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Business leaders and Cabinet members Wednesday approved the framework of a government-proposed bill to set guidelines for Japan’s strategy to facilitate social and economic changes in line with an IT revolution.

The gist of the bill was submitted to a meeting of the 20-member private sector and academics panel on IT strategy and a governmental task force. The bill will be submitted to the Diet during the extra session that opens today.

The bill calls for creating an “electronic government,” building broadband network infrastructure, promoting electronic commerce, ensuring secure networks and protecting private information.

“The bill is epoch-making legislation. As a whole, the participants gave a positive evaluation to the concept of the bill and the policy to promote IT as a national strategy,” said Nobuyuki Idei, chairman and CEO of Sony Corp. and head of the panel.

During the meeting, progress was reported in the quest to achieve the electronic government, in which the central and local governments would carry out as many as administrative services as possible online.

At the end of the meeting, Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori said the government will seek Diet enactment of an IT basic law while aiming to achieve the world’s most efficient electronic government.

Under the bill, the panel and government task force will be merged into one organ to be set under the Cabinet as of Jan. 6 and the law would be reviewed in three years.

Among the opinions on the IT basic law by participants are that the private sector should take the initiative to create an IT-oriented society and that the new organ created in January should have strong authority to carry out the IT revolution.

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