Kishida aims to raise 5G coverage to 99% of Japan’s population

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Thursday set a goal of increasing the coverage of 5G networks to 99% of the population by the end of fiscal 2030.

Kishida presented the goal at a government panel meeting to discuss his “digital garden city nation” initiative, aimed at revitalizing regional economies with the use of digital technologies and narrowing gaps between urban and rural areas in the country.

For the initiative, it is necessary to improve communications infrastructure to ensure people’s access to various information and services regardless of where they live.

The 5G coverage rate, however, stood below 40% as of the end of fiscal 2020.

At the meeting of the “new capitalism realization” panel, chaired by Kishida, the prime minister also said his government will make fiber-optic communications networks available at 99.9% of households by the end of fiscal 2027.

With the project to expand broadband access, the government aims to allow many regions to benefit from Japan’s growth, Kishida noted.

Panel members agreed to encourage multiple companies to work together to set up 5G and fiber-optic networks in depopulated areas where it is difficult for a company to do so by itself and to have the government consider extending financial support if necessary.

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