Makishima Karen, Minister for Digital

15:00-16:00 Tuesday, July 26, 2022
(The speech and Q & A will be in English.)


Karen Makishima had her work cut out for her when she took over as the minister in charge of Japan's Digital Agency, which was launched in September 2021 after just a year of preparation. The shortcomings of the country's digitalization had become all too obvious during the pandemic, when national and local governments found they lacked the technological knowhow to provide cash handouts or track infections efficiently. Even as the government sought to keep people at home to prevent contagion, employers struggled with the concept of remote work. 

"We have technology, but we have analogue regulations," Makishima told a panel at the Wilson Center in Washington this month. Some innovations have already appeared thanks to the agency, including a mobile phone app for providing proof of Covid vaccination. But, with the country's 1,741 local governments still each operating in their own digital silo, there's a long way to go. 

Makishima, who serves concurrently as minister for administrative reform and regulatory reform, is one of only two women in Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's 20-strong cabinet. She's a fluent English speaker, boasting a master's degree in political management from George Washington University and a PhD from International Christian University. Join us to hear about the government's plans for a more productive Japan.

How to attend: 
Please register at with your name, the name of your media outlet, and FCCJ membership number. Due to space restrictions attendance will be limited. Doors open 15 minutes before the event. Please sign in, giving your name and contact details at the reception, and have your temperature taken before proceeding. 

How to watch online: 
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How to ask questions:
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TV crew: Please make a reservation at Doors open for TV crews only at 30 minutes before the event. 

Professional Activities Committee