Japan plans hiring spree of tech experts for digital agency

Japan plans hiring spree of tech experts for digital agency

Tokyo will hire 500 technologists in bid to transform government services, minister says

Japan plans to recruit more than 500 computer experts for a new national digital agency as it races to match the success of Taiwan and South Korea in electronic government services.

Takuya Hirai, the country’s newly appointed digital minister, told the Financial Times that the cross-departmental agency was part of an effort to make up ground after decades of halfhearted adoption of online government in one of the world’s most advanced economies.

Japan’s attachment to paper processes and its failure to put government services online was harshly exposed during the coronavirus pandemic, as it struggled to manage its test and tracing programme.

“The coronavirus has made most people realise the need for digitisation,” said Mr Hirai. “If we let this opportunity go there won’t be another one . . . it’s now or never.”