Japan will help build “smart cities” across Southeast Asia, using artificial intelligence and networked devices to tackle problems like road congestion and energy conservation.
The 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations have drawn up a framework to develop environmentally friendly smart cities and have selected 26 locations for the program.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged support for the program at an ASEAN summit in November. Tokyo intends to host a meeting with Southeast Asian nation officials as early as October to hammer out details of the cooperation.
Vietnam, for instance, is seeking technical assistance and training to design and run a traffic control system for Hanoi. A control center would direct emergency responses by firefighters, ambulances and police.
Myanmar’s second-largest city, Mandalay, also is looking to use data analysis to ease traffic congestion, while Jakarta wants to introduce cashless payment for mass transit. Japan, which has strength in both fields, will provide technology and funding.
Support for Asian smart cities forms part of Japan’s effort to provide an alternative to China’s Belt and Road infrastructure initiative.
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1 January 2019