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Japanese government panel urges medical records be digitized, other IT strategies
[March 20, 2010]

Japanese government panel urges medical records be digitized, other IT strategies

TOKYO, Mar 20, 2010 (The Yomiuri Shimbun - McClatchy-Tribune News Service via COMTEX) -- A government panel in Japan has recommended that medical records be digitized so patients can be treated at medical facilities across the nation, and that key government administrative services be available around-the-clock online.

The panel's outline for new strategies to make better use of information technology also advocates the development of a "smart grid" electricity network and greater use of IT to make homes and offices more eco-friendly.

The IT Strategic Headquarters submitted an outline of the strategies Friday at its first meeting since the launch of Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama's administration six months ago. The headquarters, led by the prime minister, plans to settle on its strategies by April and an implementation schedule around May.

The panel also decided to set up a planning committee of senior vice ministers and parliamentary secretaries that will be tasked with making sure an "e-government" becomes a reality.

"We haven't decided on any strategies for the past six months, but we've finally gotten around to setting up a committee as we realized the importance of having a strategy in place," Hatoyama said.

Hatoyama said the full formulation of IT strategies will be crucial to the government's new growth strategies to be compiled in June.

A "government chief information officer" will be installed to oversee the shift to a more electronic government.

___ (c) 2010, The Yomiuri Shimbun.

Visit the Daily Yomiuri Online at Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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