In a document that outlines a Digital Japan Creation Project, dubbed the ICT Hatoyama Plan, Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications revealed plans to build a massive cloud computing infrastructure to support all of the government’s IT systems.
Called tentatively the Kasumigaseki Cloud, the new infrastructure will be built in stages from now until 2015. The goal of the project consolidate all government IT systems into a single cloud infrastructure to improve operation efficiency and reduce cost.
“The Kasumigaseki Cloud will enable various ministries to collaborate to integrate and consolidate hardware and create platforms for shared functions,” the MIC said. “Efforts will be made to efficiently develop and operate information systems with the aim of greatly reducing electronic government–related development and operating costs while increasing the pace of processing by integrating shared functions, increasing collaboration among systems, and providing secure and advanced governmental services.”
According to the MIC, the Kasumigaseki Cloud will eliminate the need for individual ministries to maintain their own IT systems by consolidating current data centres, and allow each ministries to use only the computer resources necessary through the cloud platform.
As part of the cloud project, a new National Digital Archive (tentative name) will also be developed to digitize government document and other popular information, and introduce standardized formats and meta data to improve public access.
The Kasumigaseki Cloud initiative is one of nine action points set forth by the MIC to stimulate growth of the industry in Japan.
“The ICT market currently has a total scale of a little less than 100 trillion yen. The Digital Japan Creation Project seeks to create new ICT markets in the range of several trillion yen and to generate 300,000–400,000 new jobs over the next three years (on a cumulative basis) by encouraging ICT capital investment based on a new growth strategy for ICT industries,” the ministry said. “Through these measures, the plan also aims to double ICT industries over the medium term through 2015–2020 (creating new markets of as much as 100 trillion yen).”
Among the key objectives identified by the plan is the creation of industries that leverage local demand to create internationally competitiveness for the country. One such initiative outlined is the acceleration of R&D in wireless communications, including the use of white space spectrum, to create new services – i.e. through an intelligent transport system – cars that won’t crash. As part of this category, the plan also called for the acceleration of development and time-to-market of “technologies that have been honed in Japan,” including “ultra-high-speed, energy saving all optical communications equipment.”
Another plan proposal aims to stimulate the local creative industries by facilitating the integration of the communications and broadcast industries, the development of a content transaction market, and enhanced measures to prevent piracy.
Additional proposals were put forth to develop and implement ubiquitous Green ICT solutions, including initiatives like the Kasumigaseki Cloud, boost ICT human resources, and the creation of “safe and secure networks” for the public.
This article was first published in CommsDay International