Japan Window is an Internet/WWW research collaboration of Stanford University and NTT, under the sponsorship of Smart Valley, Inc.. The project went public on March 1, 1995 with two coordinated Web sites at the Stanford US-Japan Center ( http://jw.stanford.edu) and NTT Software Laboratories ( http://jw.nttam.com). This paper describes the major goals of the Japan Window project; its research objectives; technical features and innovations of note; its unique research grouping of Japan information providers, Japan information users, and WWW technology providers/developers; and user response to the service.
An experiment in organizing and building country level information on the Web, the project's principal objective is to investigate the development of integrated Web services useful to U.S. corporate, academic and government organizations in their daily U.S.-Japan activities, be it hi-tech R&D, product development, electronic commerce, export promotion, or technology policy. This is achieved by concurrently developing 1) new and timely science, technology, business and government information sources in Japan for the U.S. high technology and Japan affairs communities, and 2) innovative human/computer interface and digital archive management features and techniques. Once fully developed, Japan Window is expected to serve as a bi-lingual model for U.S.-Asia information exchange in many areas of mutual interest.
Major U.S. user communities targetted include high technology industry, particularly in Silicon Valley; researchers at government, corporate and university laboratories; local and regional non-profit Japan societies; and key U.S. government agencies. Significant information subject areas are: the Japan Events Calendar; regular updates on Internet activities in Japan; Japanese science and technology; business and finance, government; living/working/travelling in Japan; and "Kid's Window", a section intended for U.S. children to explore Japanese culture and learning.
Japan Window digital archive management research objectives are aimed at developing new user and information provider features to 1) improve web site utility and efficiency per visit, 2) maintain user interest and repeat visits over the long term, 3) facilitate direct and automated content management by information providers, and 4) automate management of the web site. These features include database and web site search and retrieval, cartographic map-based navigation, bi-lingual information display, database update/display for different user groups, interactive forms, daily utilities and graphics embellishments ("dynamic pages"), user-specific features, and the "JW Cockpit" - the heart of the JW digital archives management technology.
Stanford graduate researchers B. Lee and M. Bayle co-founded Japan Window with NTT's A. Goto and Y. Sakamoto.
The presenters will provide a live demonstration of the Japan Window Web sites at the INET conference, as well as a behind-the-scenes peek at future developments.
Finally, the paper will describe future research directions and collaborations to be undertaken by the Japan Window team during 1995, and how other organizations can participate in the research project as Japan information providers, Web technology providers, and/or Japan information users.