We are seeing Japan's economy recovering moderately but in a sustained manner. The turnaround of the economy has been contributing to the growth of employment opportunities.
However, many industries are facing serious labour shortages, reflecting the graying of society.
As part of the effort to tackle this issue, improving productivity by offering services or additional values with innovative information technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), robots, and Fintech are growing.
Also in the retail sector the trend for labour-saving and automation is gaining momentum to address the shortage of manpower. The use of RFID as well as conventional barcode systems has been spreading, not only in the fields of logistics, but also in the management of merchandise and sales in stores.
For example, in the apparel industry RFID has come into use for checkout, instead of in the past only being used for the control of logistics and inventory. Besides that, various pilots aiming to realise automated or unattended store management are underway in and outside Japan. Moreover, it is expected that RFID will be employed for traceability systems or marketing by sharing detailed data of individual items which are captured through RFID or other tools. We will be committed to promoting such developments more than ever.
In the meantime, along with the advancement and popularisation of IT and Internet, a considerable variety of products have been sold online, across countries and regions, and the importance of GTIN which is capable of uniquely identifying and managing products internationally is increasing than ever before.
To extend the capability of GS1 services, GS1 is proceeding with developing 'GS1 Registry Platform' to offer the function of globally unique management and lookup of GTIN and other GS1 identification keys as well as their corresponding information.
In line with the GS1 services, GS1 Japan has been offering domestic product manufacturers and other entities a new product information database namely 'GS1 Japan Data Bank (referred to as GJDB)' service which works linking with ‘GS1 Registry Platform’ since October 2019.
With using the GJDB service, GTIN allocation and its associated product information management have been made much easier and more accurate, and the information can easily be provided to both domestic and overseas users.
We will, continuously and in a phased manner, be developing and refining GJDB, incorporating function to make product information registration and usability easy and convenient for users.
Furthermore, in the future, GJDB will be populated with the additional data related to other GS1 identification keys including GLN so as to fulfill its function as the infrastructure of information lookup and exchange, supporting business activities based on GS1 standards.
We, as GS1 Japan, believe the continuous endeavour together with GO and other MO members will lead GS1 to the next much brighter stage.
We look forward to your continued support in the future.