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At the beginning of the millennium, the central government of Japan set a mandate for its agencies to make the transition toward e-governance. For the Japanese government, going digital meant establishing effective organizational and governance frameworks; its agencies had to digitize administrative procedures, disseminate data electronically, provide services online, and update information security measures. At the same time, it needed to actively engage citizens and businesses in the process and collect their inputs across a range of channels. These initiatives paid off, and by 2018, Japan was ranked 10 among the 193 countries in the United Nations’ e-government survey. The 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, commonly known as Tokyo 2020, offered the Japanese government a chance to advance the city’s telecommunication infrastructure and improve public services through public–private cooperation. By collaborating with the private sector, the government could not only gain access to the latest information and communication technologies but also reduce its financial risk in the large investments necessary for IT infrastructure and new technology. Tokyo 2020 has accelerated the introduction of the fifth-generation (5G) telecommunication networks in the country, with the Japanese government approving plans by mobile carriers such as NTT DoCoMo to build 5G wireless networks and develop applications for widespread adoption. These networks offer massive device connectivity, low latency, and ultra-high speed data transmission of two gigabits per second. One of the immediate beneficiaries is national television network NHK, which will be able to broadcast real-time 8K—up to 7,680 by 4,320 pixels—high-definition 360-degree video streams recorded by drones floating around the competition arenas at Tokyo 2020. The number of foreign visitors to Japan is expected to increase from 28.7 million in 2017 to 40 million by 2020, boosted by the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games. To handle the huge number of visa applications from tourists, the Japanese government is introducing an online service. Instead of having to submit the necessary application forms and multiple supplementary documents (such as income tax returns or bank certificates) in person to a Japanese embassy or consulate, foreign visitors will be able to submit their application online through the new Electronic Visa System. The fees can be paid electronically too. The system is capable of automatically evaluating the information provided by the applicant, thus simplifying and streamlining the visa application and issuance processes. NEC Corporation has designed an identity verification system specifically for the sports event to quickly process the over 300,000 authorized athletes, workers, volunteers, and journalists entering the various venues of Tokyo 2020, which are widely scattered across the Tokyo metropolitan area. The system works by collecting the facial image of each authenticated participant beforehand and storing it in a database. Each participant is given an identity lanyard equipped with an integrated circuit chip that stores their facial image. To enter a venue, the participant must scan the identity lanyard at a kiosk at the security checkpoint. The system determines whether the user is an accredited attendee within 0.3 seconds by comparing the photo on the identity lanyard with their facial image captured by a high-quality camera at the kiosk. The system is expected to significantly shorten the time spent in identity checks and greatly increase security levels by eliminating identity forgery as well as the use of lost or stolen identification passes. In the future, this technology can be rolled out in other venues, such as government premises, or for processes such as immigration clearance. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police will use the Crowd Forecasting System, developed by Panasonic, to ease congestion caused by the tens of thousands of overseas spectators attending Tokyo 2020. The system monitors the flow of pedestrians and vehicles around competition arenas at the end of an event by analyzing images uploaded to the cloud from cameras installed on police vehicles parked and patrolling—if the traffic allows— throughout the city. The Crowd Forecasting System informs spectators about forecast outcomes and guides them to less crowded exits through instructions on electronic signs as well as messages sent to their phone. The system also helps to identify abnormal situations or suspicious activities for the police to investigate immediately. The summer heat in Tokyo can be fatal not only to athletes but also to workers and spectators at the outdoor endurance events in Tokyo 2020. The Japan Meteorological Agency has developed the Heatstroke Warning System to reduce the risk of this illness among attendees as well as the general public by sending alerts to their mobile phones. Through big data analysis of heat index information from the Ministry of the Environment, crowd forecast data, and real-time weather data from Yahoo! Japan, the system can forecast the heatstroke risks in specific geo-units of about 125 square meters each. The system will issue warnings if the temperature is over 28 degrees Celsius and danger alerts if it is above 31 degrees Celsius so that the public and the workers of Tokyo 2020 can take heat countermeasures a. Describe the identity verification system and describe the inputs, business processes, and and the outputs of the system. b . Discuss how these IT applications strengthen the relationship between citizens and their government. c. What are the implementation challenges of these systems? How can they be addressed? d . What people, organization, and technology factors contributed to development of these IT applications?

 

 
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