||This Study Group was established in order to prepare a broadband environment
in Asia and develop measures to be taken so as to formulate the "Asia
Broadband Program." This report contains the results of deliberations
|| The "e-Japan Priority Policy Program - 2002," states
that the "Asia Broadband Program" shall be formulated within
|Chapter I. Significance of broadband platforms
in Asia (summary)
||International common recognition concerning the importance
of Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
||In recent years, the socioeconomic importance of ICT has been shared internationally
by the G8 Leaders' "Okinawa Charter on Global Information Society (July
2000)," the United Nations "Millennium Declaration (September
In the Asia-Pacific region, also, the importance of ICT has become a common
recognition as exemplified by the "Tokyo Declaration: Asia-Pacific
Renaissance through ICT in the 21st century, Asia-Pacific Telecommunity
-- APT Asia-Pacific Summit on the Information Society (November 2000)"
and the "e-APEC Strategy (October 2001)."
In accordance with these initiatives, multifaceted and diversified action
plans have been adopted and being implemented.
|| Significance of broadband platforms
||After the above-mentioned agreements, broadband platforms have been deployed,
in particular, mainly in East Asian economies as new trends.
Advantages of broadband platforms features i) high speed/large capacity,
and ii) constant connection/flat rates. Broadband platforms provide people
with a new environment, thus enabling the dramatic overcoming of time/space
restraints in communication of the human society.
Constant and flat-rate Internet access services allow consumers to access
the Internet at affordable price levels without worrying about time on a
usage-sensitive tariff basis. Its high speed/large capacity characteristics
enable users to transmit not only a huge amount of information but also
video with realistic sensations, and allow people and society to enjoy a
considerable amount of benefits by overcoming restraints to date.
Broadband platforms, which can provide access at affordable prices with
ease-of-use and transmit large-volume information, invigorate activities
of individuals, corporations, NGOs, administrations, etc. and improve efficiency
thereof, thus contributing to socioeconomic development of economies regardless
of developed or developing.
Broadband platforms will facilitate further exchanges of people between
different countries/areas and cultures with different backgrounds, thus
i) promote economic integration, ii) deepen mutual understandings, which
can contribute to stability and order of the international community. They
will also stimulate human creativity which can lead to new values.
|| Broadband platforms, as a basis for corporate activities in the
future, will contribute to improved efficiency and strengthened competitiveness,
as well as to the realization of a higher quality of life in a range
|| For instance, in developing economies, broadband platforms enable
not only the resolution of pending issues, such as improvement of
teledensity, through introduction of VoIP (voice over IP), but also
contribution to progress in the field of basic human needs (BHN),
including telemedicine, distance learning, etc.
Considering trends that broadband platforms with such significance as mentioned
above are being deployed, it is vital to deliberate upon new initiatives,
including measures for dealing with various issues, while taking into account
the existing initiatives to date.
|| Significance of broadband platforms in Asia
||It can be said that in Asia there exist many world's leading examples
of broadband systems. Here, the reasons for discussing Asia, in particular,
are as follows:
|| In Asia, the development status varies by countries/economies.
Broadband systems are, however, anticipated to greatly contribute
to socioeconomic development of each country/economy regardless of
developed or developing. Especially, as Asia has a huge population
and potentials for future growth, it is considered that use of broadband
systems will bring about broader benefits.
|| Asian countries/economies (including Japan) have closer relationships
with each other in geographical, social, economic and cultural aspects.
Along with the internationalization of corporate activities and development
of economic integration within the Asian region, from the viewpoint
of promoting mutual understanding in the international community,
it is considered that human exchanges and communications among Asian
countries/economies will become more and more important. Thus, it
is anticipated that broadband systems will accelerate further these
trends, including free trade agreements (FTA).
||Broadband systems are expected to play a role in ensuring the cultural
diversity of the Asian region to some extents (contribution to the
construction of a "world with unique individuality").
||As a result, with increased information distribution within the
Asian region, when comparing the tripolar of Asia, North America and
Europe, it is anticipated that the capacity for transmitting information
toward the rest of the world from Asia, at present not necessarily
high, will be strengthened.
From now on, it is vital to diffuse broadband systems in Asia and actively
promote use of broadband systems, which will bring about desirable effects
such as the socioeconomic development of Asia, promotion of exchanges/integration
within the Asian region, maintenance of cultural diversity and increased
information transmission from Asia to the world.
|Chapter II. Current status and challenges (summary)
|(1) Domestic network infrastructures
||In Asia, broadband platforms have recently been speedily deployed,
as exemplified by the Republic of Korea the leading country in terms
of penetration rate. On the contrary, there are countries/economies
that lack even telephone lines. As such, the differences among countries/economies
|| When considering Asian countries/economies in terms of penetration
rates of broadband platforms, etc., it is possible to mainly classify
them into the following three categories:
||Countries/economies with higher penetration rates
of broadband platforms (Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, Chinese
Taipei, some cities in China, Singapore.)
||In these countries/economies, the deployment of broadband
platforms has been rapidly progressing in recent years. Actual
use of broadband platforms, is however not processing satisfactorily
when compared with line capacities available for use. Thus,
further promotion of actual use of broadband platforms should
be deemed an urgent task.
||Countries/economies with higher potential for future
deployment of broadband platforms (Malaysia, Thailand,
China, Indonesia, the Philippines, etc.)
||In these countries/economies, the deployment of broadband
platforms has been progressing in urban areas to some degree.
However, the penetration rate is near to zero. With respect
to the Internet, its penetration into rural areas is still low
||Countries/economies with the lowest penetration rates
of plain old telephone service and the Internet, much
less of broadband platforms (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia,
||In these countries/economies, there is a lack of communications
infrastructures even for the plain old telephone service, the
most pressing requirement is to construct basic information
and communications infrastructures (even in these countries/economies,
by constructing broadband platform, the IP telephony (VoIP)
network can be provided.).
||Even in the same countries/economies, there are extreme variances
in the penetration rates of broadband and the Internet between urban
and rural areas. Appropriate infrastructures need to be constructed
in rural areas.
||Such differences are caused by i) higher prices for access services
derived from lack of competition, ii) slowness in the diffusion of
PCs, iii) limited demand derived from lack of attractive applications/content,
and iv) shortfall in human resources, and so on.
||Recognizing the existence of such a digital divide, there are targets
and action plans concerning access to the Internet, etc. in the Asia-Pacific
"Tokyo Declaration: Asia-Pacific Renaissance through ICT in
the 21st century, Asia-Pacific Telecommunity -- APT Asia-Pacific Summit
on the Information Society (November 2000)"
|"We Ministers declare that we will do our best, in
both domestic efforts and through international co-operation,
to enable people in the Asia-Pacific region to have access to
the Internet by the year 2005 to the extent possible, including
access from public facilities such as schools and post offices."
