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Exploring Standards and Rulemaking in Japanese Care Robotics


James Wright, Alan Turing Institute

This talk will explore the role of standards, regulations, and other approaches to technology governance in the design, development, and use of care robots in Japan. Playing an active role in shaping international discussions around standards and governance frameworks has long been seen as key for Japan to retain a technological competitive edge in international markets (e.g., Kishi 2011). Yet in the case of care robots, the considerable efforts by the Japanese government and research community to position itself as a leader in rulemaking on the world stage, including via the creation of a new international standard, have not proved substantially effective in facilitating the development of the industry domestically or creating a dominant export market for care robot products. I will seek to contextualize these efforts within a broader view of recent Japanese approaches to the regulation of digital technologies.