Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is determined to remake Japan for the new modern era. After leading a late 20th century technology revolution in automotive and consumer electronics, the Japanese economy hit roadblocks and giants like Sony suffered the rise of Apple as the premier brand in personal digital delivery. Abe recognizes the present opportunity to vie again for a top spot in tech. He’s betting his legacy on Japan’s tech innovation and he wants the world to know, with Japan buying advertising in the US at sites like Quartz to promote its huge, broad-based tech initiatives.
There’s probably no better example of his ambitions than Prime Minister Abe’s telling a science/tech gathering in Kyoto that he wants “a robot micro sensor always looking over my intestines.” (Abe has Crohn’s disease, presently under control.) The prime minister says technology “MUST” make a difference in society, from widely adopted medical innovations to robotics to data mining that helps solve society’s most complex problems. Abe calls his Japanese initiative “Society 5.0.” And he’s committed: “we’re spending as much as 10 trillion yen... just tackling the illnesses ageing causes,” he said.