APEC Leaders' Declaration - Brunei Darussalam (November 2000)
|"… commit to develop and implement a policy framework
which will enable the people of urban, provincial and rural
communities in every economy to have individual or community-based
access to information and services offered via the internet
by 2010. As a first step toward this goal we aim to triple the
number of people within the region with individual and community-based
access by 2005."
e-ASEAN Framework Agreement (The Fourth ASEAN Informal Summit in
|"Members states shall enhance the design and standards
of their national information infrastructure with a view to
facilitating interconnectivity and ensuring technical inter-operability
between each other's information infrastructure. Member states
shall work towards establishing high-speed direct connection
between their national information infrastructures with a view
to evolving this into an ASEAN Information Infrastructure backbone.
Complementing the ASEAN Information Infrastructure, Member States
shall work towards developing ASEAN content, relating but not
limited to, cooperation in digital libraries and tourism portals.
Member States shall work towards facilitating the setting up
of national and regional Internet exchanges and Internet gateways,
including regional caching and mirroring."
* Targets concerning Internet access are not
|Each Asian country/economy is implementing
various measures to promote use of the Internet, including development
of an ICT national strategy. On the other hand, there are countries/economies
without sufficient legal frameworks for to promote competition. There
are few countries/economies at present that set forth targets, to
promote the deployment of broadband platforms.
|(2) International network infrastructures
||At present, the transmission capacity of circuits between
each country/economy in the Asian region is small in comparison
with those in the North American and European regions. Considering
the future potential of Asia and the inter-related geographical,
social, economic and cultural aspects, etc., it is, however,
forecast that the transmission capacity within the Asian region
will grow dramatically in the future.
Lack of transmission capacity has not been reported up to now.
However, along with the growth in penetration rates of broadband
platforms and the Internet, the shortage of transmission capacity
will occur with higher probability.
||When looking at the data of line capacities between "Asia
and North America" and "Asia and Europe", this
is small in comparison with the trade amounts between those
regions (in this case, the closer ties between North America
and Europe of history, culture and economies need to be taken
|| The current information distribution within the Asian region
is dependent on situation in the U.S., such as network congestion,
because Internet backbones are mainly routed via the U.S. Communications
within the Asian region tends to be delayed by traffic congestions
in the U.S. and round trips to the U.S. This results in a difficult
situation in ensuring the quality of communications.
||It is considered that the setting up of ARIX, national and
regional Internet exchanges in ASEAN countries on e-ASEAN Framework
|(3) R&D networks in Asia (testbeds)
||In Asia although there are many networks
for use of R&D and verification experiments, the transmission
capacities are comparatively smaller than those in the U.S. and Europe.
Accordingly, at present the capacities in Asia are used to the fullest.
In the future broadband age, the current testbeds will be insufficient
to verify new technologies.
Asian networks for R&D purposes are not integrated network
systems but in reality a kind of organic system linking individual
networks in each country.
|2. Use of broadband infrastructures
|Some pointed out problems that, nonetheless because
broadband infrastructures are already available, use of those infrastructures
is not in progress, or the lack of demand causes reluctant attitudes
to construct those infrastructures, resulting in a situation in which
people cannot fully enjoy their benefits.
|(1) Building of technologies and legal schemes comprising
||In order to deploy broadband infrastructures, it is essential to
build common technologies and legal schemes comprising the basis for
intellectual property rights, etc. With regard to the current status
in Asia, for example, the following problems need to be solved in
||Basic technology and regulations
Legal schemes per se for intellectual property rights have been
prepared. However, software is still pirated because relevant
laws and regulations are not fully enforced.
Almost all personal certifications are conducted based on ID
number and password systems. With these systems forged names
or other falsifications cannot be prevented.
With respect to the distribution of ICT equipments in the Asian
region, compulsory standards for such equipments should be introduced
to ensure interconnectivity in some cases, but not in others.
Thus, there are limitations such as not being able to assess
the overall situation of the region.
|| Character codes
Some Asian languages do not have standardized character codes
yet, and all the standardization of the character codes do not
fully reflect the requests of people and society using their
||It is concerned that with the diffusion of broadband constant access
services, IP addresses will run out, especially, in Asia. As IPv6
has various advantages, many countries/economies come to recognize
the necessity of introducing IPv6.
IPv6-ready verification experiments and commercial services have
just begun (IPv6-ready services are, however, very limited and their
users are very few). In the years ahead, through solutions of necessary
hurdles for smooth transition of overall Internet infrastructures
from IPv4 to IPv6, it is vital to further promote the transition.
||There are many and various applications for using broadband infrastructures,
for example, e-governments, e-commerce, distance learning, telemedicine,
business (telework, etc.), distribution of digital content, on-line
games, and so forth.
Each country/economy is striving to establish e-governments.
The implementation status varies country by country. Experts
in this field are very few.
e-transactions have been expanding, and the pace of expansion
will be accelerated in the future. At present, the ratio of
B2B to B2C is overwhelmingly large.
In order to promote use of e-commerce, it is indispensable to
further prepare platforms for personal certification, etc.
|| Distance learning
Educational services via networks are on the rise, and various
projects as part of international cooperation are being implemented.
Japan is implementing distance-learning projects including the
POST-PARTNERS Project, the Pilot Project for global distance
training, JICA's J-NET Project for distance technical cooperation,
etc. in the Asia-Pacific region.
At present, however, lacking sufficient communications infrastructures
supporting interactive education and large-volume data transmission,
anticipations are placed on further deployment of broadband
platforms. It is vital to ensure human resources such as technical
The health and medical care field is of higher priority as the
BHN. Telemedicine can be divided into two categories: the telemedicine
in the narrow sense of the word which covers actual medical
practice, and the one in the broader sense which includes the
provision of health and medical information, either of which
people expect much from.
