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