International Policy Division, Global ICT Strategy Bureau MIC Communications News, Biweekly Newsletter of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications(MIC), Japan

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"The Optical Broadband Utilization Study Team": Publication of interim report

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has held "The Optical Broadband Utilization Study Team" meeting since October 2009. The meeting is chaired by Hitoshi Mitomo, Professor of the Graduate School of Asia Pacific Studies, Waseda University, and is supervised by the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs (in charge of Information and Communications Technology). It has promoted discussion on the use of optical broadband. The interim report of the study team was published recently.

1. Background
In the midst of the declining birthrate and aging population, local residents are facing many challenging problems and need support in their life in areas such as healthcare, education and administration.

Therefore, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has held "The Optical Broadband Utilization Study Team" meeting and has studied how to utilize optical broadband in order to improve convenience of daily life of local residents and reduce administrative costs significantly by eliminating waste.

The interim report of the study team was published recently.

2. Highlights of the interim report
(1) Utilization method suggested by the report
By using optical broadband, it is possible to transmit large amounts of data rapidly and cheaply, regardless of the distance. The interim report has suggested two methods to take advantage of these features.

- To reduce administrative costs and improve quality of administration by introducing the "Broadband Open Model" which is shared use of cloud computing applications via optical broadband.

- To improve convenience of daily life of local residents by utilizing the feature of optical broadband (for example, transmission of high definition images) in areas such as healthcare and education.

(2) Implementation of public network optimization projects by utilizing Broadband
From now on, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications will pinpoint problems related to network security and so forth and study feasibility of each utilization method suggested by the report.

3. Interim report outline (attachment)


References : "The Optical Broadband Utilization Study Team" (Japanese)

http://www.soumu.go.jp/main_sosiki/kenkyu/broadband/index.html


"The Optical Broadband Utilization Study Team"
: Outline of Interim Report


I. Features and new possibilities of optical broadband
1. Nationwide broadband deployment (by the end of FY 2010)

Broadband service will be made available in all the households before the end of FY 2010 (March 2011).

2. Optical broadband features and technologies supporting it
The optical broadband has realized higher speed Internet access at lower cost regardless of the distance.

- Backbone network : The transmission speed has increased up to 1.6Tbps by adopting optical amplifiers and Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM).

- Subscriber network : Introducing GE-PON with Ethernet technology has enabled provision of the broadband service capable of 1Gbps in both direction. Such service can be provided at relatively low price by sharing a single optical fiber among up to 32 users.

3. Future challenges
- Optical broadband service is available in about 90% of the total households (still not available in about 6 million households).

- Optical broadband service is not fully utilized (service subscription rate is about 1/3).

» "The Optical Broadband Utilization Study Team" aims at suggesting methods to utilize optical broadband for;
  - reducing administrative costs and improving quality of administration, and
  - improving convenience of daily life of local residents in areas such as healthcare and education.

II. Optimization of local governments' ICT systems by using the Broadband Open Model
- "The Optical Broadband Utilization Study Team" has suggested introducing the "Broadband Open Model" (shared use of cloud computing applications via optical broadband network) in order to optimize ICT systems of local governments (by reference to shared use of ICT system among regional banks).

- Such optimization process is achieved through competition among information system companies and selection by local governments.

1. Two issues to be further studied (FY2010 budget)
(1) Online feasibility study for reform of local administration
The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications will start feasibility study of shared use of existing ICT systems of local governments and grasp the current data items and data processing functions by using ready-made software (11 information system companies and 400 local governments will join the study).

(2) Test demonstration of the Broadband Open Model
The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications will test security level and transmission speed of optical broadband network between computer terminals of local government officials and data centers which are located outside of local government buildings.

2. Expected effect
(1) Estimation of administrative cost reduction
If the Broadband Open Model is adopted, the administrative cost will be reduced to 1/3−1/2.

(2) Realization of Open Government
The broadband open model will contribute for more transparent operation of administration.

* The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications will also start the test demonstrations in other 3 areas (education, job training for challenged people and medical statistics) in order to develop ICT systems for solving problems in local communities.

Broadband Open Model
Broadband Open Model

 

Image of adopting the Broadband Open Model for local administration
Image of adopting the Broadband Open Model for local administration

 

Comparison of cost in each model of ICT system operation (annual estimation)
Comparison of cost in each model of ICT system operation (annual estimation)
A: Legacy model
B: Client-server model (ready-made software + customization)
C: Broadband Open Model (ready-made software)

 

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Results of the Second Japan-ASEAN Information Security Policy Meeting

The Second Japan-ASEAN Information Security Policy Meeting (*1) was held from March 29 (Mon) to March 31 (Wed), 2010, in Bangkok, Thailand. During the conference, concerning the field of information security, which is one of the foundations of social and economic activity, information exchanges were held in order to strengthen the international cooperation efforts among Japan, ASEAN (*2) and other countries. The Japan-ASEAN cooperation issues concerning information security have been set out together in the "Partnership Framework."

