The Financial Times is reporting that “Tokyo, alarmed by the global dominance of Google and other foreign internet services, is spearheading a project to try to seize the lead in new search technologies for electronic devices.”
Accordingly, partnerships have been fostered by the Japanese government with such players as NTT Data, Toyota InfoTechnology Center, and Toyota Mapmaster as well as NEC, Hitachi and Sony Computer Science Laboratories. A budget of up to Y15bn (120bn USD) has been allocated to the project.
It’s going to be a interesting cultural as well as technological experiment to see if this will work. All the evidence of such attempts to catch US search innovation so far haven’t been anything to write home about. The money might be better spent elsewhere…
Meanwhile, anyone in the San Francisco Bay Area interested in search technology should check out the upcoming IMUG meeting with Peter Linsey of Ask.com called “Challenges of Searching the Global Internet.”