Fresh & hot from Japan, 14 to 20 Jan. 2016

14 Jan. Toyota plans 2.6 million sales in the US in 2017

Toyota Motor Corporation advised to its OEM vendors that the company would set 2.64 million as a sales target in the US for 2017. The sales volume has continued increasing since 2011 that sold 1.64 million, the latest bottom year. The company anticipates that the factors that supported the sales, such as wage increase and low oil price, would continue in the coming years.

Comments: Let’s hope the economy would recover.

15 Jan. Tokyo Auto Salon, with 880 dressed-up cars, 15 – 17 Jan.

Tokyo Auto Salon is the largest auto show of dressed-up cars in the world. The 34th show started in Makuhari Messe located in the suburbs of Tokyo on 15 January, joined by 447 constructors, OEMs and tuning houses. Tokyo Auto Salon is a unique opportunity that attracts a number of passionate fans of dressed-cars who do not save expenses for the dressing-up. The number of visitor reached 310,000 last year.

Comments: While dressed-up car market may be a niche, it is worth noting that there are people who are willing to spend money, despite a cold market condition of the automobile sales in general. Could Swiss automotive OEMs benefit from this market?

18 Jan. Request for referendum successfully made to question re-operation of nuclear plant in Shikoku

The citizen’s group, “Yawatahama citizens’ group to request referendum”, has successfully requested to the city Mayor Ichiro Oshiro the establishment of the referendum regulations. The regulation is needed for the citizens to directly vote to see if the’d agree with the re-operation of the nuclear plant owned by Shikoku Electric Power Co. Ltd. The third unit of Ikata Nuclear Power Plant, the plant in question, is located in less than 20 km from Yawatahama City. If the regulation is approved by the municipal assembly, the city is obliged to organise a referendum.

Comment: Need for wide public consultation on the operation of nuclear plants is increasing, as more and more citizens are deeply concerned about the safety of the plant.

19 Jan. Let’s prevent “Smart Phone addict” of children — Hyogo-ken creating a new ordinance

Hyogo-Ken (prefecture) announced that it will amend the Prefectural Ordinance of Juvenile Protection to require school teachers and parents to create rules for children in the use of smart hones and the Internet. Hyogo-Ken found that 22% of children between the ages of 11 and 18 use smart phones for more than four hours per day and 6% of may be addicted by the phones. The prefecture intends to prevent children from being addicted by smart phones or from being involved in troubles caused by false use of the Internet.

Comment: Could rules stop the passion of children to smart phones?

20 Jan. Driving by feet, Honda is releasing FIT HV for those without hands mobility

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has started taking orders of its hybrid vehicle, “FIT“, which those unable to use hands may drive. The driver will use both feet to drive the car. FIT of this type will be available in markets from March.

Comments: A good use of technology to improve mobility of the handicapped.

  • All the news items are picked up from “Asahi Digital”, and summarized and translated by Europe-Japan Dynamics. These are not an official translation of the Asahi Newspaper.

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