The Japanese government will start full-scale decentralization of landing bases for submarine cables, which is an important part of digitital infrastructure & communication. Submarine cables are laid mainly on the Pacific Ocean side, and landing bases are also concentrated in certain areas, such as the Tokyo area.
The "Digital Rural" project will eliminate the disparity between urban and rural areas by decentralization digital technology to rural areas. This is a two edged sword since it will bring digital services to rural area's, while at the same time it will increase resilience against large-scale (natural) disasters, economic and geo-political security risks.
There is also the aim of working on the realization of the "Urban National Concept". Most of the landing bases (landing stations), which are relay points for submarine cables and land networks, are currently concentrated in Kitaibaraki (Ibaraki Prefecture), Minamiboso (Chiba Prefecture), Shima (Mie Prefecture). It is said that it accounts for more than 50% of the total digital traffic in the Tokyo area because there are submarine cables connecting Japan with the United States and Asia.
For this reason, the government intends to disperse landing bases in other areas and strengthen economic security. Concentration of submarine cables in specific areas is a risk. In 2013, a cable was cut off the coast of Egypt. A government official said, "I don't know if it was an accident or intentional, but there are cases where a Chinese ship cuts a cable around Japan."
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida ordered cable distribution in mid-November last year, and included the establishment of a fund of about 50 billion yen (about 400 million euros) in the supplementary budget for 2021. We will support businesses to lay cables outside the Pacific Ocean side and to set up landing bases outside the Tokyo metropolitan area. Open recruitment will start from 2022.
Digital garden city super highway
The government plans to complete a submarine cable that goes around Japan in about three years as a "digital garden city super highway" under the Digital Garden City National Initiative, and to build more than a dozen data centers in rural areas in about five years. The fund hopes to support the installation of data centers that have cables and servers that go around the Sea of Japan side, which will lead to regional revitalization.
Regarding subsea cabling in the region; China will support the laying of cables in developing countries through the "One Belt, One Road" giant economic zone concept, and Chinese companies will aim to increase their market share. However, there is a concern that the data will be leaked to the Chinese government, and the United States, Japan, and Australia are cooperating to support subsea cabling of South Pacific island countries.