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Measures taken by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC)

Overview

   The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) is taking the following three measures: 1. Open data demonstration experiments, 2. Open Data Promotion Consortium, and 3. Conversion of MIC-owned data to open data.


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Open data demonstration experiments

    The MIC is conducting demonstrative experiments necessary for effective distribution, coordination, and utilization of data beyond fields, such as (1) establishing and standardizing internationally the common API for information circulation and sharing platform (*) (benchmark data standard — data models, data formats, and common vocabularies — and benchmark API standard), (2) developing rules for secondary use of data (data governance methods), and (3) visualizing the benefits of open data.

* Common API (Application Programming Interface): Common data formats and communication protocols to ensure interoperability of information and data


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Fiscal year 2012 demonstration experiments
Theme Outline Schematic drawing
Public transportation information A demonstration was conducted to show that it was possible to provide various information services (public transportation operation information services, vulnerable transportation users support information services, next-generation transportation support information services) by distributing and coordinating data in such areas along with developing and demonstrating data standards of the public transportation area. Conceptual drawing
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Boring data A data standard was built in the ground information area and a demonstration was performed relating to the distribution and coordination of ground information using the ground information held by the national and local governments. Conceptual drawing
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Disaster-related information A data standard was built in the disaster prevention and disaster mitigation area and a demonstration was performed relating to the distribution and coordination of disaster prevention and disaster mitigation information area, using the disaster prevention and disaster mitigation information (damage information, weather, earthquakes, hazard maps, etc.) held by the Cabinet Office, the Japan Meteorological Agency and local governments. Conceptual drawing
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Fresh agricultural products information With fresh agricultural products (fruits, vegetables, etc.) produced at farms set as targets, a data standard was built for distribution and coordination of data generated in each stage of producers, distributors/retailers, and consumers, and a demonstration was performed to achieve traceability and other mechanisms for such fresh agricultural products. Conceptual drawing
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Marine products information With marine products set as targets, a data standard was built for distribution and coordination of data generated in each stage of production and processing companies, distributors, restaurants/retailers, and consumers, and a mechanism to achieve traceability of marine products was developed and demonstrated. Conceptual drawing
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Fiscal year 2013 demonstration experiments
Theme Outline Schematic drawing
Local government information For various government information owned by local governments, what to convert to open data will be investigated and identified from perspectives such as utilization needs. For information identified as convertible to open data, data standards will be built and standards will be implemented on the platform system to achieve open data. Portal sites will be built as well. To build a model that can be widely disseminated and implemented among local governments, the platform system will be based on a simple system design. In addition, a package will be developed including documents to describe the design concept and procedures, as well as data conversion tools and user manuals for local government officials. Conceptual drawing
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Social capital information Information owned by local governments and the like, such as social capital information, construction records information, and bidding information, will be combined to provide relevant businesses and residents with public-works-related marketing information, drawing data (such as specifications) information, and road safety information on school roads. Conceptual drawing
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Tourism information Information owned by local governments and the like, such as mobility information, tourism information, and disaster prevention information, will be combined to provide advanced navigation features, such as a route guide that shows the best route to the desired sightseeing spot, latest traffic information such as traffic congestion up to the destination, and evacuation route information from the current location to an evacuation center. Conceptual drawing
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Disaster prevention information Information owned by administrative bodies, utilities, and the like, such as disaster prevention/disaster information and damage/recovery information, will be combined to achieve refinement of corporate BCPs, utilization of information for disaster prevention/mitigation by public administrations and private businesses, and provision of disaster prevention information to local residents. Conceptual drawing
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Public transportation information The demonstration experiment conducted in FY 2012 will be expanded to more public transportation systems. Operation of broad-ranging public transportation, public transportation facilities including stations and stops, and other information are provided in real-time. Moreover, in case of an emergency such as congestion, accidents, or disaster, the system will provide functions such as supporting selection of an appropriate route or providing evacuation guidance in a public transportation facility to mobility-handicapped people having difficulties using public transportation, as well as other public transportation users in the region. In addition, issues when implementing such services will be analyzed, namely the border of rights and responsibilities for public transportation information providers as well as consideration points when information users utilize such public transportation information. Conceptual drawing
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Statistics and data catalog For data with high demands and a wide range of expected utilization means, namely statistics information or various data listed in the government data catalog website (trial version), a platform system will be developed to allow transversal use with a single API. At the same time, an environment that allows mash-up with other data will be achieved. For statistics information, the experiment will aim to simplify obtaining statistics information by enabling statistics information search on multiple statistics tables by calling the information circulation and sharing platform common API once. Traditionally, this search had to be performed for each statistics table. Conceptual drawing
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Hay fever related information The onset and severity of hay fever, often regarded as "Japan's national disease", are affected by various factors in addition to floating amount of the pollen, such as weather conditions, air pollution conditions, and patients' physical conditions. Therefore, it is expected that publication of various hay-fever-related information and its active utilization may contribute to cope with hay fever. For this purpose, this experiment will package and convert into open data pollen floating information, weather conditions, air pollution conditions, patients' statistic data, etc., which have been collected and published by various organizations, to enable more precise distribution of hay fever information according to the individual person or region. In addition, the symptom information of hay fever patients, which may affect privacy, will be converted to open data as statistics information after consent from each hay fever patient himself or herself. The method to achieve this will be also discussed. Conceptual drawing
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* Open Data Application Contest(Japanese)Open link in a new browser window
MIC hosted an open contest for development of applications that utilize public data converted into open data in the seven areas of demonstration experiments being conducted in FY 2013. The entered applications were evaluated in the committee on promotion of using open data of Open Data Promotion Consortium. The winners were honored at the committee's 4th meeting on March 13, 2014.