With respect to the telemedicine in the narrow sense, the current
stage is that diversified pilot projects are being implemented
in developing countries/economies. Japan has been actively implementing
the satellite network operation experiment project, the POST-PARTNERS
Project, etc. in the Asia-Pacific region.
At this point, communications infrastructures supporting advanced
telemedicine are in preparation. Local medical staff and technical
staff supporting telemedicine are insufficient in both quality
Expectation for the telemedicine in the broader sense is also
|| Business(telework, etc.)
The globalization of economies and the diversification of individual
working patterns are becoming increasingly distinct, so that
the benefit of utilizing a broadband environment to establish
the system for international division of labor and to select
a working pattern suitable for one's lifestyle, etc. is great.
Teleworking is employed in some advanced areas, however, preparatory
stages in other areas.
||Distribution of digital content, and on-line games
The distribution of digital content and on-line games receive
popularity. Such phenomenon is expected to expand through the
creation of platforms for accounting, etc. and the preparation
of a broadband environment.
|(4) Digital Content
||In order to promote diffusion of broadband systems, in addition
to building of infrastructures and platforms, the key factor is attractive
There are the following obstacles preventing digital content from
distributing on the Internet:
||Rulemaking on content distribution
Challenges are building of intellectual property rights protection
and smooth digital rights management (DRM) schemes, development
of certification/billing/settlement methods, standardization
of communications methods, etc.
||Restrictions on content distribution in a multilingual environment
In Asia, content distribution among cultures with different
languages is hindered by the existence of many languages in
Asia. Machine translations are limited to some languages.
In the world of the Internet, the English language is prevailing.
Although there are websites written in their own languages and
English, in general, information posted on English-language
websites is insufficient.
* Reflecting the growing weight of video in content as a whole
through deployment of broadband infrastructures, differences
in languages limiting information distribution among Asian countries/economies
are becoming smaller than before.
|In order to promote digital content distribution, the
above-mentioned obstacles shall be removed. In parallel, from the
viewpoint of strengthening exchanges among Asian countries/economies
and information transmission capabilities from Asia to the world,
it is vital to promote creation/distribution of digital content through
i) preparation of an environment for continuously creating attractive
digital content and original local content, and ii) preparation of
digital archives for sharing digital content over the web.
Statistics on actual content distribution in Asia are not prepared
at a sufficient level. Well-prepared statistics will contribute
to the development of intra-region infrastructures.
|3. Human resource development and human exchanges
||Developing countries/economies lack human resources in the ICT field as
a result of insufficient infrastructures and exodus of ICT technicians/engineers
to developed countries. This hinders diffusion, etc. of ICT, resulting in
obstacles for socioeconomic development.
To date, the problem of human resources has been recognized as a huge
challenge. There remain the following problems:
|(1) Programs of Japan
||In case of Japan, under JICA's technical cooperation scheme, ICT
experts in developing economies are being nutured. The number of accepted
ICT-related trainees from the Asia-Pacific region is 300 to 400 on
an annual basis. However, it cannot be said that this scheme meets
the rapidly growing ICT needs in the region.
|(2) Programs of international organizations
||The Asia Pacific Network Information Center (APNIC), that conducts
activities for stable operation of the Internet in the Asia-Pacific
region, is implementing a human resource development project on a
||There are cases where efficient implementation of training is impeded
because of the differences in the trainees levels.
||In human resource development in the ICT field, course materials,
etc. are written mainly in English. Local-language materials are insufficient
which has a detrimental effect on the accumulation of ICT knowledge.
|(5) Human exchanges
||Procedures to obtain visas for ICT technicians are inefficient.
|(6) Distance learning
||Distance-learning is the one of the most efficient way to learn
ICT. On the other hand, some people in Asia cannot use not only telephone
but also Internet.
|4. Japan's official development assistance (ODA) , etc.
||The ODA budget for the ICT field was about 300 million dollars, 2% or
more of the total ODA budget (FY2001). Of the ICT-related ODA budget, about
90% is for financial cooperation (grant aid, Yen loans), and the rest 10%
for technical cooperation (dispatch of experts, training, etc.).
In recent years, the ICT-related ODA budget is in a downward spiral.
One of reasons for the decline is the decreased number of ODA targets
resulting from privatization of state-run operating bodies in each country/economy.
At the Kyushu-Okinawa Summit meeting held in July 2000, the then Prime Minister,
MORI Yoshiro stated that Japan would take comprehensive cooperation measures
to narrow the global digital divide such as preparing a national budget
of about 15 billion dollars in total including the non-ODA and ODA fund
for five years from 2000.
|5. Efforts at international organizations, international
||At multilateral frameworks in the Asia-Pacific region, including APT and
APEC, various human resource development projects and international joint
experiment projects are being implemented.
|Chapter III. Measures to be taken
|1. Desirable promotion of broadband introduction/diffusion
||The promotion of introduction/diffusion of broadband in Asia must be based
on the following points:
||For diffusion of broadband, an idea that the preparation of infrastructure
is just enough must be set aside. It must be accompanied by lower
and affordable rates encouraging further use, applications and content
attractive enough to make users feel firsthand the need for broadband
(as understood from the fast diffusion of broadband in the Republic
of Korea, infrastructures and applications are two wheels of the cart).
It is important to push forward with infrastructure development and
promotion of use at the same time and generate their synergy.
||Carrying out 1) above by the private-sector initiative is a fundamental
approach to be taken. Each government, however, is expected to: (a)
formulate national strategies, develop the legal system, and build
key infrastructures for technological development, etc.; (b) provide
public services (administrative services, education, medical care,
etc.); (c) provide public information, including that of weather,
disaster prevention and environment; and (d) devise measures to bridge
the digital divide in developing countries/economies, etc. In addition,
NPOs and research institutes are also expected to play their respective
It is important that all these governments, private companies, research
institutes and NPOs work on these problems in close liaison with one
another, instead of acting in isolation. It is also important that
each takes a responsible approach (ownership) in solving its problem
without expecting assistance from other entities.
|| In the light of a progress in globalization and a move toward conclusion
of free trade agreements (FTAs) and economic partnership agreements
(EPAs) in Asia, it is important that the Asian countries/economies
make a joint international effort, in addition to their isolated efforts.
