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Society 5.0: Japan to leverage CeBIT 2017 to push ahead with digitalization

2 March/ 2017

Reaching far beyond mere digitalization of the economy, the Japanese government’s “Society 5.0” program aims to secure broad acceptance for digitalization at all levels of society by focusing on the positive changes that increased digitization offers to all Japanese people. As this year’s CeBIT Partner Country, Japan will present its vision for the digital future at the biggest exhibition of its kind in CeBIT history.

Hannover. Germany is well on the way to Industry 4.0, but Japan, the Partner Country at CeBIT 2017, is taking it a step further. The government’s “Society 5.0” program, while supporting the economy, is focused on the Japanese people as a whole and envisages nothing less than a new, super-smart society, dubbed “Society 5.0.”

Japan will be using its Partner Country presence at CeBIT 2017 both to learn about the latest digitalization trends and opportunities and to present its own solutions and visions for the future. Spanning some 7,200 square meters (77,500 sq. ft.) of display space spread across halls 4 and 12, the Japanese pavilion will be the biggest national pavilion in CeBIT history. What’s more, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and German Chancellor Angela Merkel will be putting in a special appearance at the Welcome Night event in Hall 9 on 19 March, where they will officially open CeBIT in the presence of more than 2,000 VIP guests.

CeBIT Japan Summit: Japan’s vision for a super-smart society

The CeBIT Japan Summit will be held in Hall 8 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, 20 March, and will feature a high-power lineup of speakers from Japan and Germany. The event, themed “Society 5.0 – Another Perspective,” will profile a Japan on the way to becoming a super-smart society that harnesses the Internet of Things to optimal effect and embraces both the virtual and real worlds. Attendance at the Summit is free of charge for CeBIT visitors and exhibitors. All attendees must, however, register in advance:

Breaking down walls

The Japanese government’s “Society 5.0” program formulates solutions for the main challenges facing Japanese society, particularly the country’s aging population, pollution and natural disasters. According to a position paper by Japan’s most important business federation, Keidanren, overcoming these challenges will require the “breaking down of five walls” which currently stand in the way of “Society 5.0”: administrative barriers, legal barriers, knowledge barriers around digitalization, workforce barriers, and social acceptance.

The aim is to achieve a shared, national vision, thereby ensuring that the interplay between people and machines gains greater status, and that moral, ethical and economic aspects of digitalization are rooted in society as a whole.

Transformation of society

To achieve these ambitious goals, the federation has made a number of recommendations to Japan’s business community. These include support for mobile working, inclusion of management in training, and workforce diversification. The federation also recommends that the government provide subsidies for innovative companies and that existing laws be updated to reflect the changing needs of our increasingly digitalized world. 

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