Industry 4.0 – Cooperation between Japan and Germany

On November 5th at Ino Hall and Conference Center, I gave a lecture at a seminar entitled ‘Industry 4.0 – Germany’s report and the possibility of cooperation between Japan and Germany’. About 150 people participated in a heated discussion. There are many participants such as the representative director of the state of Bavaria, Germany, Dr. Cristian Geltinger, Professor Aoyama of Keio University who have been leading the long cooperative relations between Japan and Germany, First Secretary of the Federal Republic of Germany, Siemens, Mitsubishi Electrics, Mr. Iwamoto from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and many lecturers including leading experts in IoT/M2M such as Professor Inada of the Center of Advanced Science and Technology, University of Tokyo. In the second half, there was a panel discussion lead by Nikkei Shinbun editorial board member Mr Sekiguchi. ‘What is IoT?’, ‘How far is it going to be applied to SMEs?’, ‘What are the challenges?’, the current situation of Japan and Germany, what kinds of efforts has been made as a state and other issues were raised in the meaningful seminar. For me, I introduced the work and efforts of KMC in IoT. Japan and Germany are both closely related countries and also rival countries in the industry. Prime Minister Abe and Prime Minister Merkel shook hands and the joint efforts in IoT between the two countries have begun. IoT, robots and AI are important measures of the second stage of Abenomics, but in actual only big companies are able to do it. From the latest White Paper on Labor and Economy of Japan, Japan’s labor productivity is said to be 30% lower than the West. True reformation is in training human resources. In the loss of 20 years, the nurturing of domestic technical experts and capital investment in human resources were neglected. Indeed, at this time of depreciation of the yen, domestic regression and TPP, it is a great opportunity to innovate, starting with the development of new human resources who will be responsible for next generation IoT/M2M. Germany has a Meister system, and I think that Japan-Germany cooperation lies in fostering common human resources. Hereby I would like to thank Professor Inada and the Japan representative in the state of Bavaria, Mr. Mochida, for inviting me to this event.


By Seiki Sato, President and CEO