The ‘COVID-19 Data Portal Japan’ is launched


Quick access to the research data of the new coronavirus infection (COVID-19) is now available


Credit: © National Institute of Informatics

The “COVID-19 Data Portal JAPAN” has been launched through collaboration between the Research Center for Open Science and Data Platform (RCOS, Center Director: YAMAJI Kazutsuna, Professor, NII Digital Content and Media Sciences Research Division) of the National Institute of Informatics (NII, Director General: KITSUREGAWA Masaru, Tokyo, Japan) and the Bioinformation and DDBJ Center (Head of DDBJ Center: ARITA Masanori, Professor, NIG Biological Networks Laboratory) of the National Institute of Genetics (NIG, Director General: HANAOKA Fumio, Shizuoka, JAPAN), both belonging to the Research Organization of Information and Systems (ROIS, President: FUJII Ryoichi, Tokyo, Japan). Upon development, we examined and collected open data on the new coronavirus infection (COVID-19) scattered within and outside Japan, and made them available on the portal site to provide researchers quick access to required data. The portal site allows you to gather not only life science research data such as genetic sequence data, protein data and disease data, but also resources including images, literature and data-submission tools across disciplines. We hope for researchers to use this platform to discover research data and make the new data created as a result openly available, and that it will lead to a breakthrough in the fight against corona epidemic.

We started developing this portal site in support of the framework of “COVID-19 Data Portal”, which had already been released in Europe. Other countries are also beginning to integrate the research results of COVID-19 produced within the country and publish them on their own portals. This portal site was launched with the cooperation of many organisations throughout Japan. We will continue to reinforce its content so that it serves as an infrastructure for promoting the COVID-19 research in Japan and facilitating data-sharing across institutions and fields.

Comment from YAMAJI Kazutsuna, Center Director of Research Center for Open Science and Data Platform, the National Institute of Informatics (NII):

“We developed this site in collaboration with the DDBJ Center of the National Institute of Genetics, which aggregates public genetic data from around the world, by particularly focusing on enhancing the content. During the process, we realized that the COVID-19-related research results are not made public in Japan as proactively as in other countries. I hope that our efforts will help to encourage further data dissemination from Japan. We will continue to cooperate with relevant national and international organizations and provide services that contribute to COVID-19 research and knowledge discovery.”

Comment from ARITA Masanori, Head of Bioinformation and DDBJ Center, the National Institute of Genetics (NIG):

“Research output on COVID-19 is reported to be smaller in Japan. The possible cause is that responsibility lies with each prefecture and the disclosure of the RNA sequences and other virus information becomes a reluctant issue. This is more so when reputation attacks and damages are concerned. Through this portal and sister websites, I wish people know more about the world situation and realize that free distribution of the information is indeed beneficial.”


About the Research Organization of Information and Systems (ROIS)

ROIS is a parent organization of four national institutes (National Institute of Polar Research, National Institute of Informatics, the Institute of Statistical Mathematics and National Institute of Genetics) and the Joint Support-Center for Data Science Research. It is ROIS’s mission to promote integrated, cutting-edge research that goes beyond the barriers of these institutions, in addition to facilitating their research activities, as members of inter-university research institutes.

About the National Institute of Informatics (NII)

NII is Japan’s only academic research institute dedicated to the new discipline of informatics. Its mission is to “create future value” in informatics. NII conducts both long-term basic research and practical research aimed at solving social problems in a wide range of informatics research fields, from fundamental theories to the latest topics, such as artificial intelligence, big data, the Internet of Things, and information security.

As an inter-university research institute, NII builds and operates academic information infrastructure essential for the research and educational activities of the entire academic community (including the Science Information Network) as well as developing services such as those that enable the provision of academic content and service platforms.

Media Contact
Takao Fujiyoshi
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