Japan's Prefectural Digital Divide: Multivariate and Spatial Analysis
School of Business
This study of the digital divide within Japan utilizes data from the country׳s 47 prefectures for multivariate and spatial analysis of distributions of information and communication technology (ICT) variables. The paper constructs an exploratory conceptual model of technology utilization and expenditures in Japan, induced from prior literature. Ten dependent ICT utilization and expenditure factors are posited to be related to 12 independent demographic, economic, infrastructure, education, innovation and openness factors. The relationship of the independent to dependent factors is moderated by analysis of spatial patterns of technology utilization to examine proximities and reduce spatial bias. Based on the model, a multivariate analysis identifies correlates of the nation׳s digital divide, including patents registered by Japanese citizens, newspaper circulation, students and pupils per capita, household expenditures on education, rural/urban status, and Japan׳s aged population structure which has wide generational gaps. Spatial clusters and outliers of ICTs in prefectures are analyzed, with attention to their policy impacts. Findings suggest modifications to the conceptual model. Implications of findings for the country׳s official national technology planning policies are considered and recommendations made to expand them.
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