When Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori made a policy speech before the Diet on Sept. 21, it was obvious he was biting off more than he could chew in his priority area of information technology.

Mori admitted Thursday that he used a term that he did not understand: “IP version 6.”

In the policy speech sprinkled with his catchword “e-Japan,” Mori said the government should help resolve “global Internet issues in such areas as IP version 6.”

During Thursday’s session of the House of Representatives Budget Committee, Naoto Kan, secretary general of the largest opposition Democratic Party of Japan, asked Mori what it means.

The prime minister said, “To be honest, I come across a lot of technical terms that I don’t understand when I join discussions with the IT Strategy Council,” referring to his key advisory panel. It is widely known that he is not computer-savvy.

“I discussed (with aides) whether the term should be included in the policy speech, and I was told it is very difficult to translate it into Japanese,” he said.

Following the advice of experts, “We reached the conclusion that I should use the term as is and let the people think,” he said.

IP (Internet protocol) version 6 is the next-generation system that can considerably increase the number of addresses available to Internet users.

“I can’t answer technical questions more than that and it must be difficult for the questioner to ask as well,” Mori said, triggering laughter among the lawmakers present.

Kan did not ask further questions on the issue.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.