Japan looks beyond Industry 4.0 towards Society 5.0

Pete Sayer IDG News Service:  Declining birth rate, aging population, natural disasters, pollution: Do these sound like issues the IT industry can deal with? Japanese businesses say yes, and a number of them are at the Cebit trade show in Hanover, Germany, to explain why.

Industry 4.0 -- the building of "smart factories" in which machines monitor one another and make decentralized decisions about production and maintenance -- has been a theme of recent Cebit shows.

Now, under the banner Society 5.0, the show's partner country for 2017, Japan, wants to take the transformation beyond industry, making "smart society" one of the show's talking points.

Behind the drive are some very real societal problems. Japan's population is falling, but the average age of its citizens is increasing. A consequence of a low birth rate and extreme longevity, this is leading to an imbalance between young, active workers and those needing care. But with the country in a seismically active area, and having an ageing industrial infrastructure, this shrinking workforce is likely to deal with natural disasters and incidents of pollution.  Full Article:

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