SUSTAINING JAPAN Addressing Challenges 3 Planet

SUSTAINING JAPAN Addressing Challenges 3 Planet

Next-generation technologies to cope with natural disasters and aging infrastructure

*The following is a summary article. Details on market trends and company case studies are provided in the full report, available free of charge from the download form at the bottom of this page.

With regard to issues that face the planet, our focus will turn to climate change, a global issue requiring both “mitigation measures” in areas such as reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and “adaptation measures” to avoid or minimize ongoing and future climate change-related damage.

Japan is especially vulnerable to challenges of the planet. Due to the characteristics of its land, disasters such as torrential rains, typhoons, and earthquakes hit every year, causing serious damage.

Indeed, there is concern that the infrastructure, most of which was developed during Japan’s period of rapid economic growth, will begin to deteriorate over time.

Thus, there is a pressing need to maintain and manage infrastructure functions to minimize damage in a disaster. At the same time, the increasing financial burden will become an issue in the future.

For example, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism projects that financial burden related to the maintenance, management and renewal of social infrastructure will continue to be around 5-6 trillion yen (approx. 43-52 billion dollars) annually, rising to 7.1 trillion yen (approx. 62 billion dollars) by fiscal 2044.

How to mitigate the damages of natural disasters is therefore a challenge. For this reason, the development of next-generation infrastructure maintenance and management technologies such as sensing, image processing, and drones, alongside the use of AI technologies, is crucial.

The market related to next-generation technologies and systems for infrastructure maintenance and management was approximately $346 million in fiscal 2019 and is expected to reach roughly $2,411 million by fiscal 2035.

Figure: Forecasted market size for next-generation technologies and systems related to infrastructure maintenance and management (Japan)

In 2019, the domestic road market size: 146 million USD, railroad market size: 55 million USD, flood control market size: 6 million USD, others market size: 83 million USD. In 2020, the domestic road market size estimates: 178 million USD, railroad market size estimates: 70 million USD, flood control market size estimates: 8 million USD, others market size estimates: 92 million USD. In 2035, the domestic road market size forecast: 1,625 million USD, railroad market size forecast: 243 million USD, flood control market size forecast: 74 million USD, others market size forecast: 469 million USD.

(Source: Compiled, based on Fuji Keizai’s “Research Results of the Domestic Market for Next-generation Technologies and Systems for Infrastructure Maintenance Management,” released on September 11, 2020)

The market for disaster information systems that collect and analyze disaster-related information and information sharing services to transmit such data is projected to expand as well.

As in other markets considered in this article, partnerships between foreign and Japanese companies with technologies relevant to these challenges are emerging.

LG Uplus, a South Korean telecommunications operator, for instance, formed a business alliance with Japanese telecoms conglomerate KDDI to expand its smart drone business for mobile communication networks in 2019.

Smart drones improve operational efficiency by being constantly connected to the telecoms networks via mobile communications, and thus enabling:

  1. (1)

    remote monitoring and control for wide-area surveillance and beyond visual line-of-sight flights for logistics,

  2. (2)

    remote multi-site monitoring of disaster damage and inspection footage, and more,

  3. (3)

    automatic uploading of inspection and survey shooting data, and so on.

Through partnership, both companies aim to accelerate the development of smart drones, expand connections in the drone market in Japan and abroad, and establish a drone platform that will become a global standard.

Market Report (full version)

Global entities find their footing in Japan’s market for SDGs

  1. 1.


  2. 2.

    Government Initiatives

  3. 3.

    Addressing Challenges 1 People - Data healthcare to promote mental and physical wellbeing

  4. 4.

    Addressing Challenges 2 Prosperity - Implementation of new transit services to solve mobility challenges

  5. 5.

    Addressing Challenges 3 Planet - Next-generation technologies to mitigate natural disasters and aging infrastructure

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