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ECONOMY > Economic Policy

Gov’t to discuss new areas of growth, including IoT, AI

  • September 9, 2017
  • , Mainichi , p. 6
  • JMH Translation
  • ,

By Yuki Ogawa


The government held a meeting of the Council on Investments for the Future (chaired by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe) on Sept. 8, to start discussions on growth strategies that will be amended next summer. Experts from both the public and private sectors will continue to discuss policies that will promote investment in advanced technologies that enhance productivity, including the Internet of things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI), and drive growth in Japan’s economy.


The Council consists of cabinet officials and private sector representatives such as Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) Chairman Sadayuki Sakakibara and Future Architec Chief Executive Officer and President Yasufumi Kanemaru. The government established seven main areas of discussion in the meeting on Friday, including increased investment in IoT and robotics, commercializing autonomous driving, adopting medical and nursing care systems using personal data, and expediting the implementation of regulatory sandboxes where regulatory requirements are temporarily relaxed.


“We will adopt various policies including tax, budgetary, and regulatory reforms in order to promote investment in equipment and human resources to improve productivity,” said Prime Minister Abe at the meeting. He called for companies to actively use their internal reserves for wage increases and investment.  


In June of this year, the government drafted its “Future Investment Strategy” that includes the implementation of regulatory sandboxes where regulatory requirements are temporarily relaxed to expedite the early commercialization of technological innovations such as fintech and self-driving trucks with the goal of addressing labor shortages in industries such as transportation.


The government aims to draw up next summer’s growth strategy after discussing the details in its future investment meetings.


Seven main areas of discussion in Future Investment Council meetings


Promote investment on IoT and robots

Compensate for labor shortage and improve productivity


Commercialize autonomous driving

Address transport industry labor shortage and reduce traffic accidents


Adopt medical, nursing care systems using personal data

Enable personalized healthcare and innovative drug development


Improve productivity in logistics, construction, and agriculture

Improve working environments that are considered strenuous, dirty, and dangerous


Reform companies’ business structures and promote partnerships between big businesses and ventures

Rejuvenate companies’ operations and improve profitability 


Relocate human resources to growth areas and develop hands-on skills

Eliminate mismatches in the labor market and resolve labor shortages in IT


Expedite implementation of regulatory sandboxes where regulatory requirements are temporarily relaxed 

Promote early commercialization of technological innovations such as fintech 

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