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For this year’s BADCAMP ANNAI was invited to give a little talk about the current situation in Japan, in regards to Open Data. 

Meiji Restoration

To start off the session, a brief history about the Meiji Restoration and how important the period was for Japan as a country. 

The capital city of Japan has moved sporadically throughout history depending on who was in power at the time. However in 1868 however, the capital was moved for the last time, from Kyoto to what is now known as Tokyo. 

The Meiji Restoration did not only restore political power to the Emperor, but also lead towards the revolutionization of the country as a whole. The restructuring of the government, and law reforms. 

Having previously been a mysteriously closed off country in the east for roughly 250 years, the arrival of Commodore Matthew C. Perry with big naval warships and guns made Japan realize that it cannot afford to remain isolated from the rest of the world. Thus the decision for Japan to open up its ports. 

With the influx of foreign trade and along with it, knowledge. Japan began to make huge leaps and bounds towards modernization. 

The old-fashioned hierarchy went under reform which lead to the abolishment of the samurai class. In addition to more traditional clothing such as the kimono, many Japanese embraced european style clothing which were more practical to some. Foreign technology and knowledge was also passed on through the educational system. 

Open Data Project

When the 9.11 earthquake hit the Tohoku area of Japan in 2011, the country was once again that with all the preparations they have in place to deal with natural disasters, there is still improvements that needed to be made. In terms of information sharing, the usage of Open Data technology was herald as the ideal solution, and in 2016 the “Basic Public-Private data usage” law was passed. 

First to act was the city of Kyoto

Last year, Kyoto city became of the first to implement an Open Data Portal site which can be accessed by members of the public. The entire project is built upon the Drupal based open data platform called “DKAN”. 

With DKAN, the city of Kyoto was able to provide public data based on the collaboration of over 450 departments and offices within the Kyoto City government. The success of the project has lead to working being carried out for a project that involves the whole Kyoto Prefecture as well as the rest of the country.

Feedback from the audience and conclusion

We have received many positive feedback from the attendees. Many citing that comparing the current climate to the Meiji Restoration helped them understand Japan’s situation. Those who were part of similar projects as well as those who were keen to do the same showed interest in having further exchanges to discuss future possibilities. 

Such responses were very encouraging and being able to share the and exchange experiences with our peers from all over the globe will no doubt help us move towards a brighter more open future.

Kentaro Inoueの写真

この記事を書いた人 : Kentaro Inoue

Author : Kentaro Inoue

ANNAI Inc Nagaoka branch Manager who is in charge of site building. My favorite module is Rules and Flags!