Japan recently announced in September 2021 that it was launching a digital agency to improve government tech. But why has it chosen to do this? And what is the aim of the new agency? Keep reading below to find out more about technology in Japan and why the government has chosen this path.
Technology in Japan
Japan is an extremely technologically advanced nation. In fact, many people who visit Japan from another country feel like they are stepping into the future when they set foot here. This is because the Japanese have welcomed technology like no other country on the planet. From extremely fast bullet trains and robots to impressive vending machines and home-based financial trading, Japanese people seem to be decades in the future.
However, despite being a technologically advanced nation, there is currently a lack of technology in Government Services. This is why Japan has chosen to launch a Digital Agency.
Who Launched the New Digital Agency?
The new digital agency was launched by Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga. The promotion of digitalization has been one of his main priorities since he first took office last September.
Who Is in Charge of the Digital Agency?
The Digital Agency will be headed by Digital Transformation Minister Takuya Hirai. He will have over 600 employees working for him, including over 200 that have been appointed from the private sector. The other 400 will come from agencies.
The Aim of the Digital Agency
Currently, Japan depends on old-fashioned paperwork for government companies, whereas native and central government workplaces use a completely different program to handle information. This is a huge problem.
The Digital Agency in Japan aims to fix the above issue by improving government technology. They are hoping to deliver a much-needed revamp of outdated programs, which have had their problems highlighted by the recent COVID-19 pandemic.
What Problems Were Highlighted During the COVID-19 Pandemic?
One of the main problems highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic was the lack of digital services in government departments. This caused several problems including the mishandling and delay of financial support and subsidy applications, as well as slowing down the transmission of medical data needed to slow the spread of the virus.
What Administrative Procedures Will Be Digitalized?
The government has asked the digital agency to digitalize administration procedures in more than 30 areas. These include childrearing and elderly care. They have also stated that they expect the agency to standardize different systems in the next five years.
How Will Citizens in Japan Benefit from the Digital Agency?
There are several benefits of the digital agency for the public. Citizens in Japan will be able to obtain registration records for driving license and passport applications, without submitting a form to the government. Not only that but each citizen will be given a 12-digit number so that they can access their bank accounts and private or public services more easily.
For many years now, the technology used by the government in Japan has been falling behind. The new digital agency aims to bring government technology up to date within the next five years. Let’s hope everything goes to plan.