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This webpage is about egovernment and ecommerce in Japan. I hope you to enjoy my website and have an interest in Japanese egovernment.
Egovernment Opportunity for Everyone !!
Manabu Muta ( free-lance egovernment consultant )
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|Japanese eGovernment and eCommerce since Dec. 2001|
Last Modified : July 8, 2005
ePoland - the Strategy on the
Development of the Information Society in Poland
Another View: E-government is
Top 10 Digital Cities Named for
White Paper 2005 Information and
Communications in Japan
The 30th Meeting of the IT
'IT Policy Package 2005: Towards
the Realization of the World's Most Advanced IT Nation'
In July 2000, the "IT Strategy Headquarters" and the "IT Strategy Council" was established in order to promote and study how Japan be an internationally competitive "IT nation". In November 2000, they compiled the "Basic IT Strategy."
Based on the "Basic IT Strategy", the Basic Law on the Formation of an Advanced Information and Telecommunications Network Society ("IT Basic Law") was enacted, and enforced on January 6, 2001. The Principles of Measures in "IT Basic Law" includes "promotion of electronic commerce and the electronic government in central and local level.
According to the "IT Basic Law", the "IT Strategic Headquarters" was established and they made and announced the "e-Japan Strategy" as a national strategy for IT on January 22, 2001. The "e-Japan Strategy" has several goals such as e-government will be realized by 2003 and the market size of e-commerce will grow to far exceed 70 trillion yen.
On March 29, 2001, the "e-Japan Priority Policy Program" was adopted to materialize the "e-Japan Strategy" and clarify all measures the government should rapidly implement with priority in five years from 2001.
Roles of the private and public sectors are given in the Program in which the private sector is to play the leading role in the area of IT. The Program also identifies five areas in which measures should be intensively taken for realizing their goals:
of the world's most advanced information and
In order to create a useful and user-friendly e-commerce market, the measures as follows shall be taken by FY2003.
regulatory frameworks which hinder e-commerce
For realizing the efficient and consumer-friendly e-government, every process of public services will be digitized by FY2003. In addition to the above five areas, the government regards several cross-cutting issues as important to cope with. Namely,
1. It is
necessary to promote R&D on basic technology such as
advanced networking or computing technologies through
reinforced collaboration among industry, academia and
"Reform Schedule-Main Points" shows two e-government plans shall be enacted by March 2002. One is an attempt to bring forward the availability of completing administrative procedures online such as making applications and providing notifications. Other is to decide techniques and policies on use of the IC cards issued by administrative bodies, and promote their wide use in public services.
e-Japan Strategy II (Japanese:pdf file) was decided by the IT Strategic Headquarters in July 2nd, 2003. "e-Japan Strategy II" compiles the second phase of the IT strategy of Japan aiming to realize the world's most advanced IT nation and a "vibrant, safe, impressive and convenient" society with the active use of IT.
Now that IT infrastructures have been developed based on the "e-Japan Strategy" formulated in January 2001, the new strategy proposes to take leading measures in seven important areas that are closely related to the lives of the people. The areas are medical treatment, food, life, small-and-medium-sized-enterprises, finance, knowledge, employment, government service.
The strategy also asks to advance the development of new IT social infrastructures, which is essential for the sophistication of the active use of IT during this second phase.
Based on the "e-Japan Strategy II", "e-Japan Priority Policy Program - 2003 (PDF:Japanese) ". is decided by the IT Strategic Headquarters in August 8, 2003. This program shows 366 concrete measures to be implemented quickly by government. Regarding egovernment, citizen-oriented one-stop service is to be realized. "The degree of user satisfaction" is added to the index for evaluation.
"e-Government Construction Plan" (Japanese) was adopted by Ministries and Agencies CIO Council in July 17, 2003. The first comprehensive egov plan consists of general principle with basic strategy and action plans to be carried out by every ministries and agencies within two years (by the end of 2005 fiscal year).
The main goal is to realize
1. Citizen-oriented Government Service
People can feel easy, safe and comfortable in receiving 7days-24hours services and information via Internet on such as the government portal.
2. Simple and Cost-effective Government
Business Process Reengineering (BPR) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) with outsourcing and up-to-date ICTs are promoted to be more flexible, efficient and simple government.
e-Japan Strategy II Acceleration
1. International Strategy of IT Fields
2. Enhancement of security (safety and relief) policy
3. Promotion of Contents Policy (Intellectual Property Strategy)
4. Promotion of IT Regulation Reform
5. Evaluation (E:Evaluation)
6. Promotion of Electronic Government
"e-Japan Priority Policy
Program - 2004" was decided
e-Government for local government
(Official Residence of the Prime Minister of Japan)
e-Japan Priority Policy Program - 2004
Priority Policy Program - 2002
and Advancement of e-Japan Priority Policy Program and
e-Japan 2002 Program(Nov.2001)
Program (June 26, 2001)
Schedule-Main Points (September 21, 2001)
Priority Policy Program (March 29, 2001)
Strategy (January 22, 2001)
Basic Law on
Formation of an Advanced Information and
Telecommunications Network Society (November 29, 2000)
Strategy (November 27, 2000)
Japanese E-Signature Law ( Law Concerning Electronic Signatures and Certification Services ) was enforced April 1, 2001. the law's purpose is to make sure the easy use of electronic signature and prompt electronic data exchange in such as e-commerce through the Internet.
