Hiroichi Kawashima, former CIO of the Government of Saga Prefecture and currently one of the key committee members working on the project, says the Government is hoping to create a portal similar to that of the US Government’s data.gov.
“At present, we are trying to settle technical issues concerning data format and standardisation so that we can make the data available in machine readable format. In addition, the committee is also studying legal aspects of sharing data to the public,” says Kawashima.
In the previous year, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) launched a test version of an Open Data portal called ‘Open Data METI’ which enables users to access information related to economic and trade affairs. According to Kawashima, user feedback on the portal will help them in identifying what data should be made available to the public and how it should be shared.
While Kawashima cannot reveal a tentative date on when the portal will be launched, he says much effort is being placed on addressing legal issues.
“We cannot simply upload government data on the web because Japan has ‘delicate’ copyright and national asset laws that we have to sort out before we begin sharing data to the public and the private sector,” he says.