Economic minister Heizo Takenaka said Friday he will visit Singapore and Malaysia next week and propose holding an international conference on information technology.

Takenaka, state minister in charge of economic and fiscal policy, said that during his four-day visit from Tuesday, he will call on ministers on IT affairs in the two countries to join him in sponsoring a proposed IT conference among Asian countries.

The so-called IT summit would be aimed at vitalizing economic activities in Asian countries by strengthening their cooperation on IT.

Asian nations that have made advances in information technology are likely to participate in the summit, but details have yet to be decided, government officials said.

The likely participants are members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations plus Japan, South Korea and China, the officials said.

However, a bumpy road is expected before holding the summit because Japan, lagging behind such countries as Singapore in IT, may find it difficult to show leadership, the officials said.

Takenaka told a news conference that he wants to make the proposed summit an occasion for sharing views on the importance of promoting competition policies on information technology and increasing “IT literacy.”

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