Japan moves to digitize government services.
On September 1, Japan launched a new Digital Agency, an arm of the government that oversees the long-awaited digitization of the country’s public services. Japanese politician Takuya Hirai will lead the agency while Yoko Ishikura, professor emeritus at Hitotsubashi University, will manage the agency.
The appointment of Ishikura signals one of the agency’s main aims: to work closely with experts outside of government.
Another of the agency’s goals will be to create a “government as a service” infrastructure, or a cloud-based IT architecture, allowing national, regional and local governments to migrate from legacy IT systems.
As Japan’s national data authority, the Digital Agency will have the power to make recommendations to ministries and public organizations to digitize and develop interoperable ID systems.
“The government of Japan often has no idea about the quality of the average citizen’s user experience. [Establishing a digital agency] is a necessary first step on a long journey of many steps,” a Japan insider told Global Finance.