New Aspects of Digital Education Implementation

 The Association of Digital Textbooks and Teaching (DiTT), of which I am the senior managing director, was established as a promotional organization in 2010, in response to concerns that the digitization of educational information wasn’t proceeding, and that Japan had resigned itself to remaining an underdeveloped country. At that time, the government also wasn’t putting in much effort.

 However, when the former president of the University of Tokyo, Hiroshi Komiyama, became the director, and Nanako Ishido and myself took over the administration and set up a private volunteer company,

 We have been mentioned in the government’s intellectual property plans regarding digital textbooks and in the IT Office's implementation of the digitization of educational information. From the government decision for every person to have one device by 2020, the systemization of digital textbooks, and the utilization of radio wave usage fees to efforts to make programming education compulsory, what we proposed has become reality, and we have led this field.

 And at this time, a nonpartisan alliance of legislators has decided on a bill for the promotion of digitizing educational information. In the private sector, we at DiTT are participating in the work.

 However, Japan remains an underdeveloped country. Efforts in this field can be said to be the lowest level among the OECD member countries. It is precisely because it has just started to move that Japan must lift itself to  a higher level as soon as possible While the National Assembly and the government are moving, the attitude of the private sector will be scrutinized.

 Therefore, at this time DiTT is returning to its roots, and strengthening its original resolve. We will reorganize from a private organization into a general corporation in order to improve our effectiveness and stay on the right path.

 In doing this, DiTT is working to maintain cooperative relationships with national and local governments, and educational sites, while emphasizing activities such as survey research and proposals etc.

 In addition, construction of the following new features is under consideration.

     1. Promotion of Programming Education
  In order to handle the necessity of programming education, DiTT works in collaboration with the NPO Canvas, which has created a platform for programming education, and promotes its development and dissemination.
  Reference: Canvas’s Programming Education Project

2. Construction of an Educational Materials Copyright Handling Scheme
  The discussion at the Cultural Council regarding the copyright system for digital textbooks has begun, but regardless of its tendency, copyright on digital textbooks and teaching materials requires a private scheme to facilitate processing. We will construct a mechanism to adjust the tension between the textbook and educational material publishing world, copyright holders, and users.

3. Strengthening Net Literacy Education for Young People
  The continued digitization of school education requires a higher level of net safety and security for young people. We will work in cooperation with the Cabinet Office, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and related organizations and industries in order to create measures that ensure our children’s safety.

 There are many other things that we must or should be doing. We are seeking a wide range of ideas.


Seeking a Drone Strategy

 For the first time in four years I visited the Sagrada Família. The church was under construction, just as it was four years ago. A Barcelona resident informed me that it would be completed in another 10 years. It seems that drones are being used to survey for the construction. Drones, please make yourselves useful.

 Prior to that, I participated in the Japan Drone Nationals held by TBS. Drone racing has become a new sport. I want to promote it as a superhuman sport for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The essence of drones is their fun side, not their usefulness.

 However, in December of 2015, the Aviation Law was revised, and restrictions were imposed on drones of 200 g or more.

 Drones are a form of IT that use radio waves. Generally speaking, they are composed of 3 points. 1. Device = terminal, 2. Network, 3. Service. I believe the economic potential is greater in the latter points.

 First, the device. China’s DJI, which introduced the Phantom in 2012, has 70% of the market share. On the other hand, for industrial purposes American-made drones are the best. When it comes to parts such as cameras, sensors, and batteries, Japanese-made products are popular. The situation is similar to that of smartphone terminals.

 As generalization and popularization continue to progress, we can expect to see drones become smaller and more precise, and toy versions to be made. At this year’s Tokyo Toy Show, drones claimed all of the 3 grand prizes. I have high expectations for Japanese manufacturers to shine.

 As IT, the network is more important. Currently I am using amateur wireless radio waves, but it is expected that 5G will be available after 2020.

