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Govt To Promote Home IT Appliances: Telecom Minister
TOKYO (Nikkei)--Posts and Telecommunications Minister Toranosuke Katayama said at the Global Information Summit 2003 here on Wednesday that the Japanese government intends to promote the spread of Internet-accessible home electric appliances to boost the use of fast-speed communications networks.

"Japan has well-developed infrastructure for high-speed data communications, but the networks are still underutilized," he said in a special speech made at the outset of the second day of the conference organized by Nihon Keizai Shimbun Inc.

He also noted the need to improve network security and resolve the so-called digital divide, which is the difference in IT literacy between people in the same country.

Following his speech, a panel discussion on regional cooperation and competition to develop e-Asia was conducted by three panelists from South Korea, China and Japan: Yang Seung-Taik, Invited Researcher of Electronics & Telecommunications Research Institute and former South Korean Minister of Information and Communications; Dong Yuntinh, Chairman of China Center of Information Industry Development; and Yoshio Tsukio, Senior Advisor for Japan's Ministry of Public Management, Posts and Telecommunications.

The three agreed that Japan, China and South Korea should cooperate in leading the proliferation of IT in Asia. Yang pointed out that it will be important to standardize information technology in the region.

In the afternoon, more sessions, including one on the creation of a ubiquitous network industry, will be given, before the summit winds up with a proposition titled "From Net To Mesh: Building the Next-Generation Business Infrastructure," to further develop the digital economy and society through the Internet.

(The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Wednesday evening edition)

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