee for over two years. Each ministry had taken measures against leech sites and ads, and blocking was the topic that remained.
The harm caused by piracy had radically worsened, and there were calls to take action. If the government had not taken steps, it would have faced criticisms of inaction.
The government accepted this, and the plan was agreed on by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, the Ministry of Justice, as well as the National Police Agency, with the main goal of demonstrating the government’s stance on the issue.

The content of the agreement was the legal interpretation of the measures as “emergency evacuation”, as well as the legislative policy moving forward.
The government made it clear that it had taken measures that it could demonstrate as the government, and was not making demands of or giving instructions to society. In my opinion, the stop there was made well.

Around the same time as this decision and message, actions apart from blocking also became widespread, such as search blocks as well as the cessation of advertisements for these sites. Following this, the three problematic sites became almost unviewable. This was probably influenced by the government’s decision as well. As a result, the situation has subsided, and the measures to “stop the bleeding” have worked for the time being.

There have been many criticisms of the measures, but what should the government have done? I do not know a correct answer that would have been better than this decision. I think that without this decision, the piracy sites would probably still be around today, and citizens’ awareness of the issue would not be as high as it is now.

What is more important is the next action, and the review of the legislative system, etc., in the countermeasure conference. From that point on, it’s the real deal. But two months were needed after the government’s decision before the conference could start. I am also saying that the selection of members for this conference was difficult for the government as well.

I think the following three points are in question.
1. Putting legitimate versions in place
 How can content creators, such as in the manga world, create attractive platforms that are like Mangamura? The music and film industries have put effort into constructing a business model for the Internet age, but the reaction of the publishing world has been slow. I think this is important to examine before discussing the legislative system.

. Evaluating the current situation and deciding on measures
 We can recognize that the current situation has changed as the three sites have become unviewable or have weakened.
 Moreover, I would like to consolidate the measures we can and should take based on current laws - such as measures against advertising, deletion requests, criminal proceedings, demands for injunctions, filtering, etc.

3. The legal system
 Apart from blocking, is it necessary and possible to set up other legal measures? If we do this, which law will we use to handle it, such as the Copyright Act or the Telecommunications Business Act? How can we handle measures against leech sites or the illegalization of the downloads of illegal still images?
How can the government integrate its IT and intellectual-property policies? Almost all policies governing content are currently related to IT policy. The problem we are now facing is a key issue regarding coordination - namely of the questions of the protection of copyright and of the privacy of communications. Cases like this will continue moving forward, and this problem is a touchstone for them.

2020年6月11日木曜日

Why am I creating iU?

Why am I creating iU?       
 The shortage of ICT talent has been complained about for over 30 years, but today there are cries of a lack of AI and IoT talent. Japan arrived late to ICT, and cannot afford to repeat the same mistake when it comes to AI and IoT. The fact that an organization is necessary that provides top-class talent does not require an explanation.
 Nonetheless, the establishment of iU is the establishment of a huge venture organization, and is challenging and full of risks. Why am I creating this by myself, and even discarding the position I have had until now to do so?
 That is because this is also the culmination of everything I have done up to this point. 
 I currently have the titles of a scholar or a teacher, but as I have not been putting effort into scholarship or education, these are misleading designations, and I have been calling myself a “policy person”. This is a coined term, and among terms that are used in society, “social entrepreneur” is the closest. After creating songs in a band, creating bills and policies in government office, and then shifting to university, I have started over 20 social enterprises.
 I have started public-service corporations and projects in the field of “Tech and Pop”. CiP, which creates a “Tech & Pop Special Zone”, is all of these multiplied together. iU is another project to create a place for Tech and Pop, and is linked together with civil projects such as CiP.

 On the other hand, ICT and education are also my life’s work. In the domain of early childhood education, I have established organizations ranging from the MIT Okawa Center to NPO CANVAS, while I have promoted elementary, middle, and high school education in schools through DiTT. In the field of graduate-school research education, I have also taken part in the establishment of KMD, which is oriented towards projects done through industry-academia collaboration. Four-year universities are a missing piece for me, and this project is also meant to fill that gap.

