Accelerating regulatory reforms and reducing telecommunications costs are necessary to better utilize information technology, a gathering of business leaders told the government Monday.
At the ninth meeting of the Competitiveness Commission, composed of business leaders and some Cabinet ministers, the participants made various proposals concerning the IT revolution.
Jiro Ushio, chairman and CEO of Ushio Inc., said the government should hold a joint strategic meeting on IT with private-sector entities.
In setting up such a meeting, the government should urge its ministries and agencies to work for further deregulation and provide IT businesses with a free and decentralized social environment.
Masayoshi Son, president of Softbank Corp., asked the government to consider introducing tax-exemption measures for e-commerce.
Meanwhile, Economic Planning Agency chief Taichi Sakaiya said IT coordinators will be needed for citizens as well as businesses to ensure that everyone shares in the benefits of the IT revolution.
Speaking at the close of the meeting, Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori reiterated his pledge to convey a constructive message on the information technology revolution during July’s Group of Eight summit in Okinawa.
“The IT revolution will be an important theme of the Okinawa summit. As the chair of the summit, (we) would like to weigh the positive and negative aspects of the IT revolution and send the world a constructive message.”
In a briefing after the meeting, an official of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry elaborated on Mori’s comments, saying that while problems such as the “digital divide” will be addressed during the summit, IT will also be touted to boost the productivity of society as a whole.
The commission was established by the late Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi. Monday’s meeting was the first since Mori took office in April.