 Japan has led the world in the development of 3G and 4G infrastructure for mobile phones, but it never showed a competitive edge. Why not take the lead with 5G infrastructure development, and demonstrate the competitive advantage of drones?

 NTT DoCoMo is starting a demonstration experiment of drones using the cellular phone network. Conventional drones could only fly a few hundred meters, but soon they will be able to fly for more than 2 km. They will be used for crop dusting and farmland management.

 To do this, reform of the Radio Law is required. What the government should do is deregulation that paves the way for this. While waiting for the results of the demonstration, we will fall behind.

 I’m interested in what’s going on in the US. NASA is cooperating with telecommunications companies such as Verizon to develop UTM for a drone air traffic control system. It will be a cloud system that controls traffic unmanned.

 This system uses mobile phone base stations to connect with tens of thousands of drones at the same time, and is expected to be operated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA.) This is a national strategy of holding an operating system.

I haven’t heard any talk about JAXA cooperating with DoCoMo or au to make a system that will be operated by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism. It seems as though Japan is lagging behind. The platform will be seized, provoking a feeling of déjà vu. Before regulatory theory, let's work on strategic theory.

 The most important thing is service. Shooting from a high position, crop dusting, security, surveying, infrastructure inspections, disaster investigation, and cargo transportation. The range of potential uses is vast. Industry and culture will determine how this will spread.

 I want the Japanese government to deregulate drone use ahead of the rest of the world, and to make it into a developed country that uses drones. And I ask that the government itself make thorough use of drones in advance of public works and disaster prevention, etc.


White Paper on Telecommunications Questions Companies’ ICT Response

 The white paper on telecommunications turned a sharp eye on corporate response.

 ICT investment by Japanese companies has turned into a situation of 'defensive ICT investment' aimed at realizing operational efficiency and reducing costs.

 US companies analyzed their ICT products and services and found that they are leaders due to their ‘defensive ICT investment’ strategy aimed at strengthening ICT product and service development, and reforming the ICT business model.

 Japanese corporate investment in ICT/GDP is lower than that of the United States, the UK, etc., and it will decline even further during the recession, but there are also survey results that show that the US and the UK invest more during times of recession. In the past 10 years, one reason why the competitiveness of Japanese companies didn’t increase was the low understanding of ICT in corporate management.

 The use of IoT was also analyzed.

 The IoT progress index that shows the state of Japanese use of the IoT is low. Although Japan's communication infrastructure index is at the highest level, the IoT progress index is inferior to that of the United States, China, Germany, and the UK. In other words, even though it is available, it is not being used. This is also a problem of corporate management.

 Japanese firms also have relatively low projections for market expansion using IoT. From 2015 to 2020, the rate of adoption of IoT in most countries is expected to increase 2 to 3 times, but Japan has little intention to introduce IoT, and there is a danger that a gap will open up between Japan and other countries in the future.

 The use of AI was also analyzed.

 In Japan's workplaces, many people say they are not doing anything to respond to or prepare for AI. In the United States, many acquire knowledge and skills of AI, such as learning from the AI side, in anticipation of continuing in their present job.

 However, there is another way of looking at it.
 Resistance to the introduction of AI into one’s workplace and resistance to AI as a work partner tends to be lower for Japanese workers than for American ones. This may be a sign that the spread of AI into the workplace is happening more smoothly in Japan.

 Overall, whether it is ICT or IoT, the awareness of Japanese corporate management is low, which is likely to affect competitiveness. This is an extension of the fact that the white paper has long pointed out that the issue of ICT in Japan is the use of corporate management. It’s a problem for the CEO.

 The infrastructure providers and the users of ICT such as general consumers and young people are cool, but there is a problem with corporate use. The usage policy for both IoT and AI should be expanded if they depict a growth strategy such as Industry 4.0.

 Rather than subsidizing the development side, governments should stimulate the user side with the tax system. The government should lead the way for business by becoming a strong consumer and introducing IoT and AI. I can suggest such a policy.