~/.diary schedule

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4. Still no Internet...

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They'll restore it again tomorrow, but we had better _all_ be clean, or we won't have Internet access ever. Mrph. Unfun.

Today I e-mailed a ryokan to see if I could make reservations for my planned trip to Kyoto.

Practiced with the staff today. My wrists are tired. =)

<giggle> I am somewhat pleased (although also boggled) by an improbable thing that occurred recently.

I think I'll do a chapter of advanced study.

Advanced happy birthday to Ching!

3. Bootable USB disk

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I'd like to have the following items:

- fetchmail - ssh - rsync - my wiki - elinks - a really small SMTP server (how do I queue my replies? Hmm...)

2. IT Policy of the Japanese Government

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((That's nice. The government meets with IT people once a month, posting the minutes of each meeting on a website. It's only in Japanese, though.))

Before the e-Japan strategy, government initiatives focused on technology development. e-Japan strategy covered social issues as well, though.

Priority policy areas

- Ultra high-speed network infrastructure, optical fiber - Electronic commerce - Electronic government - High-quality human resources

((Wow. More than half the Japanese people are on the Net. They use their phones to access the Net. Household ratio: 81.4%. I'm impressed.))

Here, CATV isn't that popular. People prefer DSL.

First phase of e-Japan strategy: infrastructure. Second phase of e-Japan strategy: application.

Japanese job system is very conservative.

(* 55 (/ 100 110.0))

1. IT Industry in Japan (JapanTraining#3)

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Toshio KANEKO (tkaneko AT res.jipdec.jp) JIPDEC: Japan Information Processing Development Corporation


I am surprised to see Minh-san again. I didn't know he was here as well. It's a small world.

The first main topic is the IT industry in Japan. Before I explain the Japanese IT industry, I'd like to explain my organization. My organization is JIPDEC. It stands for Japan Information Processing Development Corporation. It's one of the non-profit organizations of Japan. I'm not sure what non-profit organizations are in your nation. Here in Japan, there are lots and lots of non-profit organizations. My organization is very tightly-connected to the government. Most of our budget comes from the government.

Slide 2: Overview of JIPDEC

JIPDEC was established in 1967. Our annual budget is 2.5 billion year (current fiscal year). Staff members are approximately 140. Activities: surveys on IT, dissemination of IT (to publish some reports to Japanese people, or give seminars or presentations to Japanese people) and promotion of information security measures. It's very important for our society (social and industrial): security and privacy are very very important to develop IT. Promotion of electronic commerce (EC). Next is the development of information systems and training for information technology engineers. It's also very important to educate not only students but also other people.

Q: "What is dissemination?" "Dissemination means publishing, or giving seminars, gathering both ordinary people and industry people to give information on what is EC, what is the Internet...

Slide 3: Outline

So this is the outline of this IT industry. First, history of the IT industry in Japan. It's very important to understand what the IT industry is. Not only performance... We should understand the historical point. I think--I hope it'll help you improve the IT industry in your own country. Next is the Japanese IT industry and the information services, electronics manufacturing, telecommunications, broadcasting, digital home applications... These are elements of the Japan IT industry. IT is very flexible. In some countries, IT only covers information services. In Japan and a few other countries, it covers a lot more.

Digital home appliances could be new for you. This should be the next key factor for Japanese IT industry to make a lot of money.

Slide 4: History of the IT Industry in Japan

The first year in 1950s. Some people call it the dawn of the computer age. In fact, in 1956, the first Japanese-developed computer for designing camera lenses.

1960s Promotion of the IT industry.
1970s Informatization of industry. Examples: banks.
1980s PCs and networks
1990s Spread of Internet and popularization of IT
2000s Social and economic innovation by IT: digital economy, digital
divide, e-Japan
2003 Digital home appliances...
Big change from 1970s to 1980s, from large computer systems to personal computers. Both very very needed.

This is just a rough sketch.

In order to promote Japanese IT to Japanese people by using the Internet, you see how to use PC or program system.

