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Home > Opinions Last Updated: 15:03 03/09/2007
January 6, 2003

New Year's Wish for Our GLOCOM Platform

Shumpei KUMON (Executive Director, GLOCOM)

Prof. Shumpei KumonEntering into the third year of the 21st century we are witnessing the beginning of the break-through stage in the so-called "Third Industrial Revolution," where information networks are becoming increasingly ubiquitous and contents are becoming predominantly user-created. In fact, mobile and other non-PC devices are almost everywhere around us and will soon be an indispensable part of our broadband communications. We are becoming more active in creating our own contents to express ourselves in a multi-media environment including visual presentations. At the same time, we are increasingly aware of the fact that we can directly participate in our local as well as global community affairs by making use of our information technologies.

Given these trends, we at GLOCOM need to offer more opportunities for everyone to express and exchange opinions on various local as well as global issues. So far we have tried our best in providing a virtual place, the GLOCOM Platform (, where Japanese opinion leaders post their views on important issues related to Japan's domestic and international affairs. However, our activity must be elevated to the level corresponding to the current stage of the information revolution. The following are our wishes in this respect.

First, in addition to posting the views of opinion leaders, we should provide an open forum, hoping to have active participation of our readers for interactive exchange of opinions on various topics of their own interest. Then, we expect to have more discussions not only on political, economic and technological matters, but also on wider social and community issues to enrich our content on the Platform. For example, our CAN (Community Area Network) members might initiate discussions with their counterparts overseas on our Platform to learn from each other regarding how to build effective community networks for themselves and for society at large.

Second, we would like to make use of audio-visual technologies to express ourselves more fully in a multi-media environment. In particular, video-on-demand and live streaming technologies should be regularly employed on the Platform to involve wider audiences in their mutual learning and creative processes. In the case of GLOCOM, we might create and utilize our video contents to interact with our colleagues and students on the main campus of the International University of Japan to help develop effective e-learning programs.

Third, in our Platform activities we wish to become "global" in the true sense of the word by not only focusing in terms of content and language on Japan and the U.S., but also on Asia, Europe and other regions. For example, news and opinions from other Asian countries should be posted by creating a new section, "Asia Report," just like those from Europe on our "EU Report." Furthermore, at least summaries of main contents should be presented in Japanese, English, Chinese, French and other major languages on our Platform. Here again we can utilize our relationship with the International University of Japan, where faculty and students from various parts of the world might help us translate summaries into various languages as well as contribute their own opinions to our Platform.

Hopefully we will be able to hold more international conferences overseas this year than last year, at least one in Asia and one in Europe. It is important that virtual communications be complemented with face-to-face interactions. Our institute, the Center for Global Communications, was established to achieve exactly that aim a decade ago, and we are finally ready to go global on our Platform. But we will be able to achieve that goal only if we have our readers' active participation on a global scale. That is our wish for the new year.

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