one of the strategies of so called “e-Japan” (Ohyama, 2003). It had been decided that e-government shall be constructed within the fiscal year 2003. Preparation in terms of the legal system and technological developments made steady progress towards that goal. The construction of e-government should alleviate residents’ burdens in terms of bureaucracy, enhance service quality rationalization, lean and transparent administrative agencies, countermeasures for natural calamities, more participation in policy making and administration by residents, and so forth. Various tasks have been carried out at many places. For example, in Autumn of 2002 a “basic residential register network” was established. Its initiation enjoyed broadly smooth operation. Residents had received administrative services only within certain jurisdiction limits until then. Now they are free to enjoy access to any administrative services from anywhere in Japan thanks to this e-system. Some local authorities introduced electronic tenders to enhance transparency of administration. Some local authorities adopted an electronic voting system in part of their areas. This paper explains the details of how the construction of the e-government came about and what the status of its operation is. In constructing an e-government, basic researches in respect of relevant individual electronic chores are necessary. In reality, however, planning and drawing up an idea will often be brought about, depending on certain actual domestic social circumstances of the legal systems or certain consensus within and between relevant representative bodies of the government. Because of such circumstances, we have decided to list up general magazines easily available which report often on these themes and the most up-to-date URLs of relevant organizations of the Japanese government.
Information processing on the part of the public administration has progressed in line with each development of computers (Makiuchi, 2003). It followed the progress of information processing in the private sector. The first steps included, as early as 1970s, information processing for specified jobs such as accounting, salary payments. It also controlled systems of government offices on the basis of one PC per one person, as personal computers spread around 1990, and Internet technologies were introduced in the course of 1990s, and so forth. In particular, the Patent Office in Japan adopted an on-line system for patent application to speed up the processing of patent applications. And it did substantially increase.
Nevertheless, given the progress and more use of the information processing for administration, the mentality that it only simply meant computers would replace mechanical style jobs kept on living a long time. In addition, it exerted a negative influence in that the conventionally vertical administration confined the progress of the information processing for administration to specific ministries and offices. And it made services difficult to access from the standpoint of the people.
The Mori Cabinet came into power in 2000. He decided to shift the nation to the use of state-of-the-art information under his “e-Japan strategies”. He would emphasis the importance of information processing in Japanese society in order to get out of the economic slump. Objectives were placed in five fields: broadband infrastructure, education, public/administration services, e-commerce, and security. Among the items, administration services are selected so that e-government will be realized within the fiscal year 2003. Preparation in terms of legal systems and technological developments have made progress in that respect. Legal systems were reviewed. Now, there are the On-line Transmission Regulations, Revised Basic Residential Register Law, Public Individual Certification Law, and so forth. On the technological front, there were also some new introductions of electronic systems for administrative procedures, for example all-purpose reception system for applications, the introduction of a one-stop system for import/export harbor and taxation procedures as well as the electronic tender system. Electronic systems for revenue bookings allows payment per Internet and an on-line transfer system. The purposes of the introduction of information processing for administrative chore and business operations are: simplification of work for human resources, salaries and so forth, and connection of the National Networks with LGWAN (Local Government Wide Area Network) owned by communalities.
Key Terms in this Chapter
On-Line Communication Regulation Law: A law to enhance application in the administration, which is decided by laws exceeding 50,000, and cover all these laws for conducting application electronically. It is considered that this communication regulation law has completed the basic legal frameworks necessary for the e-government such as electronic signature law.
E-Japan Strategies: The national strategies decided in the first conference of the Strategic Headquarters for the Promotion of an Advanced Information and Telecommunications Network Society (the IT Strategic Headquarters) held on the January 22, 2001. It was laid on the IT basic strategies decided at the Joint Conference of the IT Strategic Conference and the Strategic Headquarters for Information Telecommunications (IT) Technologies (November 27, 2000).
E-Government: The government and local authorities which construct an electronic processing system for administrative procedures with full command of information telecommunication technologies. It provides various kinds of services for residents in line with these.