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Japan’s New Standards Strategy
A Summary

JISC (Japanese Industrial Standards Committee), the national standardization body of Japan, which also represents Japan in the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), finalized its standardization strategy this September after one year of intensive discussions by interested parties.

The strategy was developed as a response to recent rapid developments in the environment surrounding standardization, such as the acceleration of globalization, dissemination of good regulatory practices among regulators, and diversification of values among consumers. The strategy consists of two parts.

The first part, a general strategy, addresses three issues: a) responding to various market and social needs, b) a strategy for international standardization, and c) the integration of R&D with standardization. The second part, sector-specific strategies, sets priorities for standardization in each sector.

Japan and the United States share many values in standardization and have been cooperating closely in international standardization at various levels. JISC appreciates this opportunity to introduce the summary of its strategy to the American public. For further information, please see our homepage, www.jisc.org.jp.

--Osamu Nishiwaki
Japanese Industrial Standards Committee–
Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry

JISC (Japanese Industrial Standards Committee)

Standardization Strategy (Summary)

September, 2001

I. Introduction and Background
JISC developed its standardization strategy in order to respond to recent developments in the world of standardization both internationally and at home, which could be summarized as follows;
(a) Advancement in regulatory reform
Advancement in utilization of voluntary standards as criteria for performance-based technical regulations, which increased the need for further developing voluntary standards responding to regulatory needs (e.g. safety, environment).
(b) Advancement in globalization
Acceleration of globalization and integration of markets, supported by international frameworks such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) Agreements, including the Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Agreement, promote worldwide harmonization of national standards and conformity assessment systems with international standards and practices.
(c) Increasing awareness for standards as a tool for strengthening industrial competitiveness
The growing importance of acquiring international standards in the context of industrial competitiveness, which results in the need for integrating R&D strategy and standardization strategy.
(d) Diversification of values among consumers
Increasing awareness of consumers on such values as safety and environment, which leads to the increasing role of voluntary standards and conformity assessment as a tool to provide information responding to consumers’ diversified values.

II. Summary of the Strategy
1. Development of the Strategy
In January of this year, JISC launched the development of the Standardization Strategy, which consists of two parts; a) general strategy and b) sector-specific strategies.
After intensive discussions in committees in JISC, as well as taking into account comments from the public, the Strategy was finalized in September 2001.

2. Features of General Strategy
Responding to the developments in the world of standardization, as well as taking into account recent international developments such as the outcome of the Second Triennial Review of the WTO/TBT Agreement, the development of long-range strategy in ISO/IEC, and the development of standardization strategies in the U.S. and EU, the general strategy part emphasizes the following three points:
(1) Responding to market and social needs
(2) Strategy for international standardization
(3) Integration of R&D and standardization

3. Responding to market and social needs
(1) Development of sector-specific strategies
In order to adequately and effectively respond to changing market and social needs for standardization, JISC, together with interested parties, developed a sector-specific strategy, which sets priorities for standardization in each sector.
(2) Encouraging further involvement of interested parties
JISC will further encourage the wider and deeper involvement of interested parties, such as industries and regulators, as well as reflecting the views of consumers, the elderly and people with disabilities.
(3) Prompt and transparent standards development
JISC will further promote the usage of information technology in its standardization process. Utilization of complementary deliverables is also recommended as a means for the prompt development of standards.
(4) Need for improving public awareness
The need for improving public awareness for standardization was also strongly recognized. Strategic actions include:
—Provide training programs to interested parties for participating in standardization, including courses at university level, and
—Improve public relations (e.g. further utilization of JISC website)

4. International Standardization Strategy
(1) Strategic actions for international standardization
As the results of efforts in the past decade, Japan has been successful in improving its representation in international standardization. JISC, however, recognizes that there is further need for increasing involvement in international standardization to appropriately reflect the interests of Japan.
Strategic actions include:
—Government support for international standardization of strategic importance by industries.
—Government support for industry initiatives to increase chairpersons, convenors, and secretariats of Technical Committees/Subcommittees/Working Groups from Japan.
—JISC efforts to improve the recognition and support for standardization from business leaders.
—JISC further strengthening cooperation with national standardization bodies in Asia-Pacific region by utilizing regional organizations such as PASC and APEC.
(2) Promotion of international cooperation
Responding to recent discussions in fora such as WTO, the ISO Committee on Developing Country Matters (ISO/DEVCO), the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), on the needs for international cooperation in assisting capacity building of developing countries in the area of standardization, Japan will continue its efforts for international cooperation, in particular, through regional cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region through organizations such as APEC and the Pacific Area Standards Conference. JISC, as a leading national body in the region, also welcomes the planned establishment of the IEC regional center in Asia (Singapore) as an important means to promote further participation of region’s standardization bodies in IEC activities, and is willing to contribute to the activities of the regional center.
(3) “International standards” and JIS
While JISC recognizes ISO/IEC as standardization bodies that develop appropriate international standards in many areas, JISC also understands the fact that in some areas, standards developing organizations (SDOs) other than ISO/IEC are developing internationally prevailing standards. JISC recognizes the possible importance of cooperation with such SDOs in strategic implementation of its international standardization activities.
JISC also supports the ISO strategy to establish partnership with such SDOs.

5. Integration of R&D and
Standardization
As “Science and Technology Basic Plan” (a Cabinet Decision, 2001.3) points out, JISC recognizes the importance of R&D with clear awareness of eventual standardization, as well as development of test evaluation methods that fulfill the role as public asset. Strategic actions include:
— Promote awareness of standardization from the planning stage, particularly in the standardization of new technologies.
— Promote public involvement in development and standardization of test evaluation methods that fulfill the role as public asset.
— Promote the development of intellectual infrastructure such as measurement standards through active public involvement.
6. Sector–Specific Strategy
In order to set detailed priorities for its standardization, JISC together with interested parties developed sector-specific strategies as a part of the Strategy.
Sectors of particular importance as well as the summary of their strategies will be as follows:
(1) Standardization of information technology
Standardization of information technology related to e-commerce and realization of e-government are in urgent need. While taking into account de facto standardization, promote effective development of JIS.
Examples of priority issues:
—Security and encryption technology
—IC cards
—Coded character set
—GIS (Geographical Information System)
(2) Standardization that contributes to environmental protection and recycling
As standards in this sector are often to be used as criteria for environmental technical regulations, government will lead the standardization.
Examples of priority issues:
—Measurement methods for dioxins
—Measurement methods for greenhouse gases
—Testing methods to assess quality of recycled products
(3) Standardization that reflects the views of consumers, the elderly and people with disabilities
Promote development of JIS that reflects the views of consumers, the elderly and people with disabilities. Collect body size data of the elderly and people with disabilities for standards development.
Examples of priority issues:
—Guides for consumer protection
—Further participation of consumers in the development of standards
—Reflection of ISO/IEC Guide 71 to product standards development
(4) Standardization that facilitates industrial growth and safety
Promote standardization for advancing the industrial infrastructure and fundamental technologies.
Examples of priority issues:
—Industrial automation
—Geometrical product specification (GPS)
—Safety of machinery

Copyright 2001, ASTM

Contact:
JISC Secretariat

Phone:
81-3-3501-9471

E-mail:
isojisc@meti.go.jp 
or 
iecjisc@meti.go.jp
Internet:
www.jisc.org.jp