April 15, 2011
Nomura Research Institute, Ltd.
We offer our heartfelt condolences to everyone affected by the Tohoku Pacific Earthquake, and our prayers for the speediest possible recovery.
On March 15, 2011, Nomura Research Institute, Ltd. launched an earthquake recovery assistance project team under the direct authority of its president, Tadashi Shimamoto. As a recommendation toward the advancement of the Tohoku Region and industrial revival, the team put together "Seventh Recommendation: Concept for Post-Earthquake ICT Infrastructure Development and ICT Utilization." The report's main points are as follows.
In light of the experiences of the Tohoku-Pacific Ocean Earthquake, Japan must promote the development of disaster-resistant ICT (information and communication technology) infrastructure going forward. The basic approach to this, as cited in the "Path of Light" concept of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC), is "technical neutrality" and "promotion of competition in equipment," and the key to them is "multiplexing," "redundancy" and "multi-layering" of information and telecommunications systems.
NRI believes that disaster-resistant "multi-layered" ICT infrastructure can be constructed if operators of fixed-line telecommunications, cell phone, cable TV, WiMAX and services upgrade disaster-resistance of their equipment and systems through "multiplexing" and "redundancy" by a combination of various cable, wireless, satellite and other ICT and competition between those business operators and systems is enhanced.
Internet-based social media, such as social networking services (SNS) and Twitter, have played major parts in the collection and distribution of information following the latest earthquake. At the same time, new problems have come to the fore, including the securing of credibility of information, and asymmetry of information and associated emergence of people without adequate or prompt access to information. Organizations involved in disaster countermeasures are being called upon to convey accurate information in a prompt and appropriate manner while taking the characteristics of respective media and users.
As "regional information media" to convey detailed information on each region, cable TV community channels and community FM broadcasters also have important roles to play. Furthermore, it is hoped that diverse means of information distribution to cell phones carried by many people at all times will be developed, including "area one-segment broadcasting" and "area e-mail" that make use of the "white space" of radio waves.
Going forward, ICT industries should contribute to all areas of enhancing anti-disaster measures, promoting power saving and sustaining economic growth. Through the securing of the continued use (availability) of data and systems through "promotion of cloud computing" in the area of enhanced anti-disaster measures, fine-tuning of power supply and demand by "promotion of the Smart Grid" in power-saving efforts, and deep involvement in the building of "vital communities" and "smart cities" in disaster-afflicted areas, ICT industries are being called upon to transmit the accomplishments of these endeavors to the entire world in order to demonstrate Japan's technological competence, problem-solving capability and conceptual power.
However, it is important to note that ICT is only the "means" and the objective is not the introduction of ICT. It is imperative to find out, acting in concert with other entities involved, what ICT can do to contribute to dealing with people's needs and problems in local communities concerned and steadily carry through with it.
This recommendation addresses the basic direction of ICT infrastructure development and ICT utilization. NRI plans to explore this theme further going forward and publish the results of its research on an ongoing basis.
For further details on this recommendation, see the following website (Japanese only):
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