2020年6月9日火曜日

The iU Manifesto

The iU Manifesto 
 iU is a new university that specializes in ICT. We are moving forward with a plan that did not previously exist in the world.
 There are things we have decided to do, and things we have decided to accept the challenge of attempting. I will list these things as our manifesto.

1.To be actualized
 There are five things we will actualize.
1) A thorough education with ICT, business, and English
2) A pre-business university: internships for all students through collaboration with ICT businesses, as well as real projects
3) Faculty comprising talented personnel who have been active in the industry
4) A focus on online education and active learning
5) A campus in the Tokyo metropolitan area linked to the international airport (Sumita + Takeshiba)

. Challenges
 There are five things we would like to actualize.
1) A global hub of wisdom
 We aim to be a hub university where wisdom from around the world is accumulated and circulated. We will have 200 visiting lecturers who are prominent figures and top-class doctorate holders and businesspeople in the country and the world.
2) Having all students enter a company
 We have set up iCorporation, which all students will be able to enter. Faculty and students will put business into practice through collaboration with industry.
3) Having all students start a business
 We will prepare an environment where all students can start businesses during their studies. We will provide all students with one chance to use startup capital for this purpose, as well as with credits. It is okay if they fail - after all, they are students. Of course, they will aim to exit with success.
4) Special educational zone
 We aim to turn our Sumida ward campus into a campus special educational zone. As the Takeshiba satellite is already recognized as a National Strategic Special Zone, we would like to make a linked application.
 We are considering measures such as royalty-free educational content, relaxing the requirements for the enrolment and employment of overseas students, as well as corporate tax exemptions for businesses started on campus.
5) Global campus passport
 We hope to strengthen our collaboration with top-class universities around the world, and aim to achieve the compatibility of credits as well as the creation of a linked passport that allows for the use of overseas university campuses.

2020年6月4日木曜日

The characteristics of iU, the ICT university

 In April 2020, in Tokyo, I set up iU and became the university president.

 I will organize its characteåristics below.

1 A foundation of ICT education
 The Japan Electronics College, which is run by the parent organization the Electronics Academy, has built a foundation in ICT education, which provides the warp of our university - such as programming and data processing - for close to 70 years. It has the trust and the track record of having turned out 110,000 people into the industry.

2 Platform
 Apart from collaborating with ICT-related consortiums such as the CiP convention, we will join hands with many businesses and carry out hands-on project-based education with the weft of industry. We will invite over 200 pros as visiting professors, including frontline managers.

3 A university where you can earn income yourself
 While setting up a virtual learning environment where students can learn anywhere and at any time, we will also prepare infrastructure such as a framework that combines the virtual and the real, where all students can train their skills in a real on-site environment as interns, as well as an English-centered lesson environment. In addition, we will prepare an environment for students to earn income. We have also set up “iCorporation”, which all students will join, and all students will be able to start their own businesses. We will also work with funds to prepare an environment where all students can found businesses.

4 Test bed
 We will make good use of the CiP National Strategic Special Zone. Based on the CiP scheme in Takeshiba in the Tokyo Bay Area, in which ICT and digital businesses as well as domestic and foreign universities and research institutions such as Stanford University are participating, various regulations will be relaxed, such as those on radio waves, IoT, robots, and starting businesses. The core of this is a plan to carry out experiments and verification based on industry-academia collaboration. Our campus in Sumida ward is also aiming for designation as a special educational zone.

 This is a challenge. We hope you will join us.

2020年6月2日火曜日

I have started iU, an ICT university

 I have decided to create an ICT university.
 It will be based on ICT and use industry-academia collaboration to nurture talented people who will innovate.
 I will be the university president.
 It is known as iUniversity, or iU for short.

 Using ICT as a base, this university will nurture talented people who will innovate. I will place the warp of ICT and the weft of creativity on the support of education, and use a project-based method to nurture talent based on collaboration with industry.