Also, it is vital that the broadband is promoted so that it can be
used effectively for solving problems in Asian countries/economies
and the Asian region as a whole. In particular, considerations must
be given to the development and exchange of human resources.
||A great diversity across Asia in the status of diffusion of broadband
and economic climates must be sufficiently taken into account. Thus,
various efforts for diffusion of broadband must not be made as a blanket
procedure, but an appropriate method matching up with the situation
of the country/economy should be devised, which includes going ahead
with it within East Asian and ASEAN countries in the case of Japan,
Korea, China, etc. that have already a relatively good environment
and making efforts to bridge the digital divide by paying special
attention to countries/economies without matured infrastructure and
Also, it is necessary to give full consideration to the diversity
of Asian cultures, etc.
For the above, it is essential that stakeholders and organizations in Asia
collaborate with one another on diverse actions, including review of joint
projects and systems, by sharing recognitions and setting up common targets
|2. Specific measures to be taken
|(1) Formulation of strategies for diffusion
||It is necessary to lay down a national strategy whereby
interested parties take a responsible approach. Many countries/economies
have a national strategy for ICT, but in the future they will be under
pressure to devise a national strategy that takes broadband fully
into account. It is important to promote international cooperation
and assistance by holding policy dialogues and dispatching experts.
Also, considering that broadband has been diffused in some of the
countries/economies in Asia, it is necessary to make an international
research into factors behind the diffusion of broadband there, share
knowledge of and use results of the research for diffusion in other
countries/economies in the future and build databases of best practices
(examples of success), etc. for each of the problems so that they
can use the databases for mutual benefit.
|(2) Building broadband infrastructure
||Building domestic infrastructure
||Development of targets
In order to raise the incentive for promoting diffusion
of broadband through cooperation of the industry, government
and NPOs, it is deemed important to lay down specific
targets with regard to the improvement of infrastructure.
These targets possibly include specific numerical targets,
such as those focused on promotion of upgrading and diffusion
of broadband Internet access (number of broadband users,
etc.), which is available at a low/affordable price through
enhancement of ICT national strategies in the light of
conventional measures for building and diffusing the Internet.
In this case, it is also necessary to consider the targets
as laid down in the existing Asian regional organizations,
such as APT.
To allow contribution to the countries/economies without
national strategies on broadband, it is considered important
that the countries/economies with a head start in diffusion
of broadband should foster cooperation toward establishment
of concrete/feasible targets and national strategies,
by providing information concerning theipolicies and actual
results, dispatching experts who instruct these countries/economies
in setting up targets, having policy dialogues, etc.
||Promotion of preparation of infrastructure
Promotion of infrastructure improvement in Asian countries/economies
is in principle carried out by the private sector. The
fundamental role of central governments is to promote
competition among private businesses, ensure simplified
and transparent procedures to grant a license, and improve
business environments including improvement of the legal
system in related areas.
To be conducive to these environment preparation efforts,
it is vital to facilitate collaboration among the governments
and strengthen linkage with private businesses, by holding
policy dialogues and fora among the countries/economies,
exchanging views, sharing knowledge and experience through
the multilateral conferences, dispatching experts, and
offering policy assistance using websites like the Japanese
government's "DO Site." (http://www.dosite.jp/)
||Measures in regions where infrastructure is yet to be
For developing countries/economies and rural areas, there
is a limit in many cases in building the infrastructure
by private businesses. Thus, assistance from the government
is required. For example, infrastructure preparation by
ODA, etc. is one of the important alternatives. Specifically
speaking, installation of fiber-optic networks for trunk
lines and construction of access networks in rural areas
have to be contemplated with an eye toward a future move
to broadband and by taking into account their economic
development effect upon developing countries/economies.
In addition, appropriate measures, including formulation
of infrastructure building plans through collaboration
with the government and private businesses and implementation
of research on development approaches under assistance
and cooperation from international organizations and NPOs,
are also vital. Concrete examples of infrastructure preparation
include establishment of an Internet Center in a public
facility like post offices, and installation of low-cost
IP-based wireless access system.
||International infrastructure preparation in the Asian region
Assuming that broadband prevails in the Asian region with a
huge population and the amount of international information
distribution increases down the road, it is readily understood
that the current infrastructure is totally deficient in the
transmission capacity. Thus, a low-cost, high-quality international
infrastructure allowing smooth distribution of attractive broadband
content is required to be prepared across the national borders
For this reason, it is necessary to promote international cooperation
for international infrastructure development in close liaison
with private businesses and Internet-related organizations in
those countries/economies. The efforts include clarification
of traffic structure through streamlining of various kinds of
statistics (amount of traffic, amount of information distribution,
etc.), and promotion of mutual cooperation among ISPs to maintain
a stable and reliable broadband environment by ensuring connectivity,
such as through facilitation of interconnection by promotion
of peering and enhancement of backbone networks.
In addition, it is essential to improve efficiency and economy
of Internet traffic within the region by making transition to
a network structure allowing direct information distribution
within the region, while building international IXs within Asia
to transform Asia into the world's information and communications
hub. It is necessary to make R&D and verification experiments
required for that purpose and to encourage joint research, etc.
for promotion of information distribution among the countries/economies
within the region.
||Development of a new infrastructure specially designed for
use in Asia
Considering the importance of a role to be played by satellite
communications in Asia with so many mountainous areas and remote
islands, work toward development of satellite key technologies
utilizing multicasting and technological development and commercialization
of new broadband infrastructures, including the ultrahigh-speed
Internet satellite (WINDS: Wideband InterNetworking engineering
test and Demonstration Satellite) and Quasi-Zenith Satellite
System, etc. will become necessary.
Also, the Focus Group 712, which was inaugurated
in the ITU Telecommunications Development Sector, is engaged
in research and development of new telecommunications technologies
for rural areas. The group introduces technologies for establishing
access to the Internet from rural areas. Namely, it introduces
wireless routers, IP telephony and satellite-based Internet
access. It is important to pass the results obtained here in
this group on to rural areas.
|| Preparation of technologies/legal systems as the key infrastructure
for broadband in Asia
||Improvement of the common legal or technological infrastructure
(platform) for promoting use of broadband
For protecting intellectual property rights in the Asian region,
it is necessary to consolidate and implement rules on the intellectual
property rights in accordance with international treaties/conventions.
