A ”Citizen-Driven” Smart City. The LINE SMART CITY DAY FUKUOKA 2019 Conference Report

    A ”Citizen-Driven” Smart City. The LINE SMART CITY DAY FUKUOKA 2019 Conference Report サムネイル画像

    [Notice] Effective October 1, 2023, LINE Fukuoka has changed its company name to LY Communications. Articles published on or before September 30, 2023 were written with our former company name.

    Today (November 14), we held LINE SMART CITY DAY FUKUOKA 2019, our first conference to report on and make announcements about the co-creation projects we are undertaking together with local governments, local business owners, and citizens that the Smart City project is based on.

    You can see the press release from the day below.
    Conference Contents

    Key note

    Session 1 - Private Business Owners × LINE Fukuoka

    Session 2 - Local Governments × LINE

    This memorable first conference was held at the Fukuoka Art Museum, which was remodeled this March.
    This conference was apparently the first of its kind to be held here after the remodel!
    The program, which was kept secret until the day of the conference
    Fukuoka-themed Brown and Cony figures greeted guests

    At last, it's time to start!

    Key note

    ・A "Smart City," Starting from Fukuoka

    For the conference opening, Director and COO of LINE Fukuoka, Mr. Yusuke Suzuki, took the stage. He introduced the initiatives between LINE Fukuoka and Fukuoka City, focusing on Fukuoka City's official LINE account, which has over 1.63 million registered users.


    It was also here that he made the first new announcement of the day.
    Mr. Suzuki announced that provision of the fully operational "Evacuation Action Support" (避難行動支援) feature within Fukuoka City's official LINE account had begun. The feature can now be used during actual disasters.


    Operation of a test version of the "Evacuation Action Support" (避難行動支援) feature began this September, and user feedback was gathered through a questionnaire and trial sessions.

    Improvements were made based on this feedback, and implementation of every feature is now complete. From today (November 14), the feature can be used in actual disasters.

    Please see our press release about the start of fully operational "Evacuation Action Support" (避難行動支援)provision here.

    ・FUKUOKA NEXT: Working Toward Society 5.0

    Next, Mr. Soichiro Takashima, mayor of Fukuoka City, came to the stage. Mayor Takashima talked about further promoting Fukuoka City's transformation into a "Smart City" through unified urban development efforts between the government, private business owners, and citizens.

    In addition to discussing how the lifestyles of Fukuoka City residents have changed since the government started its initiatives with LINE Fukuoka, he spoke about his anticipation for efforts by LINE Fukuoka and other increasingly active private businesses.


    ・Behind the Scenes of SMART TAIPEI

    Next, Mr. Damien Chin, project manager of the Taipei Smart City Project Management Office, appeared on stage.
    In the IMD Smart City Index 2019 (an index of international smart cities), Taipei is ranked seventh out of 102 cities around the globe, and is said to be one of the leading smart cities in the world. 880 thousand of Taipei City's approximately 2.67 million residents have registered for the city's official LINE account, and LINE is an app they are familiar with.

    During his lecture, Mr. Chin talked about the current state of the "Smart City" that Taipei is developing, gave examples of how the city uses its official LINE account, and introduced GO SMART, an international cooperation organization for Smart Cities. He also indicated his expectations for Fukuoka City, and spoke with enthusiasm about further collaboration in the future.

    Following Mr. Chin's keynote speech, Mr. Suzuki came back to the stage to make the second new announcement of the day: a concept for mutual provision of information using the LINE official accounts of Fukuoka and Taipei.


    This concept will use LINE official accounts to provide information about tourism to tourists and residents coming to Fukuoka City from Taipei City and vice versa, and aims to increase the value of their stay.
    For the first time ever, governments' LINE official accounts will be used mutually across international borders. The concept is expected to be actualized in Spring of 2020.

    Session 1 - Private Business Owners × LINE Fukuoka

    ・What Should Cooperation with Private Business to Accelerate Smart City Development Look Like?