 ICT is the warp.
 We will drill into the information society - programming, data processing, etc. - that forms the foundation of the third Industrial Revolution, as well as IoT, AI, security, big data, blockchains, and other topics that form the foundation of the fourth Industrial Revolution.
 People with this knowledge can flourish in places beyond the ICT industry. Content creation, media, finance, manufacturing, retail, logistics, tourism, education, healthcare, agriculture - ICT is the heart of all the industries. It keeps the blood flowing.

 The weft is a professional liberal arts education.
 While keeping ICT - i.e. tech - as the base, we will nurture innovators with creativity and design skills. They will have management and policy knowledge, a fusion of the arts and sciences that makes them an immediate asset.

 Through collaboration with industry, all students will be able to build up these horizontal and vertical abilities as interns in a project-based manner. This is a pre-business university, as well as an OJT university that offers many internships and projects for students. Although it is a university, it will set up businesses and will allow all students to be employed there during their studies, taking on the challenge of the arrangement of “constantly learning while on-site at a business”. I would also like to prepare an environment where all students will be able to start a business during their studies.

 For this purpose, I will be collaborating with related businesses, starting with those in the ICT industry. I am already collaborating with 200 companies in the telecommunications, ICT, manufacturing, broadcast, and content industries, such as NTT, Cisco, and SAP.
 80% of the faculty do not have an academic background, but rather a background in industry. Pros with a track record in society will be teaching.
 Because it is an ICT university, all lessons can be held online. Students will be able to learn no matter where they are. The university will be on the cutting edge of the flipped classroom and adaptive learning. We will arrange virtual lectures by celebrated professors, researchers, and experts from around the world. It will be a learning environment that combines the virtual and the real.
 We will enhance our lessons with English, and enable our students to do business in English. We will not be teaching English, but letting our students learn in English.

 We will make good use of the National Strategic Special Zones. Our campus has been built in Sumida ward in Tokyo, near the Skytree. We will set up a satellite in the Takeshiba CiP in Tokyo, the Pop & Tech Special Zone. We will open here as well in 2020, as a community of digital businesses, international organizations, as well as university organizations such as Keio or Stanford.

  “Enjoy change, learn by yourself, and create innovation.” This is our educational principle. AI and robots mean that half of all jobs will be lost. New jobs that have never existed before will be created. What the generations from now on need to be equipped with is the recognition that unpredictable changes will continue to happen, and the skill of being ready to happily get through these changes.

 The “i” in iU is the I in “information”, “innovation”, and “intelligence”, as well as the “I” that means “me”, and the “ai” that means “love” (in Japanese). I will create a university with I.

2020年5月7日木曜日

Why was iU created as a "co-creation platform"?

Why was iU created as a "co-creation platform"?
In the spring of 2020, “I University” (iU) was opened in Sumida Ward, Tokyo . Based on the revision of the School Education Law of 2017, the university starts as a "professional university" that can be newly established to develop specialized human resources with "high practical ability" and "rich creative ability". .

iU invites more than 200 visiting professors from industries around the world to make practical business creation. About half a year of company internship and making the challenge of actual entrepreneurship are mandatory courses for all. 
In addition, it aims to become a realistic platform for industry, academia, and the local community by not creating a wall around the campus.

Dr. Ichiya Nakamura. After serving as a director of a world well known rock band “Shonen Knife”, in 1984, he Joined the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. 1998, Visiting Professor at MIT Media Lab. In 2002, the Director at Stanford Japan Center. Since 2006, he has been a professor at the Graduate School of Media Design, Keio University(KMD). Since April 2020, he has been the president of iU.


-- How did you start up iU?

I was originally from the government, but after that I moved to the United States for four years at MIT's Media Lab and four years at Stanford Japan Center. After spending eight years looking at both universities in the west and east of the United States, I came to feel that the biggest problem in Japan was universities .

In US, whether Google or Facebook, they were born from  university communities. However, in Japan, the world-class product such as Walkman, NES, or Hatsune Miku, they are all "made by companies. Nothing has become a global product from university.