In concrete terms, we must encourage Asian countries/economies
to join and implement WIPO-related treaties, keep monitoring
of legal systems of WTO member states and their operation, and
call upon non-WTO member states to give stronger protection
of intellectual property rights through bilateral negotiations.
In addition, it is important to work toward establishment and
standardization of a system of ensuring security/reliability
and also authentication and billing systems, etc. For example,
a verification experiment needs to be made for introducing authentication
techniques that are being accumulated in the process of realizing
e-Government, etc. into network layers.
In order to contribute toward smooth distribution of ICT equipment,
an investigation into and exchange of information on the status
of Asian countries/economies relative to the presence of request
for interconnectivity in compulsory standards must be promoted
even further through APEC, APT, etc.
Although real-time video communications systems for use in production
of broadband video have not been sufficiently developed, it
is important to push forward with R&D of technologies that
promise to be needed in the future, while promoting the standardization
within the Asian region and discussions for proposal to make
it as an international standard, by using the APT Standardization
Program (ASTAP) as a setting for promoting them.
|| Promotion of IPv6
To promote diffusion of IPv6 in Asian countries/economies, it
is important that the government, industry and NPOs cooperate
for active promotion.
The administration of each country/economy must establish targets
and implement concrete measures for diffusion of IPv6. International
verification experiments and technological development with
respect to IPv6-ready equipment, applications and content will
have to be made also by using international testbeds.
Private companies of each country/economy are expected to use
these testbeds effectively to promote standardization of IPV6-ready
equipment, such as information home appliances, and development
of applications and content, thereby stimulating demand for
IPv6 in Asia.
In addition, by promoting international fora and other activities
for IPv6 diffusion in various countries/economies of Asia, we
can expect enhanced understanding of and enlightenment effect
vis-a-vis the need for IPv6.
Each sector of the government, industry and NPO must be in close
liaison with one another in order to organically combine their
activities and consolidate their relationship for positive promotion
of IPv6 in Asia.
||Improvement of character codes
In improving character codes, it is important to reflect the
request from the people and society who actually use the language.
A special consideration is required for minority languages in
An effort is necessary in integrating as many languages as possible
into the Unicode, which takes an important position in character
codes. However, it lacks the participation of interested parties
from Asian countries/economies who use the language in the development
at the Unicode Consortium of character codes for the respective
languages. Participation of the interested parties in the consortium
must be considered.
|(4) Promotion of use of broadband
||Diffusion and development of broadband is not merely
a problem of infrastructure, as understood when looking at the situation
in Japan where lines installed are not utilized sufficiently despite
a progress in infrastructure development. Besides development of the
common grounds with respect to the legal system and technical development,
it is important to promote concurrently the use of them, including
development of applications and content drawing fully on their characteristics,
thereby arousing users' demand for them.
|| Setting up the target for promoting the use of broadband
To promote the use of broadband, it is considered useful for
each country to set up a clear target. Also, in the multilateral
relations in Asia, it may be a possible approach to create a
benchmark for the status of introduction and diffusion of applications
within the Asian region.
A factor cited as impeding diffusion is the fact that the advantage
of using ICT has not necessarily penetrated in the public of
individual countries/economies. Against this backdrop, we must
promote a public relations effort in letting the general public
know the benefit of ICT, including that of broadband. For instance,
establishing an Internet Center in a public facility and holding
events leading to diffusion of IPv6, etc. are considered to
be most effective for making a deeper penetration of ICT among
|| Promotion of various uses of broadband
A possible necessary measure for developing attractive broadband
applications for Asia is to build a testbed for broadband-related
technological development and verification experiments and makes
it available for use in a broad spectrum of international joint
research by Asian research institutes.
In this case, to expand the use of broadband, it is necessary
to pay also particular attention to how lines with the United
States and Europe can be secured. The way of securing lines
of sufficient capacity must be well deliberated, such as through
effective use of existing lines.
In addition, in order to meet the ever-increasing business activities
and human exchange beyond national borders in Asia, it is necessary
to build a mechanism for international collaboration linking
together the countries/economies of Asia, including the actual
use of them.
For individual applications, the following promotion is possible,
by considering the effect of using the broadband.
|| In the light of the importance of developing human
resources in Asia, the meaning of broadband that can present
true-to-life video for education and training is significant.
In the future, it must be promoted even further for "e-learning"
through international joint projects.
Also, in the broadband environment, an educational method
that is different from the conventional face-to-face education
becomes necessary. Not just in hardware terms, but also
a comprehensive effort including review of educational
content, method and materials as suitably matching up
with broadband will have to be made.
||The concept of "electronic government" is
conducive to improving the transparency of administration.
The government and municipalities would have to give it
a positive promotion as it promotes the use of broadband
by them. Also, the way of reinforcing a system whereby
the countries/economies can collaborate must also be considered
by using the international framework like APEC.
|| For international electronic transactions in Asia,
cooperation among interested parties in individual countries/economies
of Asia is necessary for promoting development of classification
codes that serve as the common ground.
|| It is also important to broaden the effort for promoting
the international exchange of Asian people by making the
most of broadband, which allows transmission of true-to-life
video. For example, Japan and Korea are implementing a
project named "Building a System Utilizing IT toward
Realization of Comprehensive Japan-Korea Exchanges (?),"
as part of the "e! Project." Expanding such
a positive approach to other Asian countries/economies
has a great meaning also from the standpoint of promoting
||Promotion of use of broadband in offering public information
such as weather, disaster and astronomical data, must
be considered. Also, making effort for broadband-based
exchange of a huge amount of information for research
that can contribute to the solution of diverse Asian and
global scale problems, such as environment and agriculture,
is also very important.
