I am interested in global sporting events such as the Olympics and the World Cup. At the London Olympics, we watched several sports on-site, including a soccer match of the Japan National Team. At the Rugby World Cup held in 2015, I had the opportunity to watch two matches including the Japan National Team match at the stadium. Watching on TV will be accompanied by commentary from people who are familiar with the competition, so you can know the points of watching the game and the background of the play in real-time. That’s interesting, but the sense of realism you see in the field is exceptional.
I wrote this article in the week that the Pyeongchang Olympics competition began. Japanese athletes have already won medals in the men’s mogul, the women’s 1500M speed skating, and the women’s normal hill jump. This time, I watched the game on TV, so I was able to understand the background of the players’ competition history, and the cooperative system around them, including their families and people involved in the competition. The women’s 1500M speed skating and jumping were broadcast late at night and overlapped, so I had to watch them back and forth between the channels. In a commercial just after Takagi finished running in speed skating and the silver medal was confirmed, I was surprised to see actress Haruka Ayase toast with soft drinks, saying, “Congratulations on your medal, the smooth slide was cool, let’s toast.” Various patterns were prepared, and when the silver medal was decided, they probably chose the pattern of celebration and toast this time and broadcast it.
We haven’t been able to confirm whether it was used for this broadcast, but our non-disruptive servers are used by many broadcasters. It is incorporated into broadcasting operation systems and is also used in material archiving systems. In fact, partners with AV technology and system solutions build the system and deliver it to the broadcaster. I am very happy to think that there are no broadcasting accidents in the technical sense, that the system is operating smoothly, and that we are contributing to the search and preview of important video materials, and at the same time it is a chilling feeling.
As you know, Japan will also host the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. Also, although it is not as recognized as the Olympic Games, the Rugby World Cup will be held in Japan in 2019. This is a national match. The 12 venues of the Sapporo Dome to the north and the Kumamoto Stadium to the south are used, the opening ceremony is scheduled to be held at Tokyo Stadium, and the final match is scheduled to be held at the Yokohama International Stadium. In this way, many foreign tourists come to Japan for large-scale sporting events, so it is a wonderful opportunity to appeal to Japan. In addition, it will be possible to invest in the development of social infrastructure to improve the convenience of the people in the medium to long term.
The 1964 Tokyo Olympics created a lot of legacies. Metropolitan Expressway, Bullet train, Tokyo Monorail, Radiant Route 4, and Loop 7. The NHK Broadcasting Center and Hotel Okura are also at this time. Of course, many sports facilities such as the former National Stadium, Yoyogi Gymnasium, Baji Koen, and Nippon Budokan were also constructed.
For the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, it seems that a lot of budgets will be spent on the construction of the sports facilities that will become legacy. However, it is ICT-related that I would like to expect to see development as infrastructure instead of the roads and transportation systems of the previous issue.
If you look at the information from the study groups (advisory committees) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, we see that action plans are being made in a great many areas. To enumerate, as a cross-sectoral action plan, we will realize the sophistication of urban services by utilizing smartphones and transportation IC cards. It may realize 4K / 8K video distribution on digital signage large screens in public spaces such as movie theaters, museums, and stadiums. Individual actions include multilingual voice translation support, promotion of free public wireless LANs, the realization of fifth-generation mobile communications (5G), and the strengthening of cybersecurity.
What I am focusing on is the investment in telecommunications in this context. This is the development of free public wireless LANs and the realization of 5G. In a sense, these are roads of information, and I believe that the construction of all urban services depends on the development of road networks for this information. The service itself may run on the cloud, or it may run on an edge computer. The service itself may be a tourist navigation service that connects inns, transportation, and shops. Medical services and disaster prevention-related systems are also considered. You may also be able to experience sports competition content and interviews in virtual reality using a mobile device. In any case, if the information road network is not in place, we will not be able to provide new high-quality services on top of that.
The next thing we are focusing on is the payment and settlement system. Foreign tourists overwhelmingly pay by credit card rather than cash. In the United States, the United Kingdom, and South Korea, the percentage of people who pay by card exceeds 50% when debit cards are included. On the other hand, Japan is still in the 10% range. Japanese people have an average of three credit cards per person, but the usage rate is very low. There are also cultural reasons such as the low crime rate and the fact that the bills themselves are relatively clean, but it can be said that it is a special cash-based system even among developed countries. It is necessary to improve convenience by promoting the introduction of credit cards and other payment terminals at shops and tourist spots, and by making it possible to purchase IC cards for transportation systems with credit cards issued overseas. In addition, it will be necessary to consider mobile settlements with a view of urban areas. We believe that our system, which is often adopted as an infrastructure for card payment systems, can contribute to this field as well.
Heading into 2020, we can expect Wise Spending.