Japan is aiming to achieve "Society 5.0”, which is a human-centered society where high integration of cyberspace and physical space can promote economic development and solve societal issues. In order to accelerate innovation while ensuring governance in a complex and fast-changing digital society, we will need a horizontal multi-stakeholder governance model which focuses on solving issues (goals), instead of a governance model where the government single-handedly undertake the functions of rule-making, monitoring and enforcement on an industry level.
Based on an awareness of these issues, the Study Group on New Governance Models in Society 5.0 (hereinafter referred to as the “Study Group”), which was established under the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) in 2019, discussed a new governance model designed to achieve three goals: (1) Governance for Innovation, (2) Governance of Innovation, and (3) Governance by Innovation. The outcome of the discussion was compiled in a report titled “Governance Innovation: Redesigning Law and Architecture for Society 5.0” (hereinafter referred to as the “First Report”), which was released in July 2020.
The First Report sought to depict a new governance model from the perspectives of the processes (rule-making, compliance, monitoring and enforcement) and stakeholders (government, companies, individuals and communities) of governance. The purpose of this draft Report is to depict a grand design for a society-wide governance reform, by considering additional points such as the “characteristics of governance for cyber-physical systems (CPS)” and the “goals of governance” while taking into account the recommendations of the First Report, and by explaining the concept of “Agile Governance” which is needed in order to achieve Society 5.0. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused the digitalization of societies to accelerate rapidly in 2020, and there is no time to spare in achieving Society 5.0. In order to realize a society where the benefits brought by digital technologies are maximized and each member of society can enjoy a happier life, it is essential for the multiple stakeholders who are involved in a complex system to participate in governance.