For instance, by building a broadband-based information-exchange
network in the disaster prevention field, sharing of knowledge
and experience is made possible. Also, in agricultural
field, an improvement in productivity can be expected
from broadband-based control of production of agricultural
produce and stock farm products and technological development.
||For broadband-based projects that can contribute to
the development of developing countries/economies and
rural areas, it is necessary to work more actively toward
promotion of ODA projects. They include telemedicine directly
connected with BHN and remote education conducive to the
development of human resources. To this end, a study must
be made of a mechanism of giving a concrete form to the
needs from developing countries/economies through efficient
and effective use of broadband technologies.
||From the standpoint of facilitating access to the Internet,
Japan, China and Korea are playing a leading role for
introducing Internationalized Domain Names (IDN). This
will promote the use of the Internet within the Asian
region, including the Kanji culture sphere.
||Promotion of digital content
||Construction of digital archives (electronic art galleries,
By digitalizing the valuable analog films of a wide variety
of Asian traditional cultures and historical legacies
or historical videos and saving them, it becomes possible
to share them with the people of Asia and of the whole
world. This is very beneficial not only for cultural preservation,
but also from the standpoints of cultural exchange within
Asia, information dispatch from Asia to the world and
education as well.13
For this reason, construction of digital archives, such
as a virtual museum where pictures of cultural heritages
from various countries/economies of Asia are held in electronic
forms and film archive systems, must be promoted.
In the meantime, development of human resources for creating
attractive content unique to the individual countries/economies,
including comics, animations and online computer games,
is also important.
||Development of a broader range of multi-language translation
In order to meet the various challenges in multi-language
environment in Asia, development work to realize more
solid functionalities in machine translation and searching
should be promoted.
However, since it is difficult to readily adapt to all
those numerous languages in Asia, it must be pursued in
As the first step, the technique and approach to be used
for machine translation and search functions between the
major languages (Japan, Chinese, Korean, English, etc.)
must be established as soon as possible. For typical languages,
R&D and commercialization have already started. However,
in order to accelerate establishment of advanced techniques
and approaches, promotion of financial assistance and
cooperation among research institutes in various countries/economies
will become necessary.
As the second step, the techniques and approaches to be
used for machine translation and search functions between
those typical languages and other languages have to be
established. This would need a mid- to long-term effort,
while deepening understanding and research of other languages.
In order to increase transmission of information from
Asia to the world by using the multi-language translation
functions, it is important to go forward with operation
and management of a portal site capable of accelerating
broadband-based intra-regional cultural exchange and information
transmission, as has been agreed in the First Japan-China-Korea
ICT Ministerial Meeting.
||Development of statistics
Development of statistics regarding international distribution
of digital content in Asia is considered to be another
challenge to be addressed down the road, including a possibility
to grasp the actual state of affairs and the mode of investigation.
|| Development of human resources shouldering broadband
in ICT fields
||Considering the present situation in Asia in which development
of human resources in ICT fields is far from enough, Japan has
to set up a specific target and put greater emphasis upon development
of human resources through transfer of technologies through
dispatch of Japanese experts. In particular, acceptance of a
training mission and increasing the number of experts to dispatch
for diffusion of broadband will be required.
For measures directed toward development of human resources,
stepping up of and cooperation in the effort thereof at each
level of private companies, NPOs, etc. are necessary. For intensification
and cooperation, it is important to do so to the level of knowledge
on ICT. Above all, for diffusion of broadband, it must be recognized
that nurturing of ICT engineers and technologists with advanced
specialized knowledge is absolutely indispensable. In concrete
terms, the following measures need to be considered as the targets.
|| Deepening of recognition on the importance of development
of human resources in ICT fields
Up until now, Japan has developed human resources through
technological cooperation from JICA. However, in future,
Japan has to execute policies to ensure that the individual
countries/economies in Asia, rather than Japan, must deepen
their understanding of the importance of development of
human resources in ICT fields and focus on the development
of human resources in ICT fields.
||Strengthening of development of human resources through
To intensify an effort of developing human resources,
which is going on at international organizations, such
as the Asia Pacific Network Information Center (APNIC),
investigation is required on the needs for human resource
development that developing countries/economies may require
international organizations, so that they can intensify
their effort in that respect.
||Strengthening of training at the level of private companies
In-house training at Japanese private companies in the
ICT field is assumed to have a lot more substance than
in other Asian countries/economies. Effective reuse of
such experience must be contemplated, such as offering
the countries/economies with such knowhow as obtained
through in-house training as a business operation.
|| Establishment of an ICT expert bank
It is necessary to establish an international ICT expert
bank in NPOs, etc., consisting of strongly motivated ICT
experts in individual Asian countries/economies, build
a system whereby appropriate ICT experts can be dispatched
depending on the needs of developing countries/economies
and contemplate implementing finely-tuned human resource
||Establishment of ICT training centers
To help nurturing of ICT engineers and technologists,
each country or region should contemplate establishment
of an ICT Training Center for them. Japan should contemplate
a financial assistance for establishing the ICT Training
Center or dispatching ICT experts as instructors to that
center by using ODA.
||Promotion of remote education, such as e-learning
Based on a renewed recognition of the effect of remote
education, such as e-learning, which can cover a broader
range without limitation, Asian nations should contemplate
measures for promoting e-learning. For instance, development
of textbooks in their own languages and introduction of
a low-cost and efficient remote education system would
have to be promptly started. Also, the improvement of
infrastructure environment toward the realization of remote
education in those countries/economies must be implemented
as soon as possible.
||ICT experts bank
It should be considered to establish a system which would
meet such developing country needs as demand for technical
supports by ICT experts or other aids of this kind. In
this sense establishing an ICT experts database, or it
may be called "ICT Expert Bank" would contribute
to challenge such needs and efficient use of the experts
|| Stepping up personnel exchange
Relaxation of conditions for issuance of entry visas to
ICT researchers and simplification of such procedures
should be considered. Also, each country should contemplate
facilitating human travel so that exchange of top-notch
ICT researchers and engineers become active within the
||Promotion of development of developing countries/economies
||In private investment-initiated (incl. OOF, which is public
funds invested to commercial projects) offering of broadband,
projects may concentrate on urban areas where future development
and business income are expected and in countries/economies
that are experiencing economic growth. For this reason, the
digital divide may be further expanded between urban and rural
areas, and between economically growing countries/economies
and developing countries/economies.
In the Comprehensive Cooperation Package, ICT is perceived as
a field to grow by private initiative, and the public sector
is to give a complementary hand in private sector's positive
efforts by way of policies and human resource development. However,
considering the importance of bridging the digital divide, the
non-commercial ODA-based assistance to the rural areas and developing
countries/economies will have to be expanded further so that
development of infrastructure in those countries/economies can
The present form of ODA is based on requests from recipient
countries/economies. Although numerous requests are received
from developing countries/economies, there are so many among
them that have not matured enough, such as those of low development
sustainability and those of which effect upon economic development
is very low, which makes it difficult to select superior ones.