    Following the announcement, LINE Fukuoka's Smart City Strategy Department head, Mr. Naoki Minakata, talked about the importance of co-creation between the government, private businesses, and city residents. He also gave examples of work that has been carried out together with private businesses up to now.


    ・Key Players Discuss the Future They Want for Fukuoka

    Guests from two private businesses representing Kyushu, Mr. Hidaka Kurokawa of Kyushu Railway Company and Mr. Masaki Abe of Nishi-Nippon Railroad, took the stage. Mr. Minakata acted as the moderator, and a panel discussion was held.

    With its growing population, increasing inbound tourism, and cutting-edge initiatives, Fukuoka City is attracting attention. The panelists discussed the theme of "the future they want for Fukuoka," as well as their outlooks for the future.


    After the panel discussion, President and CEO of Fukuoka Jisho Co., Ltd., Mr. Ichiro Enomoto, appeared on stage. In a talk show format with Mr. Suzuki, they discussed how verification testing for the "Smart Order" feature (which uses LINE and LINE Pay, and was rolled out at some restaurants in the Konoha Mall Hashimoto food court this August) was going, as well as their thoughts on support for entrepreneurs at Fukuoka Growth Next and more.


    Session 2 - Local Governments × LINE


    ・Examples of LINE Usage in Local Government in Japan

    This session started with an announcement by Mr. Minakata about the launch of a new website that introduces promotional cases of Fukuoka City's transformation into a "Smart City" and summarizes the flow of how LINE official accounts are adopted by governments.


    Based on inquiries we have received up to now, we adjusted our structure for local governments to be able to transition more smoothly into specific consultations.

    After looking at the page, if you want to consult with us about something specific, you can do so through the inquiry form below.

    The head of LINE's Public Policy Department, Mr. Nao Fukushima, also gave examples from throughout Japan of how local governments are making practical use of LINE official accounts.

    As a representative of a local government that has adopted a LINE official account, Mr. Masaki Tashiro of Kumamoto City also spoke about the background of the account's integration, as well as giving concrete examples of how the city has used its account.


    To wrap up the conference, Mr. Suzuki came to the stage once again. In his closing remarks, he said:

    “Our concept of a 'Smart City' is a 'citizen-driven Smart City.' Rather than a big concept or technology, we think it's important to start from problems that city residents are having, like non-burnable trash day slipping their minds. I believe that there are some similar and different problems in your towns as well. We hope that with Fukuoka as a model case, 'citizen-driven Smart Cities' will expand in various regions. Together, let's drive Asia's 'Smart City' transformation."



    ・LINE Utilization Trial Session Corner

    Outside the venue, we had a demonstration corner for a variety of services using LINE, and participants (including local governments) got hands-on experience.

    Fukuoka City official LINE account demonstration:
     "Infrastructure Report"
    (道路公園等通報機能) ,"Oversized Garbage Reservations" Account (粗大ごみ受付),"Evacuation Action Support" 避難行動支援機能)

    ・Individual Consultations for Local Governments

    We also held individual consultations for representatives of local governments that were interested in initiatives utilizing LINE. We received a wide variety of consultations, with questions ranging from those about how to create a LINE official account, to holders of official LINE accounts who were unsure of how to leverage or resolve issues with them.


    This was LINE Fukuoka's first attempt at a "Smart City" conference.
    We hope that it was a chance for every participant to think about what a "Smart City" should look like.

    Going forward, LINE Fukuoka will continue to promote "Smart City" transformation through co-creation projects with local governments, private businesses, and city residents.

    For case studies of our Smart City-related efforts, please refer to this page:

    We're also recruiting new members to make "Smart Cities" starting from Fukuoka together with us!
    If you're interested, please see the career information below! (Sorry, only available in Japanese)

    Business Planner position

    PR Planner position

    LY Communications Official social media accounts

    Get blog update announcements and the latest
    information about LY Communications!