Business / Tech

U.K. report calls for learning from Japan on robots and automation

JIJI

A U.K. parliamentary committee has released a report that highlights industrial automation in Japan, calling on the government to promote automation in British industries.

Japan “has a long history of automation and is home to major robotics manufacturers,” the House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee wrote in the report published Wednesday, adding that the country is “the origin for half of robots sold globally.”

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s administration “has made a conscious choice to support automation as part of its ‘Abenomics’ reforms, recognizing the need for continued growth and development of automation to enable the country to ‘drastically improve productivity,’ ” the report states.

Referring to Japan’s 2015 New Robot Strategy, the report urged the U.K. government to develop its own automation and artificial intelligence strategy by the end of 2020.

The report cited an 2018 report by the International Federation of Robotics that ranked the U.K. in 22nd place in terms of robot density — or the number of industrial robots per 10,000 workers. Japan was in fourth place, behind South Korea, Singapore and Germany.

The U.K.’s problem “is too few, not too many, robots,” the report said.

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