Project311- Comments from Professor Murai

One of the commentators for Project311 workshop was professor Jun Murai from Keio University, Dean of the Faculty of Environment and Information Studies.

He is called the "father of Japan's Internet", the founder of JUNET and president of WIDE Project. He also served in the past as the president (currently board of trustees member) of Japan Network Information Center (JPNIC), Advisory Member of Information Security Policy Council, Cabinet Secretariat Information Security Center, Cabinet Secretariat of Japan and Advisory Member of IT Strategy Headquarters at Cabinet Secretariat of Japan.

Professor Murai is currently tackling Open Government in Japan, he is the advisor of the Japanese government's "Open Data Promotion Consortium [ja]".


You can see Professor Murai's comment video here, audio is in Japanese, you can turn on English subtitle, and machine translation on other languages:

"This was an awesome project. The point is, how can we leverage this learning to the future." says Prof. Murai. "As you heard during Mr. Suzuki's comments, and as was mentioned in many of the presentations, I'd like to stress what we're doing here can save lives on the grounds in the future. It is important to think about how we link the people on the grounds and the information that was analyzed here."

"The presentations were great- lots of diversity, and this whole day was a great experience for me. I would like to thank and express my respect to the organizers for making this happen, all the data providers that released such data, and participants who did the analysis of those data. What we need to do now, is to connect this with the people on the grounds."

"What we learned today is that the role of public sectors, private sectors and individuals surrounding data is important. Individuals have shown great strength after the disaster, both good and bad. In today's workshop it was all about how to prepare for future disasters, but in a broader terms, how can we build a new global society where the public sectors, private sectors and individuals interacts surrounding data. We experienced a lot of experience on that during the disaster, and we were able to have a precious experience of analyzing and sharing that today. We recognized the importance of properly understanding the data and analyzing data, and then we need to move from theory to action."

"The data used today had time-limited conditions and it's been made available to you because you're academics. Personal info has been made available because of its potential to save lives. Otherwise you won't be able to keep using it. I think the most important thing is to work on making a society in which data is more available. There were many parties who were hesitant about releasing data and didn't provide them. There's a lot of data that we really could have utilized. We need to make an environment where we can use data properly. A society where those who have data can provide it without hesitation. We need to create a system, environment and society that allows to do this.  If we can realize such society, people like you can continue and further develop your present research and connect it to concrete actions that will save human lives. All that depends on how data would be available to the public and private sectors and the individual. If we can realize that, we can make this country a new, data-driven advanced nation. Japan learned a lot from last year's disaster, and with such experience we can make contributions to the whole world. We should take action toward creating such an environment. To make productive use of all this work and research you did today, I want to help create a society where data can be used effectively and safely. What you all have done here today is extremely useful evidence of how people can utilize such open data. I would like to ask all of you here to help. It was a wonderful event today. Thank you everyone."

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are my own, and do not reflect those of my employer. -Fumi Yamazaki