1. Home
  2. Message from the Program Supervisor

Program SupervisorHajime Yamada Ph.DEmeritus Professor, Toyo University/Chair of the Board, Information Communication Policy Forum

As structural changes occur in society, such as the trend toward smaller and older households with fewer children, isolation of individuals from the local community, and dissemination of social media, there are an increasing number of incidents and accidents in personal spaces and relationships. "Building New Public/Private Space for Creating Safe Living" is a new R&D focus area started in fiscal 2015 based on an awareness of the issue of these incidents and accidents.

R&D is being conducted on specific events such as Internet bullying and abuse, and many results have been accumulated. However, there has not really been active cross- sectional R&D which might find the background of these various events, common points of remedial measures, and shared institutional problems which hinder remediation. In addition, even if measures are possible from the standpoint of the legal system, customary practices at the location, or the mindsets of people that nothing can really be done may interfere with the creation of safer living. In cases of child abuse, the reason why close collaboration between child consultation centers and the police does not adequately move forward may be because there are institutional bottlenecks in the respective organizations. Many events which occur in personal relationships and spaces are sensitive, and thus there is a need to protect personal information. On the other hand, there may be a need to share information between many involved parties.

In light of the issues in this kind of R&D, in this focus area we place public and personal at two ends of the spectrum, focus on the role played by the middle between those extremes, and attempt to create new approaches for public/personal cooperation in this “middle.” Key R&D topics are how to appropriately intervene while taking privacy into account, and what sort of function should be assigned to the "middle." We expect to see progress in R&D on various direct and indirect approaches in the "middle" such as daily life monitoring using information and communications technology, casual verbal interaction between neighboring residents, and information sharing between involved persons, and this should contribute to the creation of safe living.