INTERVIEW: Ex-Panel Head Worried over Delay in Japan's Digitization

Politics

Tokyo, Aug. 15 (Jiji Press)--Hiroko Ota, who chaired the Japanese government's Council for Promotion of Regulatory Reform for some three years, has voiced worries over delays in the country's moves to overhaul its systems and regulations in response to rapidly progressing digitization.

"How to handle regulations is a very big issue as digitization has entered a new phase in the fourth industrial revolution," Ota, special professor at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, said in a recent interview.

"Although the speed of technological changes is very fast and new technologies are spreading also very quickly, work (in Japan) to reform related systems and regulations is falling behind," she said.

Noting that different rules are applied to bus, truck and taxi operators, for example, Ota said, "Vertically segmented laws don't fit the ongoing digitization wave." She thus suggested that the situation could make negative effects from the delayed regulatory reforms even greater.

The set period for the regulatory reform panel expired at the end of July. A successor body will be launched as early as this autumn, kick-starting the reform drive by the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press