Development of Low-Carbon Society Businesses in Japan

In the light of the Council on Business & Society’s 2015 Energy Forum later this year, Prof. Takashi Iwamoto shares a snapshot of Japan’s Smart City policy.

Takashi IwamotoJapan’s electronics industries collapsed due to the financial crisis in 2008 and the Japanese government began efforts to create new export industries which could substitute for electronics industries. The first action was taken in the energy and environment segment, and METI (Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) proposed public policies regarding smart cities (or smart communities) in 2009 and started execution of the public policies in 2010. The author et al. was the main party to work on development of the public policies with METI.

Visit the Smart Community public policies website.

Council on Business & Society Smart City

The smart city projects whose major aim was to develop low carbon societies have been carried out in four areas: City of Yokohama, Toyota City, Keihanna (Kyoto) and City of Kitakyushu, since 2010. The main purpose of the projects was to verify business models created by each area in five years by 2015. Various outcomes have been achieved in each area and they include ways to make power use visible, the control of home electric devices, hot water systems etc., demand response, the linking of EV (Electric Vehicle) and homes, the optimal design of energy storage systems, EV charging systems, and transport systems.

Visit the Japan Smart City website.

Japan Smart City Portal

The next action is to deploy the verified business models inside and outside Japan. In the low-carbon society businesses, it is important not to sell the elements but the total systems such as smart cities, smart buildings, smart offices, smart houses, transportation systems etc. Japanese companies used to be good at deploying element technology-based products such as materials, components, modules, and equipment, but are not used to deploying total systems. The next big challenge for Japanese companies is therefore to manage total system businesses within low-carbon society businesses.

Prof. Takashi Iwamoto is a Project Professor and Researcher at Keio Business School, Japan.

The Council on Business & Society Global Alliance is an ongoing international dialogue between six of the world’s leading business schools and an organiser of Forums focusing on issues at the crossroads of business and society – The Council Community helps bring together business leaders, academics, students and journalists from around the world. #CouncilonBusinessandSociety

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