Suga Faces Many Challenges in Digital Agency Plan

Politics

Tokyo, Sept. 24 (Jiji Press)--Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga's key policy goal of establishing a government agency for promoting the digitization of Japanese society is expected to trigger a backlash from ministries and agencies, as technical issues regarding budgets and authority mount.

Suga hopes to break down bureaucratic sectionalism and force through the policy in order to gain momentum for the next election of the House of Representatives, the all-important lower chamber of parliament, which needs to be held by October next year.

"The creation of the digital agency is a reform measure that will lead to a major shift in our nation's economy and society, so we need to act at an unprecedented speed," Suga said at a meeting of cabinet ministers on Wednesday.

The move to create an agency specialized in digitization comes after the novel coronavirus epidemic revealed Japan's slowness in adopting digital technologies.

Only around 20 pct of the population own government-issued My Number social security and taxation identification cards. As a result, the government's 100,000-yen cash handout scheme during the coronavirus crisis caused confusion in clerical work at local governments, which were unable to utilize the My Number system adequately.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press