After becoming strongly aware of such issues, I wanted to create a new university that had never existed in Japan, so I went to Keio University and took various challenges. KMD IS successful, based on an already successful and traditional Keio University.

However, in order to create a completely new styled innovative university in the field of ICT and business, I found that it would have to start from scratch with industry, and I posted on my blog that such a university would be ideal if it was created from zero point.

Then, the members involved in the creation of iU read it and said, "I'm thinking about the same thing, why don't we realize it?" In 2017, additionally, a new system called “professional college” started in Japan, so we decided to kick it off.

--What was the ideal university you thought of?

The biggest problem with Japanese universities is the lack of industry-academia collaboration. So I thought about designing a university together with a company from the beginning. As for educational content, people who are at the forefront of business will convey practical knowledge. It is also important to work together not only in classroom lectures but also in project form.

The value of a university is to be a platform for creating new things by making face-to-face discussions and arguing that this is the solution or that is not the case. If it's like an unilateral lecture from a professor to a student, which has been done at traditional universities, it would be enough to distribute it as a video and watch it at home.

In MIT and Stanford, everyone I met was continuing to make something. There were gathering extremely challenging people who constantly create new services and products and bring them to the world. It was also surprising that everyone had a strong sense of consciousness and confidence that they would definitely succeed and aim for the world's top. 

Also, in terms of platform, it was natural to work with companies, but more professionals such as lawyers and accountants also come into the university and support their students. I strongly learned that a university is a place where we work together with society to make something.

--In Japan, how about the relationship between universities and companies?

There is still a big influence of the successful experiences of the past. It prevents companies and universities to change drastically. Admitting "failure" and "loss" is the most important thing in Japan right now. 

Let's properly admit that the 30 years of “Heisei Era” , after bubble economy, were times of failure. During the last 30 years, we lost completely to US and China in the digital world such as the Internet, smartphones and social media.

Meanwhile, “Reiwa Era” just started. It is also the era of AI, big data, IoT, 5G, and robots. I think that both universities and industry should have a sense of crisis that if there is a loss this time, there will be no next.

―What are the characteristics?

In addition to 27 full-time faculty members, we currently invite more than 200 visiting professors, including entrepreneurs and leaders in various fields who are active on the front lines of economy and society. The number of students in the first year is 200. iU must be the first university that has more professors than students!

We also have more than 200 collaborating companies, from venture companies to large listed companies such as NTT, Softbank, SAP, Cisco, Panasonic, SEGA, etc.

The three main pillars of education are "business, ICT, and global communication." In the 1st and 2nd years, they will thoroughly study the basics. In the third year after that, about 540 hours of company internship is required for about 5 months.

You should be able to experience a different dimension in terms of mass compared to the internships that are generally held for students for about a week or two. Then, after that, make sure that everyone challenges starting up companies  while attending school. 

The ideal employment rate is zero!, because all the students will take on the challenge of starting a business. We aim to be the lowest in the employment rate ranking. However, at the same time, I advise "you should fail". There's a lot to learn from your failure. It is important to challenge without fearing the results. 

--What is the relationship with the real community?

Sumida Ward in Tokyo is an area with many local small companies that have been involved in manufacturing since ancient times. It must be a good chance to make collaboration between the local community and the university. We will start creating real projects with local companies, local public organizations, etc. 

Instead of creating walls or gates on the campus, iU allow neighbors to come and go freely for school meals, café relaxation, libraries, etc. Furthermore, it would be really fun if you could get side dishes made by our neighbors as school meals, or if you could hold the town's festival every day.

―What is your future prospects?

I'm trying to make the iU a PUNK university, but even so, the number of students per year is 200, so in terms of its impact on society, it is of course very small.
On the other hand, I know many people in various universities in Japan also think they should change for open innovation. Nowadays, I am getting a lot of voice from such people. 

I think we can create a coalition of other universities, professional schools, technical colleges, and high schools that are interested in such things. Once iU starts up without problem, I will aim to create such a coalition that can break up walls among schools.

In other words, we are promoting the university version of open innovation to prepare for the next era. The possibilities of universities will expand if we all share wisdom.