Japan will ask China and South Korea to join it in developing Internet technology to automatically translate Japanese, Chinese and Korean into one another.

Telecommunications ministry officials said such technology would help disseminate information on the countries via the Internet, which is currently dominated by information in English, the officials said Saturday. The countries all use kanji and have a common cultural background.

Telecommunications minister Toranosuke Katayama is to make the proposal Tuesday in Morocco when he meets with China’s information industry minister, Wu Jichuan, and South Korea’s information and communications minister, Lee Sang Chul.

Under the ministry plan, Tokyo, Beijing and Seoul would spend roughly three years developing the technology to build a joint Web site offering information about world-class cultural treasures and arts in the three countries. Works would include native-language texts of the Japanese classic, “Tale of Genji,” and China’s “Forbidden City.”

The meeting, proposed by Katayama in January, will be the first three-way information ministerial meeting.

Japan will also propose jointly conducting experiments on next-generation Net technologies and enhancing cooperation among the so-called ASEAN plus-3 nations in the field of information and communications.

ASEAN plus-3 is comprised of member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations plus Japan, China and South Korea.

China is expected to request cooperation for conducting transmission tests for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, the officials said.

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.