Thus, it will be necessary to contemplate replacing the current
request-based scheme to the positive project formation.
Furthermore, within the limited ODA budget, there is undeniably
a limit to implementing ICT-related projects. Thus, there should
also be discussions on positive contribution of international
organizations, such as effective use of ICT related funds contributed
to UNDP, ADB, etc.
In the light of all this, the roles played by ODA for promoting
the Asia Broadband Program include the following:
|| Implementation of ICT-based projects, such as
remote education and telemedicine, in addition to
the conventional style infrastructures, such as
Construction of infrastructures is important, without
need to mention. However, it is not enough to fuel
demand for ICT.
From the standpoint of diffusing ICT, if a Very
Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) is to be installed
in community centers in rural areas and is connected
to the universities in urban areas for giving remote
education, the effect of the diffusion of education
and the convenience of using ICT will be made clear.
Also, by connecting hospitals in rural and urban
areas via communications lines for telemedicine,
people in rural areas will be able to live a life
with peace of mind and learn firsthand what convenience
ICT brings with it.
In the ODA for the ICT field, based on the recognition
that the economic development effect can be heightened
by implementing ICT-based projects for basic human
needs, such as education and medical care, execution
of ICT-based projects must be promoted concurrently
with upgrading of infrastructures.
These are not directly related with diffusion of
broadband. However, they will enable broadly appealing
to the public in developing countries/economies
about the convenience of ICT. It will eventually
heighten their interest in Internet connection,
hopefully promoting diffusion of ICT and broadband
down the road.
||Implementation of proven high-grade projects in
Presently, in Malaysia, JICA-initiated Internet-related
development survey named the "Study on Enhancement
of Info-Communications Access in Rural Communities
in Malaysia" is being carried out. This is
expected to become an highly-rated project to which
Malaysian public reacts favorably.
These highly-rated projects that have already been
executed and found to have a high economic development
effect in one country must be implemented in other
countries/economies as well so that it can bring
further knock-on effect. For this purpose, instead
of just considering the execution of projects solely
based on request from developing countries/economies,
Japan has to introduce to a developing country high-grade
projects that have been tested and proven in other
countries/economies and devise a system whereby
the countries/economies can implement that particular
||Further implementation of ODA for multiple countries/economies
As mentioned above, conventional-style infrastructure
development cannot be denied completely, because
there are still many countries/economies where even
such infrastructures have not been provided yet.
For these countries/economies, considerations must
be made of not just a shortage of domestic telephone
lines, but also a balance with other countries/economies
by increasing international telephone lines. Increasing
the international telephone lines leads to effective
promotion of broadband between the individual Asian
regions. From the increase in lines, an increase
in opportunities of using the Internet and a reduction
of charges from an increase in demand can be expected.
The ODA intended for multiple countries/economies,
for example for a road or bridge project that links
two different countries/economies, is realized by
separately closing a contract with each of the countries/economies.
Such project is not totally without precedent. In
the meantime, these projects are exceptional among
all ODA projects that are in principle based on
bilateralism. And these ODAs for multiple countries/economies
do not tend to increase.
However, diffusion of broadband does not end within
the country. Lines must be internationally connected
for balanced development of Asia. Developing countries/economies
have even more need to have a rich base of international
Not merely bilateral ODAs but ODAs that can be extended
beyond conventional restrictions must also be considered
for balanced development of Asia.
||OOF (Other Official Flows (Non-ODA public funds))
Under the global-scale ICT depression, private investment
in ICT field is generally sluggish and it is stymieing
the private-sector-driven broadband development. In this
situation, OOF cannot exert its effect either.
OOF cannot hit full stride without effective measures
to find way out of this situation, and because of the
continued slowdown in private investment, there is also
a fear that diffusion and introduction of broadband does
not go anywhere.
In order to work up the heat of private investment, each
country must take various steps for arousing private investment
leading up to diffusion and introduction of broadband,
such as macroeconomic policies, preferential taxation
and investment incentives in ICT fields, improvement of
competitive environments, building of infrastructures
and education/training on ICT.
|| Cooperation with international organizations
Not just bilateral assistance by ODA, but assistance through
international organizations in the form of a special contribution
or contribution of funds are also being extended. Moreover,
responding to the Comprehensive Cooperation Package, Japan
is contributing funds to the ITU, APT, UNDP, ADB, etc.
As a contributor of these funds, Japan has to appeal to
the Asian countries/economies for positive use of these
funds, and study, jointly with international organizations,
the ways of ensuring even more effective use of funds.
For high-grade projects that have however been unqualified
for ODA due to budgetary restrictions, we must contemplate
convincing international organizations to utilize funds,
In addition, to allow interconnection between GDLN of
the World Bank and the J-NET of JICA, it is important
to pump up the effort for collaboration, given our effort
to be able to respond to international organizations'
|3. Framework of promotion
||Improvement of the framework of promotion of introduction
and diffusion of broadband in Asia
||In promoting the introduction and diffusion of broadband in Asia,
it is important to do so in a smooth and integrated manner. For this
purpose, we must contemplate establishing the international framework,
including placement of full-time staff for that purpose. In doing
so, it may be appropriate to consider, including utilization of existing
organizations, such as the Asian Info-Communications Council (AIC)
in which a broad range of related organizations in Asia participate
and dedicated staff are in place.
|(2) Utilization of existing international frameworks
||By making the most of available opportunities for discussion with
the individual Asian countries/economies, including the Japan-China-Korea
ICT Ministerial Meeting and Japan-ASEAN Bilateral Meeting on ICT Cooperation,
continued discussions on diffusion of broadband in Asia, including
the afore-mentioned measures, should be promoted at a governmental
Also, although remote education, development of human resources, etc.
have been tackled in the framework of APT and APEC (TEL), we have
yet to see an action for such broadband challenge. For some of the
matters mentioned above in this report, the use of APT, APEC (TEL)
Broadband Workshop and AIC should be considered as a method of solving
Among NPOs and private companies, various organizations like APNIC,
APNG and AIC are staging activities for diffusing ICT, including development
of human resources. These organizations should promote the activities
for diffusion of broadband, under an organic collaboration of the
industry, academia and government.