In the law, legal validity of electronic signature is clearly described. So electronic data with valid e-signature is assumed its authenticity, which means that such data is made with the signer's will and understanding. Burden of proof to be given legal assumption can be exempted if e-signature is based on an authorized CA. Although the definition of e-sign has technical neutrality, it is clear that the use of digital-signature based on PKI are assumed.
Note:Under the Japanese legal system, basically, no formality of contract is required so the parties concerned can make legal contract in a way they like.
CA (Certification Authority) or CSA (Certification Service Provider) can be authorized to have more creditability. Authorized CA shall meet very strict standard on technology and equipment, application procedure, security, protection of personal information etc. CA by foreign country can be authorized. If they are authorized by foreign governmental agency, the procedures for authorization can be simplified.
As of March 2003, twelve CA services are authorized by government (Designated Certification Services.) In spite of the e-sign law and these CA services, it will take some time for people to use e-sign with legal power. Because there are few on-line administration service and electronic commerce which use electronic signature effectively and few user-friendly e-sign system.
Concerning Electronic Signatures and Certification
for end entity facility of electronic signature creation
Bank, LTD. (Designated CA for Government Electronic
Notarizaion Authority (Designated CA)
Certification Services, Inc. (Designated CA)
Development of GPKI is proceeding in co-operation with government ministries and agencies participating in the administrative computerization project to realize e-government by 2003. GPKI allows online administrative procedures to meet the security requirements of e-government electronic services delivery.
GPKI is the system of government to assure the confidentiality and security of electronic transactions. It is critical to clear Who You Are (citizen, corporation and governmental agency) or What They Are (electronic records and documents) in carrying out administrative services using the Internet.
Electronic authentication using digital signature based on PKI is the core of GPKI which consists of a Bridge CA (Certification Authority) and the Cabinet Office/Ministries CA. Each office and ministry will establish their own CA by FY2002.
Ministry's CA work as the identification of the Government online on the one hand, there are some online identification services for citizen on the other such as Commercial Registration CA based on the commercial registration system by the Ministry of Justice, Private Sector CA based on E-Signature Law and Public Authentication Infrastructure for Individuals.
Public Authentication Infrastructure for Individuals is the authentication system for citizens by local governments using data from basic resident registers. It is scheduled to start operations in FY2003.
Ministry's CA and CA for citizen are cross-certified through the Bridge CA that will accept Local government's CA (LGPKI) and Foreign government's CA in the near future.
Ministry's CA is to issue electronic certificates for Ministers and other limited government officials who have the authority to make official documents. Each Ministers and officials can secure electronic records for such as notice, permission etc with their certificates.
Bridge CA started April 27, 2001 and as of December 2001, Commercial Registration CA, CAs of Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry are cross-certified with Bridge CA.
Three government CAs by Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare and Financial Services Agency are added as cross-certified CA with Bridge on December 2002.
e-Government plan and PKI
In Japan, the rules for protection of personal data and privacy are not enogh to work in e-government and e-commerce.
The "Law Concerning Access to Information Held by Administrative Organs" (1988) prescribes basic rules for restrictions on the possession of electronic personal data or requests from the owners to access it to protect personal rights and interests.
As of September 2002, the bill of "the Law on the Protection of Personal Information" and the Rivision of "the Law Concerning Access to Information Held by Administrative Organs" are under deliberation in the diet.
The Law on the Protection of Personal Information is the basic regulatory framework for the protection of personal information. The law's purpose in protecting individuals' rights and interests in consideration of the usefulness of personal information. It also incudes basic principles regarding the appropriate handling of personal information, obligations that must be fulfilled by companies utilizing databases of personal information for their businesses, and measures that shall be implemented by the government.
The Diet passed five laws concerning personal information protection and use in May 23, 2003. The laws are;
Privacy Mark System is designed to promote the appropriate protection of personal information processed by private enterprises with computers. Privacy Mark is granted to private enterprises if they have sufficient measures for protection of personal information.
The Law Concerning Access
to Information Held by Administrative Organs
Privacy Mark System
There are three network systems used for e-government, which are the Kasumigaseki WAN, the Local Government WAN and the Basic Residential Registers Network System.
Kasumigaseki WAN (KWAN) is the National Government WAN connected with all Ministries' LAN (one PC per person). Kasumigaseki WAN started in January 1997 in order to promote sharing Information and electronic filing by the use of technologies for access control and security. Functions of Kasumigaseki WAN are as follows.
- E-mail system
Local Government WAN (LGWAN) is connected and to be connected with all local governments, prefectures, cities and other municipalities by the use of LGPKI (Local Government Public Key Infrastructure). LGWAN is to cover all the local governments by FY 2003 and Interconnection of Kasumigaseki WAN and LGWAN will be implemented from FY2002.
