Japan revealed plans to build a massive shared-cloud infrastructure as part of a program to improve operational efficiency and reduce cost. Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications has revealed plans to build a massive cloud computing infrastructure to support all of the government's IT systems. Tentatively called the Kasumigaseki Cloud, the new infrastructure will be built in stages from now until The goal of the project is to consolidate all government IT systems into a single cloud infrastructure to help improve operational efficiency and reduce cost. The Kasumigaseki Cloud will "enable various ministries to collaborate to integrate and consolidate hardware and create platforms for shared functions. Efforts will be made to efficiently develop and operate information systems with the aim of greatly reducing electronic government-related development and operating costs while increasing the pace of processing by integrating shared functions, increasing collaboration among systems, and providing secure and advanced governmental services.
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The study group will hold discussions on method of security assessment of cloud services in order to encourage both the public and private sectors to introduce cloud services into their systems in a more safe and secure manner and to continue to use such services. In recent years, cloud services have been playing a core role in a variety of services for data utilization and management.
In this trend, as both the public and private sectors are advancing the introduction of such services into their systems, the major platform for information management and systems is shifting from the conventional means to cloud computing systems.
In light of this trend, the government of Japan stipulated a Cloud Adoption Policy for Government Information Systems in June and upheld a Cloud-by-Default Principle as a basic policy that requires the government to consider utilization of cloud services as the first candidate for information services. However, there are some concerns over security derived from unique, potential risks lying in cloud services, while more and more people are expected to use such services in the future.
Against this backdrop, the Future Investment Strategy stipulates that Japan should start discussions from on method of security assessment of cloud services in order to encourage both the public and private sectors to introduce cloud services into their systems in a more safe and secure manner and to continue to use such services by placing weight on the level of importance of information assets from the perspective of securing trustworthiness of such services in parallel with referring to overseas case examples.
The study group will hold discussions on methods for security assessment of cloud services. The study group will hold its first meeting on August 27, The series of meetings will not be open to the public, but a summary of the proceedings and the compiled results will be publicized.
Developing infrastructures toward economic structural innovations  Developing common infrastructures in a data-driven society 1. Encouraging investment in infrastructure systems and technologies 3 Specific measures that Japan should additionally take ii Securing cybersecurity omitted.
Study Group on Security Assessment of Cloud Services to be Launched
Japan stands at the top of the charts that compares the 24 most important countries in the cloud IT industry, followed by US, Germany the first European country , Canada and France. The index focuses mainly on the seven key elements of cloud computing: data protection privacy , security, cybercrime, intellectual property rights, free trade promotion, adoption of international standards, IT infrastructure and broadband development. The cloud computing market in Japan is ripe but, nevertheless, growing steadily. According to an analysis published by TechNavio, an increase of 9. The current expansion of cloud services is nothing but the result of both public and private investment in Ict infrastructure and the central governments commitment to implementing laws that promote its continuous development year after year. Up until now, the Japanese government has developed a sufficiently flexible regulatory environment that fosters free flow of data but at the same time protects its privacy, avoiding over-regulation that would put the country in an isolation a phenomenon that Takes the name of Galapagos effect and has often characterized different sectors of the Japanese economy in the past in negative light.
During my very interesting visit to Japan I had a chance to visit the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications MIC , which is responsible — among other things — of the Japanese government cloud initiative, nicknamed Kasumigaseki Cloud. They presented a relatively sound strategy based on building a Government Shared Platform as a result of consolidating hardware across multiple ministries and developing a common platforms providing authentication and management support. Their approach looks prudent and conscious of potential risks and showstoppers, and their questions and observations were always very pertinent. What I also noticed, in this like in other meetings, was a sort of assumption that Western countries, and the US in particular, would be more advanced.
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