Japan drops in IT competitiveness

JIJI

Japan fell to 21st place in an annual ranking of global information technology competitiveness, down three places from last year, the World Economic Forum said.

The drop in the overall ranking reflects Japan’s administrative shortcomings, including red tape, according to the forum’s IT usage report released Wednesday.

The ranking, based on the assessment of the impact of IT on development and competitiveness, covered 144 economies. Analysis was made in areas such as infrastructure, legal systems and IT usage by individuals, businesses and government bodies.

Japan rated high for its innovative and sophisticated business sector, but the country needs a “more conductive institutional framework, including a renewed commitment by the government” to use IT for economic growth, the report says.

Among Asian economies, Singapore remained in second place in the overall ranking, while South Korea rose one notch to 11th place.

Scandinavian nations placed high on the list, with Finland topping the overall ranking for the first time. Sweden dropped to third from top in the previous year, and Norway moved up to fifth from seventh. China dropped to 58th from 51st due to delays in infrastructure development, high taxes and poor intellectual property protection. Some 80 percent of software in use in China is believed to be pirated, the report says.