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Japan and its contribution in the progress towards Society 5.0

Updated: Oct 11, 2022

Society 5.0 is a concept that seeks to focus on the human being where economic progress is balanced with the resolution of social problems, through a system that integrates cyberspace and physical space in an advanced way, through the use of new technologies, such as Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence. Whose goal is to use technology to create a better future. Likewise, promote economic growth and solve social problems, generating progress in terms of comfort, vitality and quality of life.

By: Seleny Santamaria - CCJCI Research Assistant

This conception of Society 5.0 has been developed mainly in Japan, defining itself as an ideal situation where each country must evolve to make the most of the various technological transformations for the benefit of all its citizens. This was drafted by the Science, Technology and Innovation Council and ratified by a Cabinet election in January 2016, however this system is not limited to Japan as its goals are equivalent to those of the Sustainable Development Goals ( SDG) of the UNDP (United Nations Development Program).

Society 5.0 will achieve a vision society that breaks the existing sense of stagnation, a society where members respect each other, transcending generations, in a society in which each and every person can lead an active and pleasant. This approach is a way of managing three main changes: technological change, economic and geopolitical change, and mindset change. For Keidanren, compared to Society 4.0, Society 5.0 is characterized by "problem solving, value creation, diversity, decentralization, resilience, and environmental sustainability and harmony."

How Society 5.0 works?

This society reaches a high level of convergence between cyber space (virtual space) and physical space (real space).In the Information Society (Society 4.0), cloud services (databases) in cyberspace may be accessible via the Internet.In Society 5.0, a huge amount of information from sensors in physical space . In cyberspace, these big data are analyzed through artificial intelligence (AI), and the results of the analysis are transmitted to humans in physical space in a variety of ways.(Fukuyama, 2018). It brings new value to industry and society in a way that was not previously possible.collects in cyberspace.

We can see that social evolution has been marked by the acquisition of freedom thanks to the mastery of various technologies, skills and techniques. For this reason, industrial revolutions have brought these technological and structural advances in society. Therefore, the First Industrial Revolution, which occurred between 1780 to 1820, humanity experienced changes in its economic system from an agricultural production system to a manufacturing and industrial production system. The Second Industrial Revolution took place between 1870 and 1914, it was driven by innovative energy options, such as sources generated by electricity and oil, automatic machinery that manufactured parts for other machines, the development of land transport and airplanes.

The third industrial revolution took place in 1970, together with the phrase "Information Society". Its principal characteristic was the automation of industry based on how new communication and energy technologies have come together and complement each other. Finally, the fourth industrial revolution relies on several productive axes, such as Big Data, robotics, IoT, cloud computing and augmented reality, for the complete automation of manufacturing. Each of the industrial revolutions had a considerable impact on the categorisation of the five companies envisaged by the concept of Company 5.0. These societies were:

Society 1.0 The Hunting and Gathering Society: The first society was led by nomads, who were in charge of food gathering and hunting. They built temporary shelters and never lived an entire year in the same place.Nomads travelled through specific territories which they already knew where they could live, and their only goal was to find food..

Society 2.0 The Agricultural Society: In this society, agriculture was discovered and developed. Thus, society was able to reach a new level of evolution. Crops and land production allowed the formation of tribes from a larger number of previously nomadic family groups.

Society 3.0 Industrial Society: This society corresponds to the massification of production, that is, the advent of factories and machines that replaced manual labor. Additionally, the technological innovations of the time also encouraged mass production, thus achieving reductions in costs and time and greatly increasing the resources acquired.

Society 4.0 Information Society: In this era, technologies have simplified the use of information. This is most noticeable in social, cultural, and economic activities because they are centered on people and interconnecting technological innovations that allow information to flow quickly and accurately around the world.

Society 5.0 Perspectives: This is a society centered on human beings, who, through economic progress, are able to solve social problems with systems developed through the integration of cyberspace and directly focus on the interests.