Open Data Application Contest
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Open Data Promotion Consortium

   In order to develop a foundation to achieve an open data distribution environment, an "Open Data Promotion Consortium" was established on July 27, 2012, with broad cooperation of industry, academia and government. The MIC, in cooperation with this consortium, implemented an examination of the technical specifications concerning open data and the rules for secondary use, and information dissemination on the significance and possibilities of open data.

[Figure] The organizations chart of Open Data Promotion Consortium


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   This consortium discusses technical standards necessary to promote open data, as well as the licensing style necessary to promote open data. The "Technical guide for creating data as open data(Japanese)PDF(Open link in a new browser window)" , compiled by the consortium, is reflected in the "Basic Ideas (Guidelines) for Data Publication of Ministries and Government Offices to Promote Secondary Use(Japanese)PDF(Open link in a new browser window)" , decided at the Liaison Conference of Chief Information Officers (CIOs) of Public Offices and Ministries(Japanese)Open link in a new browser window held on June 25, 2013.In addition, on April 2013, the MIC announced that, for the first time as a government white paper, conversion of White Paper on Information and Communications in Japan(Japanese) would allow any secondary use as a general rule(Japanese) . This effort is being conducted as a test case based on discussion of secondary use rules in the Open Data Promotion Consortium(Japanese)Open link in a new browser window , and the rules regarding licensing, etc. are developed based on the discussion results of the Consortium.
   In addition, the Consortium is involved in dissemination and development activities of open data, based on a perspective that visualizing benefits of open data to users by developing use cases (such as examples of new applications derived from utilization of public data) is important in promoting the open data strategy.

[Figure] The discussion results on FY 2012 by the Open Data Promotion Consortium


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Conversion of MIC-owned data to open data

1. Conversion of "White Paper on Information and Communications in Japan "and "Information & Communications Statistics Database" into open data

   As a test case for the adoption of open data for information owned by public administrations, the MIC has performed conversion of "White Paper on Information and Communications in Japan(Japanese)" and "Information & Communications Statistics Database(Japanese)" into open data since April 19, 2013. This is the first time for a Japanese government white paper to allow any secondary use (including business use), such as reproduction, alteration, distribution or public transmission, as a general rule. The licensing rule is examined in cooperation with the Open Data Promotion Consortium(Japanese)Open link in a new browser window.

[Figure] Conversion of White Paper on Information and Communications in Japan into open data


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2. Advancement of Open Data in Statistics

 The Statistics Bureau, MIC(Japanese)Open link in a new browser window , which is the core organization of government statistics, in cooperation with the National Statistics Center(Japanese)Open link in a new browser window , adopted the next generation provision method of extensive and various statistical data, and implemented the following measures, which would enable advanced use of data. These measures mark the Bureau as the leader of Japanese governments' efforts to promote open data. It also promotes advancement of the utilization of statistical data in the government and private sector to support the services for creating new added value, and the creation of innovative business.

[Figure] Advancement of open data in statistics


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