Sharing experience and findings through the United Nations ICT Task
Force, an international framework for promoting development using
ICT, and the Dot Force that was launched by the G8 initiative, should
also be considered.
|(3) Improvement of a framework for domestic promotion
||To positively promote the Asia Broadband Program, development of
a framework for domestic promotion is also important. It is expected
to serve as a control tower for comprehensive promotion within the
country, and should provide a comprehensive promotion based on a good
understanding of sharing and collaboration among the government, private
sector and NPOs, securing of funds, and international relations.
|Chapter IV. Points to be paid attention
|1. World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)
||A United Nations event the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS)
is scheduled to be held in two phases with the first phase to be held in
2003 and the second in 2005, with the purpose of formulating a declaration
of realization and action plans, toward the establishment of a common vision
concerning "information society" in the world, and promotion of
understanding. Infrastructure building, services and applications will be
placed on the agenda .
Presenting the necessity of diffusion of broadband in these WSIS sessions
is considered useful. In the situation in which even telephone lines are
not sufficiently installed in some countries/economies, the opinion that
discussing broadband is quite a bit of a jump, may not be groundless. However,
considering: a) that broadband has a significant effect on development of
developing countries/economies through telemedicine and remote education
it brings to them, b) it consequently causes renewal of facilities due to
technological innovation, and c) with its usefulness in preserving cultures
of respective countries/economies, the usefulness of broadband in these
developing countries/economies should also be great. Considering that developing
countries/economies have "latecomer's advantage", it is considered
appropriate for both developed and developing countries/economies to come
to grips with introduction and diffusion of broadband in a forward-looking
It is very useful to able to share this understanding in WSIS meetings.
Here, the Asia with a good broadband penetration can become a very good
model to the whole world. WSIS meetings would be a major opportunity to
present the "Asia Broadband Program" and contribute to the development
of the program.
Also, the WSIS Asian Regional Conference (January 2003) is to be held in
Tokyo. For the above reasons, proposing to the governments, private companies
and NPOs of Asian countries/economies on matters related with this report
to get their understanding is considered to be the first step of contribution
of Asia to the world, and also the first step of transmission of information
to the world.
|2. Japan's effort in Asia
||For Japan's effort to Asia up to the present, the following have been
Also, as indicated in Table 1, Chapter I, the model that Japan takes the
lead and other Asian countries/economies follow with Japanese cooperation,
does not necessarily hold in the field of broadband.
||Financial rather than personnel cooperation forms the nucleus of
its cooperation. For personnel cooperation, especially young personnel
and personnel from companies are not highly visible.
||The status of achievement of the Comprehensive Cooperation Package
(so-called the promise of "a total of 15 billion dollars over
five years") through use of public funds in the form of ODA and
non-ODA, which is mentioned in the "Japan's Comprehensive Cooperation
Package to Address the International Digital Divide" that was
published from the Japanese government at the time of the G8 Kyushu-Okinawa
Summit, in July 2000.
|| There is a concern over a comedown in Japanese presence in Asia.
What is fundamentally required for broadband development in all of Asia
and uplifting of Asian presence in the world includes a positive effort,
including cooperation based on "equal partnership" among the countries/economies
in Asia. The Japanese government, companies and NPOs also need to have an
attitude and action of engaging themselves in promotion of broadband in
Asia, including cooperation based on "equal partnership". It is needless
to say that there is a need for strengthening cooperation and promoting
personnel exchange between the industry, government, academia and NPOs.
Japan is expected to make further effort not only for achieving the targets
in the promised Comprehensive Cooperation Package, but also for executin
actions that truly lead to the interests of Asia. The Japanese industry
is also expected to positively meet various challenges with medium- and
long-term prospect, for the benefit of Asia and by extension of the whole
world, without being bound by the short-term profit-seeking. It should be
born in mind that these can eventually mean a sustained source of profit
to the industry as well.
||Relationship to island nations in the Pacific Ocean and turning
Okinawa into an international hub of information and telecommunications
||We have discussed diffusion of broadband in Asia. This discussion must
also be made in the future with regard to expansion of application to the
island nations in the Pacific Ocean where a positive ICT effort is being
made. Implementation of various measures to be promoted in the Asia Broadband
Program are started with the ones applicable to island nations in the Pacific
Ocean, with an eye toward cooperation with broadband-advanced countries/economies
Okinawa has deep geographical, social and cultural connections with Asia.
Toward the goal of turning it into an international hub of information and
telecommunications, numerous measures based on the "Okinawa International
Information Special District Project" (August 2000) as proposed by
the Okinawa Policy Council have been implemented. Promotion of the initiative
is also clearly stated in the "e-Japan Priority Policy Program - 2002."
It is important to study its relationship with the Asia Broadband Program
in which Okinawa intends to convert itself into the world's telecommunications
|Chapter V. Closing (summary)
||We have discussed current status, challenges and measures to be taken
in this report.
We strongly expect governments, private companies, NPOs in Asian countries/economies
to implement proposals in this report individually and/or cooperating each
Especially, we recommend Japanese government to take into consideration
of proposals in this report for making up "Asia Broadband Program"
and implement them constructively.
| ITU-D Focus Group 7 ()
At the World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC) at Valletta,
Malta in 1998, the "technological developments that have the
potential to support interactive multimedia services in rural and
remote areas" was adopted as one of the Valletta Action Plan.
In 1999, the Focus Group 7 (FG7) was established as a focus group
that comes to grips with development of new technologies for rural
areas in March 1999. It submitted a report in September 2000.
| (In the "e-Japan Priority Policy Program - 2002,"
there is a description to the effect that digital archiving is promoted.
"e-Japan Priority Policy Program - 2002" by the IT Strategy
Headquarter, June 2002 [Partial excerpt]
(4) Concrete measures
2) Public fields
b) Computerization of arts and culture fields
|| By FY2005, necessary measures are taken to ensure that important
official documents relevant to the relations with Asian countries/economies
and cultural assets and works of arts as held by the government and
local governments are converted into electronic form so that the information
can be provided in and out of Japan through the Web sites of respect
agencies (Cabinet Office, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports,
Science and Technology and their related agencies).|