In a country with one of the world’s biggest GDPs and some of the most expensive and advanced technology, having a cybersecurity chief who has never used a computer in professional life and without real IT understanding would seem an impossible joke. (“Minister in charge of cybersecurity tells Diet he doesn’t use computers,” Nov. 16.) Yet this is the reality in Japan.

It is not only an anachronism but also a symbol of the extremes of Japanese administrative ineptness reflected in many aspects of power, including education.

So how can a country ever be digitally literate under such circumstances?

This explains the widespread waste of dwindling resources by executives unable to make the right decisions dominating so many aspects of life, including teaching and learning. Administrative malpractice led to a nuclear disaster and that obsession still remains. Creating nuclear classrooms where students are pushed into cyberspace with decreasing human contact may only compound the long-standing foreign-language disaster of bureaucratic obsession. Instead of training teachers, hiring competent ones and allowing experts to make essential decisions would extend classes in the direction of success.

That is, if there are any students left. While aging has been an unexploded time bomb for at least four decades, Japan is teetering on the brink of self-implosion as the costs for social welfare can’t be met in the context of a corruptly inept government.

Data is just another windfall to falsify in the current ethos of corruption.

Competent women are also deliberately omitted from playing a part in any solution. The tip of this iceberg has been the manipulation of entrance exam results to prevent urgently required female doctors from the positions of responsibility that they deserve.

Any solution must be coeducational. Yet the corridors of power are strictly an all-male preserve for self-aggrandizement only.

People aren’t machines and communication can’t be completely computerized.


The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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