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              Toshiaki Higashihara
              Center of the International
              Cooperation for

I nformation Technology (IT) is utilized globally in all areas of endeavor, currently serving as one of the most powerful forces behind economic society in the 21st century. Fast growing Asian countries, developing countries and other regions of the world are also eagerly promoting IT Utilization in order to further spur the sound development of economic society and also to build up their socio-economic infrastructure. Expectations are growing for Japan's collaboration in the field of IT (cooperation for computerization) based on Japan’s advanced and reliable IT Utilization and extensive experience and rich expertise in IT. The Japanese Government, on the other hand, considers that responding to the demand of rapidly growing emerging nations in Asia and other countries around the world for infrastructure systems and leveraging those activities to achieve the further growth of Japan is an important part of its global development strategy. To establish and improve the socio-economic infrastructure and solve various issues including streamlining of public administration, medical welfare, and environmental problems in countries in Asia and other regions in the future through IT Utilization, it is becoming increasingly important to strengthen the collaboration in the IT field (cooperation for computerization) between Japan and other countries in Asia as well as countries around the world.

Since its foundation in 1983, the Center of the International Cooperation for Computerization (CICC) has been promoting the development of human resources needed to undertake computerization in developing countries in Asia and other regions, computerization cooperation projects and technology transfer in cooperation with developing countries, and bilateral and multilateral interpersonal exchange in support of computerization. In tandem with those activities, we have been addressing the collection, transmission and exchange of information as an "information hub" for computerization in Asia, with the cooperation and support of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), relevant ministries and agencies, concerned organizations, supporting member corporations and others. Through our various cooperative activities conducted toward computerization during the past 30 years or so, we have done our best to contribute to computerization in Asia and other regions and fostered a tight and harmonious organizational and personal network, which is a valuable asset of CICC. Consequently, CICC is now regarded as a well-known and trusted organization around the world.

With the aim of continuing to share the benefits of IT utilization with people in Asian countries, developing countries and other regions of the world in the future, we will continue to carry out computerization cooperation activities positively in order to contribute to the international deployment and industrial development of the information industry of Japan by contributing to the promotion of economic development of such countries as well as cooperative relationships with Japan through our support with the development of computerization in each country. In these efforts, we look forward to your continued understanding and cooperation.