Advanced Publishing Laboratory

Date of establishmentApril 1, 2017
Jun Murai
Professor, Keio University


The electronic publication (EPUB) standard will be further aligned with Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), the web standard which was designed for displays. In response to this, the two organizations which have developed and standardized these technologies, the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF) and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), have merged.

Though Japan’s publishing industry has a distinctive culture and world-class high-quality publishing technology, it still sticks to a traditional form of publication that mainly revolves around paper. The industry is not only scarcely aware of global trends that necessitate employing standardization and various digital technologies that have a high affinity with the web, but also has a low level of recognition towards introducing such technologies. Despite the fact that the Japanese market is facing the issue of decreasing birthrates and an aging population, there are no firm prospects of what publication should do through the internet.

In order to successfully unify Japan’s world-class high-quality publishing technology with EPUB, there is a need to make proposals to global standards involving researchers from diversified fields and through the web standardization organization W3C to bring together balanced investigations and debates. A new generation has begun where EPUB and the web are becoming more integrated, and it is during this time that this research will improve not only the presence and role of Japanese publication using the internet and the web, but also the degree to which Japanese publication is recognized in overseas markets so that Japan’s culture is not isolated from the world. To do this, this laboratory will also conduct maintenance while aiming to standardize the web through discussions, development, and verification for promoting EPUB. Furthermore, the laboratory will aim to carry out various educational programs to train personnel who will lead future publication and to further develop entertainment assets in Japan who have a global presence in this area.

Outline of Research Activity Plans

Technologies enabling vertical writing, ruby characters and other expressions unique to the Japanese language, and technologies in high demand will be identified and developed. The laboratory members will also participate in the meetings of standardization organizations through W3C/Keio to discuss and secure the backward compatibility of EPUB3.1 data. Additionally, while being based on social concepts and standardization specifications, the laboratory will aim to establish a technical standard that enables anyone to access content from anywhere using any device, even without having to read characters regardless of users’ age and physical differences, has sophisticated layouts similar those seen in magazines, and interoperable sound and image data on the web. At the same time, a donated course on publication will be established to develop personnel who are able to compete in the global market.

Based on the technology standardization in the previous year and with an economic perspective, proposals for technologies and standards that accommodate publications other than commercial use, such as textbooks and documents published by non-publisher companies and government offices will be developed. In order to improve the capability of Japan’s publishing industry, the adoption of future EPUB for Education by publishing companies that mainly publish textbooks for elementary and secondary education, and publishing companies that publish technical books in the field of higher education, as well as the adoption of standard technologies in various Japanese publishing companies in fields such as law, medicine, pharmaceutics, and humanities will be promoted. Additionally, a donated course will be used to develop personnel.

Researchers, managers and professors

Jun MuraiDirector Professor, Keio University
Osamu Nakamura Professor, Faculty of Environment and Information Studies
W3C, standardization
Fumitoshi Kato Professor, Faculty of Environment and Information Studies
Communication design
Gen Miyagaki Professor, Faculty of Policy Management
Sociology, economic sociology, community theory, social network theory
Tatsuma Wada Professor Faculty of Policy Management
International finance, econometrics, macroeconomics
Masaaki Sato Project Associate Professor, Graduate School of Media and Governance
Jay Kishigami Senior Researcher, Keio Research Institute at SFC
W3C, data science
Kazuyuki Ashimura Project Professor, Graduate School of Media and Governance
Forum standards, W3C, multimedia
Junichi Yoshii Researcher, Keio Research Institute at SFC
Publishing, digital publishing, e-books
Shin Niina Researcher, Keio Research Institute at SFC
Publishing, digital publishing, e-books
Daihei Shiohama Researcher, Keio Research Institute at SFC
Publishing, digital publishing, e-books
Shinya Takami Researcher, Keio Research Institute at SFC
Publishing, digital publishing, e-books
Naomi Yoshizawa Researcher, Keio Research Institute at SFC
Forum standards, W3C, Web, secretariat

Cooperating external organizations
Kodansha Ltd.
MEDIA DO Co., Ltd.