For the aging society in the 21st century, the government, local governments, private enterprises, and related organizations have conducted a variety of policies for the aging society.
The NMDA has supported policies from the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and have promoted the projects for the aging society as stated below.
Structural reforms are required in the field of caring service and child raising because of (1) the declining birthrate, (2) the growing proportion of elderly people, and (3) the growing number of women who have jobs. In addition, demands for different services supporting caring and child raising, which were previously considered to be domestic matters, are increasing.
To meet such increasing demands, different and innovative services through the use of IT have been offered. This allows utilizing the most of private-sector vitality and existing local resources.
Due to the rapid expansion of both the aging and information societies, an early implementation of a "Japanese style IT society", where handicapped and elderly people, whose physical conditions are challenged, can actively take part in, is an urgent challenge. The Implementation of an IT society enables the achievement of a more satisfying and meaningful life. Thus, an early implementation of information and telecommunication instruments and system developments which can prevent handicapped and elderly people, whose physical conditions are challenged, from succumbing to the status of an "information underdog" is desirable.
The NMDA has developed, implemented, and universalized information and telecommunication instruments and systems with which handicapped person and elderly person whose physical conditions are challenged can use easily, and effectively encourage them to take part in society.
Since elderly or handicapped people themselves have few opportunities to learn and use techniques supporting electronic information, and professionals related to elderly or handicapped person (e.g. occupational therapists, speech therapists, teachers of school for the disabled, family members of handicapped person, etc.) can not easily develop or teach the environment of electronic information supporting techniques, developed electronic information technology may not reach elderly or handicapped person, which causes a great delay in the use and promotion of electronic information supporting techniques.
To address these problems, NMDA has created training curriculums and textbooks, and discussed a qualification system for the purpose of supporting electronic information supporting technicians.
For users such as elderly and handicapped people or women, who have the possibility of being victims of the digital divide easily, the networking of opportunities for active social participation, and the mechanism to grasp user needs effectively and to reflect to the market are required.
For this reason, NMDA has supported the introduction of information instruments and the utilization of networks such as the connection to the Internet for (1) organizations composed of users themselves or their supporters around them, for (2) organizations and activities which are preparing for the declining birthrate and for (3) a growing proportion of elderly people who play an important role in making opportunities for users' social participation. In addition, NMDA has created the mechanism, which can provide and collect information contributing to the development of each project activity.