Japan Digital Transformation Minister Hirai says he plans to launch digital agency next year

Japan Minister for Digital Transformation Takuya Hirai said he wants to bring in personnel from the private sector to staff the new agency.
Japan Minister for Digital Transformation Takuya Hirai said he wants to bring in personnel from the private sector to staff the new agency.PHOTO: AFP

TOKYO (BLOOMBERG) - Japan Minister for Digital Transformation Takuya Hirai plans to launch the administration's promised Digital Agency next year to improve the efficiency of government services, he told Fuji TV on Sunday (Sept 20).

The minister said he wants to bring in personnel from the private sector to staff the new agency, and that he intends to break down the existing bureaucratic culture.

The government came under harsh criticism earlier this year for its slow response to the coronavirus and its economic fallout, especially compared with neighbouring South Korea.

Japan suffered a "digital defeat" against the pandemic, Mr Hirai told national broadcaster NHK.

The Digital Agency was one of the party leadership campaign pledges of new Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who was voted into office by Parliament on Wednesday, replacing Mr Shinzo Abe, the country's longest-serving premier.