Health, Labor and Welfare Minister aims for awareness of the
challenged for their independence using IT technologies.
"Speaking of an IT based society where all people can
live with pride and confidence"
A joint session was held on Feb.17 in Hisai City, Mie Pref. attended
by Minister Chikara Sakaguchi of Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry,
Governor Masayasu Kitagawa of Mie Pref., Makoto Naruke, a special
advisor to Microsoft Co.,Ltd., and Nami Takenaka, Chairperson
of Prop Station.
The pre-forum session seeks for mutual coordination among government,
academic, industrial, and private sectors for promoting more
job and independence opportunities for the challenged.
"It's a great wave to shake the society" Minister
Sakaguchi sees a big drive
of Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry
of Mie Pref.
CJF is to discuss issues of policies on the Social
systems for the challenged(a term used to describe the people
with disabilities as they are given challenges by God) going
beyond the established ties between the government and private
sectors coordination as well as educational-industrial complex.
The meeting was chaired by Mr. Toru Tanii who established an
IT based firm named "Integral", and will be the chairman
for the 7th CJF 2001 in Mie coming November.
Mr. Tanii is a quadriplegia caused by a traffic accident.
The session started with a keynote address by Nami Takenaka,
Chair of Prop Station followed by a symposium surrounding Mr.
Sakaguchi. The panelists were Governor Kitagawa who invited the
forum to Mie Pref., Nami Takenaka, Chair of Prop Station, Mr.
Makoto Naruke, a special advisor to Microsoft Japan Corporation
and a powerful supporter to CJF. They discussed for hours to
expedite their strategic activities.
SAKAGUCHI: Among those activities initiated by
Ms. Nami Takenaka,I am deeply impressed on her proposal of "Making
Japan a country where the challenged can become tax payers." This
is a great idea. It gives the challenged brightness and hope,
and at the same time it gives the ordinary people a considerable
warning as many of them do not challenge themselves. Therefore,
this may be the starting point of a big wave of reform in our
KITAGAWA: The 20th century was the
world for ordinary people to compete to build their wealth. Now,
in the new century it
should be a mature society for the people to participate with
pride. We believe it is such an important task for the local
government. We are trying to make this forum a starting point
for our movement of
normalization" and "full participation to the society." With
great efforts and collaboration of the people participated today,
I would like to build a community
here in Mie Pref. for the challenged where they can become tax
payers, and where all the people may participate the society.
I have invited the forum in hopes that our activities will spread
out all over the country.
"To build a community with competitiveness
to the world" Gov.Kitagawa's strategy
a special advisor to Microsoft Co.,Ltd.
Chairperson of Prop Station.
NARUKE: I have been
supporting CJF since its 2nd time with a secret intention.
Firstly, the population of aged people has been increasing steadily.
Microsoft is liable to produce PC and IT related items easy to
operate by the people with advanced ages and the challenged. "Let's
take in those people as our important clients."
Secondly, we are in need of people who will work for us. Namine(nickname
for Nami Takenaka) says "Technology enables impossible things
and create business, and the challenged with full of impossible
have more business chances because of their disabilities." This
is true, and we may not survive if we did not work together with
them. I have been supporting them to work together not only because
of costwise but to satisfy firm's profit planning by this long
- Naruke made himself clear in the point of "IT and the
and asked Gov. Kitagawa's view on the environmental adjustment.
NARUKE: The challenged who try to
work at home are facing regional differentials such as higher
I understand you are trying to solve such problems here in Mie
KITAGAWA: One of the reasons of holding
the 7th CJF at Spanish Village is because of their barrier free
access. The main reason
is that 6 large scale optical fiber submarine cables are landing,
and they will enable us to dispatch huge volume of IT communications
with the highest and the fastest scale in Japan. We'd like to
demonstrate at CJF here at the Spanish Park, Mie-Pref that the
challenged may work at home, and secure independence .
NARUKE: Not all the challenged can
work at home and produce soft wares or home pages even if they
are trained by IT based systems.
Then, It will become necessary to induce foreign enterprises
for venture Education in the community.
KITAGAWA: Yes, it is. Foreign venture
investment is a useful way. Even if we can't induce firms, we
may induce works.
Even without works we may invite people to come to Mie Pref.
Wre have to try all of them. The overwhelmingly huge scale of
optical fiber cables may attract IT related business and a lot
of data centers will settle in Mie Pref., we anticipate.
The traditional structure of "plenty of water" and "inexpensive
land" are still important structures, and, in addition,
a large-scale information network shall be the most important
We have been dealing with the Education Committee the subjects
students should study at senior high school or vocational school
to be qualified for employment by newly opening IT firms. There
are firms willing to open their workshop if they can secure a
specific type of human resources here. They look for capable
Foreign affiliated firms claim that there is no English speaking
staff at hotel front desk in Mie Pref., or guest cannot use his
PC in guestroom. Such services should be improved and we have
to make our community highly competitive to invite new firms
to our community.
"Facing a dilemma of casting off the weak"
- Naruke asked Minister Sakaguchi about employment
policies in the age of IT.
Then, shifted to the field of welfare and health care systems. Following the
explanations by Mr. Sakaguchi the panel discussion was led to the common subjects.
SAKAGUCHI: The IT revolutions brought about a considerable
influences to health care systems. Above all, let me point out the great advances
researches resulted by the latest IT based analysis.
For example, you may understand know that your high blood pressure was transmitted
by specific gene, and you will be given the appropriate medical care.
This will further prolong our life span.
The average life span of around 80 will be prolonged to 85 or even 90, and
85% of them are independent. The world of long life span is almost here. Then,
daily necessities for those age groups of 70~80 (the youth group of 70's )
will become popular in the market rather than the baby items. It is true that
care for the aging society will be so expensive. On the other hand there will
be a big industrial activities produced by the aging society, and it will produce
more profit to invest the aging society than to the public works as well as
more job opportunity. I see prospective future in the aging society.
KITAGAWA: I have been studying with Namine about
expenses for the challenged, to grant full expenses from social welfare
fund, and to train him/her for securing
job and become independent. The result was always that the latter was inexpensive.
I believe that giving a training for job security and independence is much
more profitable for the challenged.
TAKENAKA: Providing a seriously disabled challenged
with social support for working and independence may invite more opportunity
for people surrounding
him/her as they may be hired the caring facilities. Our stance now is that
we are not providing relief to the challenged, but we need their power
for our project.
Seriously disabled persons like my daughter needs 100% care. We are at
the crossroads of the future of the challenged. Those challenged people
should be accepted as they are with full care, or should they be detached
from our society under discriminating category? How could we apply IT technologies
This year in our CJF in Mie, I would like to propose that we shall take
such issues into our consideration.
- We are proposing at our forum that the challenged
but willing to work, and those ordinary people with advanced
ages are able to receive IT based
trainings if they desire for their working and independent life to participate
society. The CJF is to discuss the subject with the government and the
may carry out hand in hand such a society as an appropriate and practical
society in the 21st century .
NEW MEDIA 5-2001