Japanese IT industry
Slide 5: Japanese IT Industry 1/7

A clear definition will help us understand what the Japanese IT industry is. The Japanese IT industry is divided into 4 areas. Please understand that the IT industry depends on who you ask. There's no official definition of IT in Japan. This is a basic definition, though: information services, electronics manufacturing, telecommunications services and broadcasting. Broadcasting might not be familiar to you because some people might not think it's part of the IT industry, but here in Japan, broadcasting includes using the Internet or networks. That's why I put the broadcast market in this definition.

In Japan, we have two big ministries in terms of IT: METI and MPHPT. The figures I'll explain later will come from these ministries. You can use these figures in your report, but please cite your sources.

Slide 6: Japanese IT Industry 2/7: Whole IT industry

We don't have new data yet, because it takes time. So 2002 is the latest we have. This year, some fields seem to be recovering.

Slide 7: Japanese IT Industry 3/7

Automobile manufacturing: Please remember the final figure. 43 trillion yen. The IT industry was the same size as the automobile manufacturing industry.

Slide 8: Japanese IT Industry 4/7

These two categories (telecommunications and information services) are major players in the Japanese IT industry.

Slide 11: Japanese IT Industry 7/7

Our Japanese IT industry has strong dependence on the US market. If the US market declines, so does the Japanese market.

Slide 15

A big problem we had was the 2000 problem in computer systems. In Japan also, we faced that big problem. Most Japanese IT users asked their own IT people to upgrade their systems. The graph reflects that increase.

Slide 16

Most companies order custom software. We don't tend to buy packaged software, except for things like Microsoft Office. Big offices want to keep their own business style. That's why they order from Japanese service vendors.

Custom software and data processing accounted for 70%.

Q: Could you give us an example of data processing services? Example: banks have a lot of transaction data. Some banks can deal with that, but some cannot. That's why they ask information services companies to help them process that financial information. (This is not the same as database.) Data processing: adding data.

Slide 17

As you can see, custom software forms a very large part of the industry. If you want to improve your chances of getting hired or promoted, keep in mind that Japanese IT industry is mainly custom software. Of course, that means you need to learn Japanese business style. This is somewhat hard. When you learn how large the Japanese custom software market is and when you understand Japanese customs, you'll probably have a big chance to make your own business.

The US style is very different. They go for packaged software. Japanese style is fit to their own style. This is an important difference between the US style and the Japanese style.

Q: outsourcing. Not covered here, as we're focusing on market style. I don't have figures right now.

Slide 18

The figures cited are just for the ratio, not the actual market.

Electronics manufacturing
Slide 26

This is a big reduction.

60M mobile phones.

Slide 27

Mainframe sales are going down, but companies still need it for reliability.


Telecommunications is different from country to country. For example, some countries don't focus on leased lines as much, because they're hard to install. Here in Japan, 3G is a hot technology.

Digital broadcasting system. The Japanese government started this service last December. Not over the whole Japan, but only the Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka area. They started to test digital broadcasting. By 2011, analog broadcasting will be phased out.

Digital home appliances

Figures do not include mobile telephones.

A few years ago, when we went to TV Corner, all the TVs were very thick. Cathode-ray tubes. But last year or this year, those types of TVs disappeared. LCDs, plasma displays have replaced them.

Digital home appliances are becoming more important. A few weeks ago, the Japanese Cabinet said that this was something the industry should expect. Liquid crystal displays, DVD players... most have Japanese technology. We need to distinguish Japanese companies from those from other countries. It's a good opportunity to make the Japanese IT industry stronger.

((Tangent: digital camera tips. SD memory preferred over Sony, as it's more standard.))

((I wonder where they sell gadgets not available in other countries. I've seen Japanese dictionaries in Akihabara and mainstream electronics stores, but I'm looking for weird little gadgets...))

The digital camera market might already be saturated. Next market: maybe DVD. DVD and LCD penetration: not so high. This is a good opportunity for Japanese people.