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Japan’s post-pandemic information technology challenges

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In July each year, the government makes two important economic policy decisions. One is the basic policy for economic and fiscal management related to the macroeconomy. The other is the growth strategy for concrete measures on economic vitalization.

In the past, a whole range of economic policy was discussed in one policy board. Since 2013, under Shinzo Abe's second stint as prime minister, the two issues have been discussed in separate government councils — although they can still be deemed an integrated policy agenda since the two councils are both presided over by Prime Minister Abe himself.

Japan’s economy is expected to suffer a fairly steep decline for the time being. The average forecast of leading economists tallied by the Japan Center for Economic Research is that the GDP will plunge by about 21 percent in the second quarter of the year. The government needs to take bold steps in its economic and fiscal policy to support the livelihood of individuals and financing of companies under the severe conditions.

At the same time, the government needs to prepare for the post-pandemic "new normal" by carefully examining the shape it will take. What will be tested in particular is its information technology policy to deal with the digital transformation that is likely to accelerate going forward.

Naokazu Takemoto, the minister in charge of IT policy, has set up a private advisory body to discuss the post-pandemic IT issues from a variety of perspectives. I took part in this discussion, and the key parts of what's talked about at the council is reflected........

© The Japan Times