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Keizai Doyukai chairman calls for firms, govt, scholars to link up on data use

The Yomiuri Shimbun

Keizai Doyukai Chairman Kengo Sakurada speaks before the Yomiuri International Economic Society in Tokyo on Monday.

The Yomiuri Shimbun Kengo Sakurada, chairman of the Japan Association of Corporate Executives (Keizai Doyukai), called on industry, government and academia to more closely cooperate on better utilizing data in Japan, in his address before the Yomiuri International Economic Society (YIES) in Tokyo on Monday.

“Japan has advanced real-data capabilities obtained from workplaces. It’s necessary for industry, government and academia to join hands and consider what they can achieve together,” Sakurada, who is also president of Sompo Holdings Inc., said.

A movement dubbed the fourth industrial revolution, in which artificial intelligence and big data are utilized, has been gaining traction globally. Concerns are also emerging worldwide over a possible monopoly by IT megafirms Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon.com, which are collectively referred to as GAFA.

Sakurada said that data obtained domestically in fields such as medical services and nursing care services “have the possibility of becoming assets.”

“If we can effectively harness digital technology trends, the next opportunity will come to us,” he said. “If we can resolve two tasks — the declining birth rate and growing proportion of elderly people, while balancing fiscal health with maintaining social security, Japan can lead the rest of the world.”

To achieve these goals, he called for boosting national productivity through technological innovation and active participation in politics by young people.

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