Business

New communications minister Sanae Takaichi backs 5G networks for Japan's rural areas

JIJI

Internal Affairs and Communications Minister Sanae Takaichi has expressed her eagerness to promote active use of fifth-generation, or 5G, communications networks for rural areas.

“I want to fully utilize the 5G technology … in order for people to live safely and get high-quality welfare and education services, wherever they live,” Takaichi said in an interview with news organizations on Tuesday.

Takaichi noted that the advanced communications technology is proving useful in the prevention of agricultural damage caused by animals, as well as remote medicine and education.

She also expressed her readiness to strengthen cybersecurity measures while further promoting the installation of community radio receivers in homes to receive disaster information.

She referred to complaints of difficulties hearing such radio services through street speakers in the recent typhoon disaster in Chiba Prefecture.

On the mobile phone industry, Takaichi vowed to promote competition to lower mobile charges, urging Rakuten Mobile Inc. to start full-fledged services promptly. The Rakuten Inc. unit has delayed the full service launch from its initial plan of October.

Takaichi was reappointed to the post of internal affairs and communications minister in a Cabinet reshuffle on Sept. 11, some two years after she left the same post.

In the interview, Takaichi said she will lead the ministry to study a special local tax allocation system to support local government services that go to the homes of elderly and disabled people to collect garbage. She put forward this initiative, reflecting her own nursing care experience.

On a recent panel recommendation to reconsider the ministry’s decision to exclude the city of Izumisano, Osaka Prefecture, from the revamped hometown donation system, Takaichi said she will consider the government’s response in a comprehensive way.

On recently revealed inappropriate sales of Japan Post Insurance Co. products, Takaichi said the ministry will take rigid action in line with a report due to be submitted by its parent, Japan Post Holdings Co., later this month.

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