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2024-1-4 New Year's Greetings

Portrait of Mr. Yoshinaga, Director General of the National Diet Library

First of all, allow me to express my heartfelt condolences to those who lost their lives due to the Noto Peninsula Earthquake in 2024.
I would also like to express my sympathy toward the people affected by this massive earthquake and sincerely pray for the safety of everyone in the regions and for a swift recovery and reconstruction.

In 2021, we at the National Diet Library published a vision statement—the National Diet Library, Vision 2021–2025—that set out our plans for providing patrons with convenient access to the information resources they sought for their intellectual activities. Many of the initiatives described in this vision statement have since come to fruition, including the digitization of more than one million items in our collection in just three years' time and the launch of a Digitized Contents Transmission Service for Individuals, which makes digitized versions of out-of-print or otherwise difficult-to-obtain materials available to residents of Japan.

It was all the way back in 1998 that a desire to create a future in which people would be able to access whatever knowledge or information they needed at any time and from any location led us to formulate the National Diet Library Electronic Library Concept. A quarter of a century has passed since the conception of that ideal, and the National Diet Library now provides a wide variety of services via the Internet, including many initiated under the current vision statement, thanks to the understanding and cooperation of numerous copyright holders, publishers, and other interested parties. Naturally, we owe a deep debt of gratitude not just to those who helped make these services possible but also to the many who use them.

As we enter the fourth year of our vision statement, it is time to reflect on the challenges we faced and the things we have achieved as well as to begin to consider what should come next. Over the past year, the development of generative AI has become a major topic of discussion. We live in a society where technology is advancing at a rapid pace, but it remains up to us to determine what path we should take and what we can do as a library to provide access to information resources. To that end, we will continue to pay close attention to what our stakeholders have to say and to strive to enhance our services in support of the intellectual activities of both the National Diet and the people of Japan.

We very much appreciate and look forward to your continued support and cooperation in 2024.

January 2024
Director General of the National Diet Library

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