Izumi Aizu – Profile


Izumi Aizu Bio (as of Jan, 2016)

iza@anr.org, www.anr.org

Senior Research Fellow and Professor, Institute for InfoSocionomics, Tama University

Principal Researcher, Institute for HyperNetwork Society

Born in 1952, Mr. Aizu joined the printing industry in 1971 after graduating from high school. In 1976, he joined the international advertising, marketing and public relations business as sales and planning manager.

In 1984, after spending a few years in the technical communications field to produce software manuals for PC products, he encountered with the emerging computer networking activities in the United States. In 1986, he co-founded the Institute for Networking Design, a think-tank specializing in computer conferencing in Tokyo. He also served as Secretary General of the Networking Forum, annual national conference on PC-based networking in Japan from 1987 to 1992. He has promoted both local, community-based networking and global, cross-border human networking by connecting the PCs through telecom networks. He has also made several rounds of research work on the status of PC networking in the U.S., Videotext in Europe, E-mail and Computer conferencing in Japan, US and Europe as a comparative Study.

In 1990, he organized “HyperNetwork Conference – look into the future of Network Society in 25 years from now” which In 1993, he co-founded Institute for Hyper Network Society (IHNS) whose main office is in Oita, a local city in Kyushu Island, and actively promoted community networking with grassroots citizens.

In 1991, he joined the newly established GLOCOM (Center for Global Communications), at the International University of Japan, as Head of Planning. After attending INET 92 in Kobe, he started to promote Internet in Japan: giving strategic advises to ICT and media industries, national and local government agencies, working on policy and strategic issues in global context with strong focus on Asia. He was also vocal in pushing the Internet against the strong policy debate of whether the dominant Telco, NTT, should be broken up by the Government as a form of new regulatory policy. Together with colleagues at GLOCOM, he pointed out that incumbent telecom network was not the central issue, rather, giving birth to the Internet is. GLOCOM also helped Japanese government and industry leaders to communicate with US counterparts including the Clinton administration.

In 1997, he moved to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and founded Asia Network Research, an independent research unit dedicated to promoting networking in Asia-Pacific region, focusing on societal aspects of the Internet, including global governance and digital divide issues. Between 1998 and 2000, he also worked as Secretary General of the Asia & Pacific Internet Association (APIA), a trade association representing Internet business community. Under that capacity, he was heavily involved in the process of forming ICANN (Internet Cooperation for Assigned Names and Numbers) including hosting the IFWP meeting and the first ICANN meeting both in Singapore.

In 1999, he co-organized the global campaign on Y2K on Internet. He was instrumental in creating the Internet Y2K Coordination team in Japan with technical and operational community, as well as liaised with the US counterparts including Y2K Council at the White House and people from Department of Commerce.

In April 2000, he moved back to Tokyo where he continues the research work on promoting the Internet in Asia. He represented Japanese NPO under the government’s requests to GLOCOM, for the Digital Opportunity Task Force, or DOT Force, initiated by the G8 to address digital divide issues. GLOCOM led the debate at the “Universal participation for new and emerging field”, to help developing countries participate in such process as ICANN, W3C, etc. In 2001, he was again asked by the government to organize supporting Asian NGOs and Civil society member to participate the preparatory process of WSIS (World Summit on the Information Society).

In April 2002, he was promoted to Deputy Director at the Institute for HyperNetwork Society, and in August 2004 he co-found Internet Governance Task Force of Japan (IGTF-J) to engage in the international debate on Internet Governance at the WSIS Working Group on Internet Governance set by the United Nations. He worked as the Secretary of IGTF from 2004 to 2006.

In March 2008, he was appointed as Professor at Institute for InfoSocionomics, Tama University, and in May 2008, he was appointed as the Secretary for the Satellite Broadband Promotion Council of Japan.

In 2009, he co-founded Japan Internet Domain Name Council in charge of the selection and oversight of new Internationalized Country-Code TLD, “dot Nippon” and became a member of its Steering Committee. JIDNC concluded its work in 2011.

In 2010, he was elected as one of the Co-coordinators of the Civil Society Internet Governance Caucus, the civil society voice engaging in the Internet Governance Forum (IGF). He was also selected as the member of the CSTD Working Group on the improvement of the IGF from the civil society.

In 2011, after the East Japan Great Earthquake, he proposed to initiate the relief works using ICTs to the devastated areas which led the foundation of Information Support pro bono Platform, iSPP, a not-for-profit organization with some 100 members. Mr. Aizu led a research project on “How people behaved with ICT – what they could rely on and what they could not” – issued a detailed statistical report and also wrote a book published in Mar, 2012.

He started to research and promote “Social Fabrication” since 2013, helped to setup FabLab Oita, participated in several FabLab related conferences, organized workshops including “Future of Industry, Mobility and Making (FIMM)” unConferences starting one in Paris, March 2015, then in Rotterdam, Toyota, Yokohama and Oita in 2015.