1. Aims
Japanese companies have been increasing their direct investment in the ASEAN region while moving ahead with outsourcing. On the other hand, some problems concerning information disclosure and website falsification have occurred in the region.

In the field of information security, which is one of the foundations of social and economic activity, by making efforts to strengthen international cooperation with other countries, ASEAN contributes to raising the level of information security in the region and ensures ASEAN-Japan economic relations.

2. Schedule
Date: From March 23 (Mon) to March 30 (Wed), 2010, in Bangkok, Thailand
Chairpersons: Japan and Laos
Participants: the vice ministers and department heads, etc. of ministries related to the economy and investment, and ministries related to information and communications, of the 10 ASEAN member states.
ASEAN Secretariat, Cabinet Secretariat of Japan, MIC, Deputy Minister of Economy, etc.

3. Principal results
We shared the Government's point of view about the importance of leading information security measures. The specific challenges concerning common problems in the region and resolution measures (building a secure environment for communications and information and developing a secure business environment), human resource development, and awareness were recognized and discussed. Furthermore, the cooperation between Japan and ASEAN regarding information security has been agreed and set out in the "partnership framework."

A summary of the discussion follows:
(1) Secure use of the information and communication environment
After the introduction of Japan's ISP efforts, emphasizing the importance of the ISP security networks, the role and the best practices of the ISP in each ASEAN country were discussed. Regarding ASEAN-Japan, a broad discussion was held on possible international cooperation in the field of network security, including international exchange and research collaboration, as well as on the issues of each country working towards realizing cooperation.

(2) Development of a secure investment environment
An explanation of Japanese business information security needs concerning the clients and portfolio companies, including those in ASEAN, as well of measures to implement information security in Japan was provided, and ASEAN agreed that it is useful to introduce policies to provide incentives for companies to implement information security measures.

An explanation was also provided regarding the recent information security threats and the CSIRT (Computer Security Incident Response Team) responses to them as well as Japan's efforts toward setting up and training the CSIRT, and it was agreed that strengthening the cooperation with the CSIRT further is an important point.

(3) Human resource development and awareness concerning information security
Japan and ASEAN presented their efforts in human resource development and raising awareness of information security, and discussed the characteristics and issues. Thanks to the mutual learning between the countries with different social and economic backgrounds, a common understanding of the importance of dealing with information security measures arose. Furthermore, Japan suggested holding a public awareness event together with ASEAN, and also called for active participation in a human resources training and support program for ASEAN.

(4) Presentations from the private sector
Local companies and Japanese companies doing business locally provided a presentation on the status of information security measures and issues, and the Government discussed the role it must play to promote strategies in the information security field. As a result the importance of government initiatives in these fields was recognized.

4. Schedule
The Third Japan-ASEAN Information Security Policy Meeting will be held before March 2011.

*1 The First Japan-ASEAN Information Security Policy Meeting was held on February 2009 in Tokyo, Japan.
*2 ASEAN: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Vietnam.


The Outline of the Japan-ASEAN Partnership Framework in the field of information security


[Goal]
To establish an "environment wherein IT can be used at ease" that should support the growth of Japan-ASEAN, where social and economic activities are becoming more interdependent due to increased globalization and utilization of IT.

Specific approaches
1. Development of a secure business environment in a knowledge-oriented economy
Implement activities to enhance the recognition that business-oriented information security measures can vitalize foreign direct investment and outsourcing.

(Examples of approaches)
- Raising the awareness of information security measures such as seminars targeted to companies in ASEAN countries
- Joint studies on information security policies, etc.

2. Secure use of the information and communication environment
For the further development of social and economic activities, cooperate in building an environment for safe and trustworthy information and communication.

(Examples of approaches)
- Establishment of an information sharing system between ISPs that operate information and communication networks, as well as the reinforcement of cooperation between computer security incident response teams (CSIRT)
- Reinforcement of cooperation through research and development, etc.

3. Information security policies led by the government
Japan supports the formulation of information security strategies that fulfill the needs in ASEAN countries.

(Examples of approaches)
- Improvement of capacity to respond to information security threats in ASEAN regions
- Establishment of framework for sharing best practices regarding information security measures taken by public and private sectors, etc.

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