Global Information Summit 2003
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Special Speech
Mr. Toranosuke Katayama
Minister for Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications
elecom Minister Says Govt To Push IT Strengths

TOKYO (Nikkei)--Posts and Telecommunications Minister Toranosuke Katayama spoke on Wednesday about Japan's IT promotion project in the Global Information Summit hosted by The Nihon Keizai Shimbun. Following are excerpts of his speech.

The government will review its "e-Japan strategy," with a view to creating an IT society under the initiative of Japan.

Japan has expanded its broadband telecommunications infrastructure, with 35 million households currently capable of connecting to high-speed Internet services through DSL (digital subscriber lines) and 16 million households with access to fiber-optic lines.

Internet access fees offered by such companies as Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (9423) and Yahoo Japan Corp. (4689) are lower than those in other countries.

But the problem is that there are only a small number of actual broadband Internet users.

To increase demand, the government will establish a structure to make use of machines and technology in which Japan is strong, such as Net-capable home electronic appliances. It will focus on areas where Japan has an international competitive edge, such as ubiquitous networks, which provide Internet access anytime, anywhere.

To encourage development and distribution of Internet content, the government will promote construction of advanced networks based on the next-generation IPv6 Internet technology and digitization of terrestrial waves.

It will also be necessary to spread broadband communications service throughout Asia. The government hopes to establish by 2010 an environment where all Asian countries have broadband access, by teaming up with China and South Korea in the fields of data security and mobile communications.

(The Nihon Keizai Shimbun Thursday morning edition)

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