He served as the Executive Director of the Institute for HyperNetwork Society from May 2014 until March 2015.


His publications in English include:

“Ensuring a Truly Global Policy-Making Process”, OnTheInternet, newsletter by Internet Society, July 29, 2000
“Why Asians Should Join The Domain-Name Fray”, ASIAN WALL STREET JOURNAL, Feb 28, 2000
“The Emergence of Netizens: The Cultural Impact of Network Evolution in Japan”, NIRA Review, Fall 1995.
“Not problems, opportunities”, An interview with NTT President Masashi Kojima, WIRED, Dec. 1994
“Co-emulation: The Case for a Global Hyper Network Society”, Shumpei Kumon and Izumi Aizu, a chapter in “Global Networks”, Linda Harasim ed, MIT PRESS 1994
“BEYOND NETWORK NEUTRALITY, The State of Play in Japanese Telecommunication Competition”, co-authored with Judit Bayer, Telecommunication Journal of Australia, July 2009
“Japan” chapter for Global Information Society Watch 2009, Association for Progressive Communications, under the theme of Content Regulation, Green ICT and Disaster and the use of ICT in 2009, 2010, 2011 respectively.

His books in Japanese include:

“Internet Governance: Ideals and Reality” (2004)
“Net Revolution from Asia” (2001)
“Easy Steps to Internet Business” (1996)
“Evolutionary Network” (1994)
“PC Network Revolution” (1986)
“The Report on Personal Computer Networking in US” (1985)
His translation works from English into Japanese include:
“Groupware” by Robert Johansen (1986)
“Odyssey” by John Sculley (1988)
“Networld” by Albert Bressand (1991)
“Virtual Community” by Howard Rheingold (1995)
“Smart Mobs” by Howard Rheingold (2003, co-translated)


He received David Rodale Award from Electronic Networking Association in 1988 for his contribution to ‘building the global communities’; Plaque of Appreciation from EMPAL (Electronic Mail Pal) of Korea in 1990; Award of Excellence for his book “Evolutionary Network” in 1995 from Telecommunications Advancement Foundation in Japan; and Best Author Award in 1996 for his paper “Emerging Internet” in Japan’s Information Processing Society Journal.

He is currently member of the following committees and associations:
Study Committee on smooth adoption to IPv6, Ministry of Interior and Communications (since 2009)
Member, Civil Society Internet Governance Caucus (since 2003)
Advisory Committee, Asia Pacific Internet Conference on Operational Technology (APRICOT) (since 2002)

He was member of the following international committees and associations:

Vice Chair, Electronic Networking Association (1990-1992)
Vice Chair, Asia Pacific Networking Group (APNG) (1994-1998)
Membership Advisory Committee (MAC), ICANN (1998–1999)
Advisory member, Internet Policy Program at Aspen Institute (1998-2001)
International Advisory Panel, Asia Pacific Development Information Program (APDIP) at United Nations Development Program (UNDP). (1999-2001)
G8 Digital Opportunity Task Force, representing Japanese NPO (2000-2002)
Advisory, Internet Content Rating Association (ICRA) (2000-2003)
NGO and Academic ICANN Study (NAIS) (2001-2002)
ICANN AtLarge Advisory Committee (ALAC), elected from Asia Pacific AtLrage Organization (APRALO) (2003-2008)
High-level Advisor, United Nations Global Alliance for Information and Development (2006-2008)
Member of ICANN AtLarge Advisory Committee (ALAC) (2003-2008)
Council, Internet Association Japan (since 1993)
Member of Steering Committee, Japan Internet Domain Name Council (2009-2010)

He also served for the following Governmental and other committees:
PC Communications Study Group, Ministry of International Trade and Industry
PC Communications Study Group, Ministry of Post and Telecommunications
PC Communications Study Group, Ministry of Home Affairs
[All three different study groups by different ministries at the same time; 1985-1986] Study Committee on Domestic Communication Appliance, Ministry of Post and Telecommunications (1988-1989)
Telecommunication Technology Committee, Working Group on Network viewed from Outside, Nippon Telephone and Telegraph (NTT) (1993-1996)
Information Technology Study Committee, Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) (1990-1993)
Information Technology Standardization Study Committee, National Industrial Research Institute, MITI (1995-19)
Mobile Number Portability Study Committee, Ministry of Interior and Communications (2003-2004)
Secretary, Internet Governance Task Force of Japan (2004-2006)
Communication Service Platform Study Group, Ministry of Interior and Communications (since 2008)
Study Committee on Internet Policy, Ministry of Interior and Communications (2008-2009)

His research and advocacy focus is the effective and proper use of Internet in society, including policy and strategic issues, based on the end-user’s viewpoint and value. He is interested in forming global culture through The Net, linking people to people through heart-to-heart communications in the cyberspace and in the real world. His recent focus is Asia and social development in policy issues, user participation, security and safety, and the governance of network society.
He is married and has four daughters and four grandchildren.