Japan and Society 5.0

In 2015, it emerged as part of the V Plan Sciences et Technologies de Base (2016-2021).This was promoted by members of the cabinet of Shinzo Abe, the Prime Minister of the time, who at the CeBIT fair in Hanover in 2017 showed this model to the world. The alignment of the actions and objectives of Society 5.0 with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the United Nations Development Program is defined as "a universal call to end poverty, protect the planet and guarantee the enjoy peace and prosperity for all people by 2030”

The Society 5.0 initiative was born from the challenges faced by the Japanese in creating a new economy and society by creating future policies.Japan faces challenges such as declining population and industrial competitiveness, an aging society and a lack of women's active participation, outdated infrastructure, environmental problems, and a lack of resources and water.

The Society 5.0 initiative grew out of the problems the Japanese faced in creating a new economy and society by creating future policies. Japan faces the following problems: Declining population and industrial competitiveness, aging society and lack of active participation of women, outdated infrastructure, environmental problems, and lack of resources and water. Furthermore, the aim is to dispel social fears about the impact of the technological revolution and the problems of Japanese society.From an administration perspective, there are conflicting views, for instance, about the impact of AI on employment.

On the other hand, it is estimated that the workforce will decline to about 70 per cent, or 53 million, by 2050.This decline stems from an aging population and may be further exacerbated by the growing number of people who can leaving the workforce for reasons such as caring for elderly relatives. What would generate that government spending would increase due to the mature population.

Another point is that the consumer population will be more and more dispersed and the infrastructure will deteriorate.This dispersion of the consumer population is a challenge that will result from a declining birth rate and an aging population, and will lead to a reduction in population density in regional cities and their suburbs.

Another aspect is that the consuming population will become more and more dispersed and the infrastructure will deteriorate. This dispersion of the consumer population is a challenge that will result from a declining birth rate and an aging population, and will lead to a reduction in population density in regional cities and their suburbs. Finally, having ratified the Paris Agreement at the United Nations, Japan will transition to renewable energy. The challenges will be to reduce the price of renewable energy, to increase energy savings or to control demand in the big cities where consumption will be concentrated.

The Japanese government defines the following actions to be implemented and carried out within Society 5.0 to achieve the execution towards the objectives of the SDGs in the year 2030.

Cities and Regions. In Society 5.0, social processes and data must be distributed in a way that allows for the development of smarter solutions, the design of ways of life and the establishment of a society where diversity is valued.

Energy. When local and decentralized power microgrids are developed, Society 5.0 will supply clean and sustainable energy to all.

Disaster Mitigation and Prevention. New digital technologies will be used for disaster mitigation. Medical services will continue even during emergencies.

Health care. In preventive phases, the new health technology developments will be available to everyone. From their own initiative, people can use and manage the data associated with their health.

Agriculture and Food. State-of-the-art technologies will be applied to the greatest extent possible to optimize food value chains. The participation of various actors will be sought, such as private sector companies, youth and agricultural companies.

• Big data, data science and AI are essential R&D technologies that must be precisely integrated to achieve the goals of Society 5.0. These goals focus on the advanced fusion of cyber and physical spaces. Therefore, the information will be collected from various types of sensors located in physical spaces and compiled through the IoT.

The transition from the information society to the super-intelligent society will take place between the material world and the digital world because they will not be two separate worlds, but a single "real world", a hybridization in which the digital will be integrated in such a way that the material that it will be impossible to differentiate between bits and atoms. In my opinion, a key strategy to achieve this is to have more transparent science and engineering processes, seeking more aware users. Japan believes that other countries will encounter the same problems, it wants its Society 5.0 concept to serve the world.


• Narvaez Rojas, C.; Alomia Peñafiel, G.A.; Loaiza Buitrago, D.F.; Tavera Romero, C.A. Society 5.0: A Japanese Concept for a Superintelligent Society. Sustainability 2021, 13, 6567.

• Önday, Özgür. (2019). Japan’s Society 5.0: Going Beyond Industry 4.0. Business Economics. 10.4172/2151-6219.1000389.

• Elsy,P. (2020). Elderly care in the society 5.0 and kaigo rishoku in Japanese hyper-ageing society. Jurnal Studi Komunikasi, 4(2). doi:10.25139/jsk.v4i2.2448.

• Ortega, Andrés. Sociedad 5.0: el concepto japonés para una sociedad superinteligente. 25 de enero de 2019

• Cabinet Office

• Freepik

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