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Japanese Ministry Plans Data Centers for Cloud Computing
Source: yomiuri.co.jp
Source Date: Monday, May 31, 2010
Focus: E-Procurement
Country: Japan
Created: Jun 07, 2010

The Economy, Trade and Industry Ministry plans to invite companies from at home and abroad to set up large-scale data centers in the nation in expectation of the spread of cloud computing. Cloud computing allows data and information to be stored off-line in interconnected databases. Customers using cloud computing receive such services as e-mail, document management and electronic commerce by accessing data centers established by information technology-related bodies without the need to install software on their computers.

Cloud computing data centers house thousands of networked computers. The ministry aims to approach companies that plan to set up or expand data centers, such as the U.S. search giant Google Inc., the U.S.-based e-commerce company Amazon.com and Nihon Unisys Ltd. METI expects cloud computing-related investment in the nation to increase by 30 percent to 1.7 trillion yen in five years. The ministry believes the nation's high standard of public security and many areas with cool weather, which makes it easy to maintain and control computers, make Japan attractive for cloud computing data centers.

The ministry aims to invite companies to areas with nuclear power plants, which would be able to supply large amounts of electricity to the data centers. Local governments that host nuclear power stations receive grants and subsidies from the central government. The funds are used to give discounts in electricity fees and financial assistance for capital investment for companies in their respective areas. The government plans to ask such local governments to use some of these incentives to encourage companies to set up data centers in their jurisdictions.

Regarding facilities to house computer servers, the ministry will consider establishing a special district where screening to meet the requirements of the Building Standards Law would be simplified. The ministry plans to incorporate the plan in the new strategy of innovation for an information economy that METI plans to announce Tuesday.
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