Open Tech Today - Top Stories

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Open Standards Rise in Japan

Once again Japan stands out for technology leadership in Asia. Last week, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry issued its official Interoperability Framework.

It makes open standards -- including the OpenDocument Format (ODF)-- a required element of its procurement rules for technology and e-government.

The main objective of Japan's open standards requirement for procurement: interoperability (both data and process compatibility) and optimizing the value of ICT investments.

The Framework emphasizes a few specific policy points:

* the need to guarantee long-term access and retention of public documents.

* a prohibition on specifying individual products in procurement to avoid lock-in and dependency on non-interoperable products.

* when procuring software, open source software should be considered.

* decisions on software procurement should exclude software from considered based upon its development model or license.

* Preferred data formats are XML-based formats supported by multiple products/vendors with a low degree of dependence upon any single platform or specific technology.

And lastly, at the moment Japan's new Interoperability Framework recognizes only one acceptable document format: OpenDocument Format (ODF).

Categories: openstandards, ODF, Japan

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