Basic Residential Registers Network System (Jyuki Net) links all municipalities and prefectures so that the central and local governments can share resident card information (Name, Address, Sex, and Date of Birth and etc.) based on residential card codes. It is expected to be an information infrastructure that is essential for efficient responses to the improvement of local administration such as decentralization and the IT Revolution. Since this system involves ID number with all Japanese nationals, it arouses controversy over privacy and security.
Ministry of Public
Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications
Ensuring security and reliability is a major concern about e-government and e-commerce. In realizing e-government by 2003 Japanese government shall take all possible measures such as digital signatures and authentication systems to ensure Security.
(1) Construction of a Highly Reliable e-government
It is necessary to
(2) Reinforcement of Countermeasures against Cyber-Terrorism
- Cyber Terrorism Response
Database will be constructed to collect, transmit, and
accumulate information concerning cyber terrorism as well
as share such information between the private and public
(3) Raising Awareness concerning Information Security
- Basic education
concerning information Security will be introduced to the
compulsory education level.
(4) Support for Information Security Measures in the Private Sector
- Public sector shall
provide guidance and advice on information security to
the private sector.
(5) Development of Key Technologies Concerning Information Security
Encryption technology and information security evaluation technology will be developed and shared with other ministries and the private sector.
Government established "Study Group on Secure Operating Systems" in June 26, 2003. The group started examination about the use of the open source OS such as Linux in electronic government from the viewpoints of security, practical use, cost, etc. By March, 2004 the group will give objective and neutral evaluation as their conclusion about the merit and demerit on both the open source OS and the non-open source OS. Examination issues are
Information Security in
Special Action Plan on
Countermeasures to Cyber-terrorism of Critical
Infrastructure (December 15, 2000) | Summary
Guidelines for IT Security
Policy (July 18 2000) | Summary
for Strengthening IT Security (April 2000)
Action Plan for Building
Foundations of Information Systems Protection from
Hackers and Other Cyber threats (21 January, 2000)
IT Security Office
Security in JAPAN
MITI Action Plan for a
Outline for Comprehensive
Programs by JDA/SDF to Adapt to Information Technology
Revolution (Oct 4, 2002) Japan Defense Agency
Priority Program of
Measures against High-tech Crime (June 1998)
Japan has made progress in building the infrastructure for egovernment such as computer equipment and network, electronic certification and authentication, smart card, government websites including egov-portal, etc. Regarding online service delivery, they are lack of a citizen oriented view although many services are available online.
Government should improve their customer-relations management and take cross-agency measures to overcome "Tate-Wari; vertical administrative system" which consists of cultural, organizational and communication barriers. Civic engagement and collaboration with business and NGOs are also critical to offer convenient services and build the publicfs confidence in e-government.
Government Portal Site
Japanese e-Government portal was launched in April 2001 and it is expected to be a one-stop access gateway for the online services.
It consists of search function for information of all ministries, government database information like laws and geographic information, link to websites of central and local governments, etc. Almost the functions are available only in Japanese. Compared with egov portals in other countries, Japanese portal is far behind in citizen satisfaction and usability.
Electronic Filing (Denshi-Shinsei)
List of Electronic Filing
Online procedure for
administrative applications (PDF file: 12KB)
According to IT policy, almost all the administrative procedures shall be available over the Internet by FY2003 in central government agencies and by 2005 in local government. Each agencies have already launched Electronic Filing System (Denshi-Shinsei: application, notification and other procedures) with same functions based on the common specifications.
The flow of electronic filing is
In spite of having common specifications there are some differences among agencies in user environments such as OS, browser, Java, business hours, software downloads, etc. In addition, preparation for using system are too much difficult and complicated to reach the services. These problems will throw citizens into confusion and keep them away from online government services.
Online Tax Submission
Electronic Tax Filing
System (filing and payment of national taxes)
Aichi, Shizuoka, Mie and Gifu, the four prefectures will be able to file their tax returns online beginning in February 2004. The initial services are online filing of individual income taxes and consumption tax. The National Tax Agency plans to expand the electronic tax filing and payment system across the nation in June 2004. Taxpayers need to download special software, which provides the necessary forms and instructions on how to fill them out.
In relation to E-Tax "Electronic Nation's Revenue Payment System" will start in January 2004 by Ministry of Finance in order to enable online payments such as permit fee, fine, tax, etc. The government payment system will be connected to "Multipayment Network (MPN) which provides citizens real-time payment service through various ways such as ATM of bank or post office, mobilephone, personal computer, etc.
Electronic Bidding and Procurement
Electronic procurement is classified into two types, public construction like building and roads, and others like goods, products and services.
1. Public Construction
2. Goods Procurement:
Online Service in English
It is very hard for foreign people to find the government information and services in Japan. Information in English, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish is desirable to meet citizen demands.
Search Japanese Government Websites
Japan National Tourist Organization
Study In Japan Comprehensive Guide
A Guide to Japanese Visas
Japan Web Navigator
Maps and Geographic Information
Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO)
Government Procurement Database
All Rights Reserved. Legal Notices. Copyright 2001-2004 Manabu Muta