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Society 5.0 first appeared in the Fifth Science and Technology Basic Plan—a five-year national strategy formulated by the Council for Science, Technology, and Innovation (CSTI), adopted by the Japanese Cabinet in January 2016. In short, Society 5.0 is a future society that Japan should aspire to be. The main idea of this concept is to create a “Super Smart Society” that improves the economic system and raises the quality of life of each citizen. A key word, not by chance, is inclusiveness.

The collaboration between governments and industries has extended to a wide range of fields. The Industry-Government Committees have established five key themes: next-generation mobility (smart city), smart public services, next-generation infrastructure, FinTech (financial technology) and a cashless society, and next-generation healthcare.

At a time when digital innovation is changing the world, Society 5.0 represents the vision of a new human-centered society that combines the physical world with the virtual world. This digital innovation is intended to support, or even perform, the work that humans have done up to now by using big data analytics, artificial intelligence, robotics, and the Internet of Things. The idea of “connected industries” is thus manifested in Society 5.0 as a new approach wherein industries create added value and solve various problems through the interconnection of various aspects of modern life by utilizing machines, systems, companies, and of course, humans.

The interplay between humans and machines is inevitable in future societies. Society 5.0, embedding advanced technologies in different sectors and social activities, aims to make life easier for everyone. The highest ambition would be to apply all this not only in one country, but all over the world.

“The essence of Society 5.0 is that it will become possible to quickly elicit the suitable solution that meets the needs of the most individuals.” (Shinzo Abe, Japan’s Prime Minister, International Conference of the Future of Asia in 2017).


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