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"Japan Business Day" in tune with the times with focus on artificial intelligence

The program with top international companies provided insights into concrete application possibilities for the new technologies.

The focus of today's "Japan Business Day" was on how artificial intelligence and imaging technology will shape our economic and social future. With around 350 participants, the event attracted more interested parties than ever before. Under the motto "Artificial intelligence and imaging technology – decisive factors for the digitization of industry", speakers from Germany and Japan discussed developments and prospects with professional visitors from both countries.

The use of artificial intelligence will profoundly change companies in all industries in the future and create new stimuli. In particular, smart algorithms for imaging processes lead to completely new application possibilities, for example in industrial automation, the food industry, in traffic and transportation or in medical technology. In his keynote address, Professor Susumu Kajiwara highlighted how the Tokyo Institute of Technology is conducting research into the limits of virtual reality, IoT and artificial intelligence. In March 2019, the Japanese institute opened a branch at RWTH Aachen University to promote research collaboration with Germany. In another keynote, Dr. Dirk Hecker, Deputy Director of the Fraunhofer Institute for Intelligent Analysis and Information Systems IAIS, addressed the issue of trustworthy applications of artificial intelligence from North Rhine-Westphalia. In addition, practical examples from companies such as aiso-lab, Hans TURCK, NEC or Shimadzu illustrated concrete applications of future technologies and their direct economic benefits.

Making consistent use of opportunities

"Digitization and artificial intelligence offer great opportunities for business and society in Germany and Japan," emphasized State Secretary Christoph Dammermann, Ministry of Economics, Innovation, Digitization and Energy of North Rhine-Westphalia, in his opening address. "In order to exploit the potential of artificial intelligence consistently and across the board, we are pooling the state's expertise in the newly established AI.NRW platform, which we are funding to the tune of more than 25 million euros. An established dialogue platform such as the Japan Business Day provides valuable impetus for the expansion of this key technology."

Masato Iso, Japanese Consul General in Düsseldorf, explained: "The Japanese government has developed the concept of 'Society 5.0' as a model for a future society that is expected to follow the current information society. The government's 'Society 5.0' program aims to meet the challenges posed by demographic change through the use of artificial intelligence and big data, thereby promoting economic growth. Germany is facing a similar situation to that of Japan, which is why I think that companies in both countries can work together in many areas in order to master the upcoming tasks successfully."

Thomas Geisel, mayor of the state capital Düsseldorf, said: "The proper use of artificial intelligence and imaging technology will be crucial for the future success of many key industries in Germany and Japan. AI will transform companies in a groundbreaking way – in terms of operations, market positioning and business success. As case studies show, Düsseldorf is well positioned as a business location for AI and offers companies a range of opportunities for cooperation."

Akinori Okumura, President of the Japanese Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Düsseldorf, explained: "Artificial intelligence and imaging technology are forward-looking topics that pose great challenges to industry and society both in Germany and in Japan, but at the same time offer many opportunities. In a worldwide ranking, Japan and Germany come first and third respectively in creating the necessary infrastructure for innovation that AI brings with it and in promoting research through politics. For the 'Japan location' NRW, it is an important signal that representatives of these two pioneering countries meet at the Japan Business Day in Düsseldorf to exchange information."

The event:
Against the background of the largest Japanese company presence in continental Europe in Düsseldorf and North Rhine-Westphalia since 2002, the "Japan Business Day" offers a unique platform for German-Japanese economic exchange. It addresses German and Japanese business representatives with topics of current interest.
Japan-Tag Düsseldorf/NRW e.V. (Japanese Chamber of Industry and Commerce Düsseldorf e.V., Japanese Club Düsseldorf e.V.), Ministry of Economic Affairs, Innovation, Digitization and Energy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, NRW.INVEST GmbH, State Capital Düsseldorf
Partners 2019:
German-Japanese Business Circle (DJW), Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), Düsseldorf Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IHK))
Gold sponsors 2019:
ANA All Nippon Airways Co. Ltd., Fujitsu TDS GmbH, Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V.
Silver sponsors 2019:
Canon Deutschland GmbH, Colt Technology Services GmbH, Docomo Europe Ltd., Hitachi Europe GmbH, John Doe Capital GmbH, Kompetenznetzwerk Umweltwirtschaft.NRW, Mecklenburg+Hoffmann GmbH, MUFG-Bank (Europe) N.V.
Bronze sponsors 2019:
Fieldfisher LLP, Nippon Steel Corporation