Forefront of Digital Transformation, Smart Agriculture

The innovative changes that new technologies bring to agriculture The shadow of decline creeping into agriculture Did you know that a piece of land that can supply three months of rice to about 13 million people in Tokyo is lying unused? This is just one of the problems with agriculture. Although the global economy and other industries are affected by the current COVID-19 crisis and warm winter this year, agriculture is an industry that is highly susceptible to seasonal environmental changes, which cause the proliferation of fungi and pests and decimate food crops. Such crops are also essential sources of raw materials for clothing, food, and shelter. However, the Japanese domestic farming population is currently declining, and abandoned arable land is increasing year by year. In addition, fake food products are being disguised and replaced in food supply chains because of the holes in risk management systems. How can digital transformation (DX) solve such a wide variety of agricultural issues? Agriculture now and in the future By 1985, when the Japanese bubble economy began, the population of domestic farmers had reached 5.43 million. After three decades, the number of farmers in 2019 will be about 1.68 million, a decrease of 70% from the heyday. An additional problem is the aging of the remaining farmers. At present, the average age is 66.8 years, which represents an urgent situation given the heavy labor in agricultural work and the likelihood of retirement after a few more years. (See the figure below) There are issues arising from aging and a shortage of workers which have led to an incomplete risk management system. In the agriculture and forestry industry, false reporting of the production area […]



Globalization of Regional Financing in Japan

Challenges in regional financing and the first step toward a solution Changes of regional banks due to technological innovations Technological innovation has been evolving, and the industrial structure and environment of various tasks have changed rapidly in recent years. The local financial industry has also been affected by the changes, and the management styles of regional banks have greatly changed. The number of startup companies who have received investment from private venture capital firms has increased while at the same time the number of companies receiving investment from regional banks has decreased. The reasons for the decline include a lack of knowledge within the banks to support the companies, and banks are not investors with attractive networks, which financial institutions on community-based might be in a very critical situation. In addition, regional banks are trying to survive by shifting investment into municipal bonds because the Bank of Japan is presenting a negative interest rate policy, and the intense interest rate competition among banks to secure financing receivers has reduced the profitability of lending, The market reform of Tokyo Stock Exchange forces the survival crisis on regional banks Regional banks are inching toward a crisis, but the trigger came from the market reform proposals on the first section of Tokyo Stock Exchange. The background of such reform propositions is that more than 2.000 companies are listed on the first section of Tokyo Stock Exchange, and it is difficult for investors to distinguish strengths within the market. A recommendation for setting the condition of “market capitalization of 25 billion Japanese yen or more for listing” has been reported in order to improve the market reform proposal. The banking industry is concerned about […]