Release Date: May 17, 2005

Outline of Results of the
"Tokyo Ubiquitous Network Conference"

Toward the realization of a Ubiquitous Network Society"
The "Tokyo Ubiquitous Network Conference" as the WSIS Thematic Meeting on a Ubiquitous Network Society, jointly organized by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan (MIC), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the United Nations University (UNU), was held in Tokyo, on May 16 and 17, 2005. The Conference was chaired by Mr. Kozo TAKAHARA, Vice Minister for Policy Coordination, MIC, with approximately 600 participants from governments, international organizations, the private sector, civil society, etc. The outline of result of the conference is as indicated below.

[Outline of Conference Result]
  1. Opening Session
    The three organizers and other guests - Mr. ASO Taro, Minister of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan, Mr. UTSUMI Yoshio, Secretary-General of ITU and Prof. Dr. Hans Van GINKEL, Rector of UNU, Mr. Montasser OUAILI, Minister of Communication Technologies, Republic of Tunisia, Mr. Marc FURRER, President, Federal Communications Commission of Switzerland and Mr. Janis KARKLINS, President of WSIS PrepCom - delivered opening addresses.

  2. Opening Presentations
    i1) Prof. SAKAMURA Ken, the University of Tokyo, made a presentation on a) ICT, such as ubiquitous networks that provide us with communications functions at every corner of our daily lives, and b) a society in the future through the realization of a ubiquitous network society.
    ii2) Prof. Nicholas NEGROPONTE, Chairman of Media Laboratory, MIT, gave a presentation placing emphasis on education, in particular, on the significance of elementary education. He explained a project for realizing 100-dollar laptop PCs and free software.

  3. Opening Statements
    i1) Dr. Tran Duc LAI, Vice Minister of MPT, Vietnam, explained that along with development of ICT, his country is facing some issues, including the convergence of communications and broadcasting, privacy and information security. Thus, the country has been promoting market liberalization and pro-competitive policies, and started R&D for a ubiquitous network society.
    ii2) Mr. Richard C. BEAIRD, Senior Deputy Coordinator, Department of State, the U.S., stated that a ubiquitous network society would bring merits to our daily lives through the use of ICT; to this end, it is essential to create a catalytic environment, such as human resources development, e-governments and promotion of security.
    iii3) Mr. Yashwant BHAVE, Additional Secretary, Department of Telecommunications, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, India, told that a) while a ubiquitous network society is a new paradigm of the 21st century, such society contains issues, including problems between information haves and have-nots, different languages, cultures and genders, and b) it is of significance that a new society be created by overcoming the existing hierarchy through ICT.
    iv4) Mr. KANG, Jung-Hyup, Director General for Information Infrastructure and Security, MIC, Korea, stressed the importance of a) implementation of policy measures based upon the "IT839 Strategy" aiming at realizing a ubiquitous network society, b) efforts to bridge the digital divide and to implement security measures, c) policy measures and joint R&D for realizing a ubiquitous network society and d) international cooperation for information sharing, etc.
    v5) Mr. Ewan SUTHERLAND, Executive Director of INTUG, made a presentation that a) the concept of a ubiquitous network society has not matured yet and has still been in the development stage; and b) as there still remain various issues, including competition, business models, services and privacy, it is vital to deliberate thereupon from a variety of viewpoints.
    vi6) Mr. Monthian BUNTAN, President, Thailand Association of the Blind, told that a) the 21st century shall be one within which everyone can enjoy a better quality of life with dignity, and b) thus, upon realization of a ubiquitous network society, all the people shall be allowed to participate in such an open society.
    vii7) Dr. NAGAO Makoto, President of NICT, stated that it is needed to develop such ICT technologies as new-generation network technologies and technologies for advanced knowledge processing, through realization of photonic technologies for establishing universal communications.

  4. Each Session
    i1) Session 1: Bridging the Digital Divide
    At Session 1, it is stressed that a) it is expected that within a ubiquitous network society, the information-disadvantaged, such as the elderly and people with disabilities can enjoy a better quality of life in a secure and reliable environment through the use of ICT, b) to this end, it is vital to bridge the digital divide, and c) thus, it is inevitable to strengthen multi-stakeholder partnership among relevant organization for preparing ICT infrastructures, implementing ICT human resources development, etc.
    ii2) Session 2: Knowledge Sharing - Capacity Building

    At Session 2, upon realizing a ubiquitous network society, deliberations were made upon how people can have access to information "anytime, anywhere, by anything and anyone." The participants reached a conclusion that stakeholders shall support the realization of such society through the following three key steps:

    --Bandwidths as broadband

    --To promote flexibility, adaptability and openness in relation to content development, sharing and delivery

    --To support human resources development in key areas related to a ubiquitous network society

    iii3) Session 3: Shaping a "Ubiquitous Network Society" for Human Needs

    At Session 3, it was discussed that the Civil Society is committed as an equal partner to building an inclusive, people-centered ubiquitous network society. As a result of the discussion, it was agreed upon that the ubiquitous network society must:

    --Be development-oriented, ensuring equitable and sustainable distribution of resources

    --Recognize the goal of accessibility for all, emphasizing the needs of people with disabilities and the poor

    iv4) Session 4: Technologies leading a Ubiquitous Network Society

    At Session 4, toward the realization of a ubiquitous network society, discussions have made on R&D themes to be addressed by each country and standardization thereof. It was agreed upon that the following efforts should be made:

    --Each country shall cooperate on R&D and standardization in various areas of ubiquitous network technologies.

    --The development of core technologies of the ubiquitous network, including RFID, sensor network and mobile communications, needs further improvement and testing so that technologies are user driven and environment-friendly.

    v5) Session 5: Toward the design and realization of a Ubiquitous Network Society

    At Session 5, discussions were made upon the significance of several visions for realizing a ubiquitous network society and the globally shared visions of such society. Subsequently, the following points, etc. were recognized:

    --It will be essential to build a new social system incorporating a mechanism, which promotes harmonization between rights/benefits and responsibilities/obligations on a worldwide basis, in order to globally foster the benefits of a Ubiquitous Network Society.

    --It is collaboration that will enable us to cope with any unpredictable challenges arising in the future from the advent of a Ubiquitous Network Society. Hence, the governance of a Ubiquitous Network Society will incorporate cooperation among all stakeholders including governments, international organizations, the private sector and civil society at local, national, regional and international levels.

  5. Output of the Conference
    Some corrections of wordings were left to the discretion of the Chairman. As a result, the "Chairman's Report" (see Annex(PDF) attached hereto) was adopted. This Chairman's Report will be input into the World Summit of the Information Society (WSIS) Tunis Phase to be held in Tunisia in November 2005.

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