Fresh & hot from Japan, 10 Mar. to 16 Mar. 2016

Please enjoy fresh & hot news from Japan with comments by Europe-Japan Dynamics.

10 Mar. Toyota to promote men’s child-care leave

The labour union and management of Toyota Motor Corporation agreed to examine the concrete measures by the next spring to facilitate male employees to take a child-care leave. The rate of employees taking the child-care leave is lower in the manufacturing industry than other industries. A ripple effect by Toyota’s action is expected over other companies in the manufacturing sector.

Comments: Creating rules for the child-care leave by men employees would create favorable environment for employees to take the leave. It must be seen how much the number of men employees taking the leave will increase in practice. I’d expect the measures would change perception of male managers and employees on men’s child-care leave.

11 Mar. Mourning and praying in disaster areas, the Fifth Anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake

There were the search of the missing person and a memorial event in areas on the Pacific coast of the Tohoku Region (North-East region of Japan) affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake. Many people visited memorial monuments and graveyards for the mourning of the dead families, friends and colleagues.

Comment: The Japanese may not forget the 11 March.

14 Mar. Sony, shown to the public wearable device under development, an unusual trial to collect ideas of usage

Sony has shown to the public wearable device under development at “South by Southwest” (SXSW) being held in Austin, Texas, the US. It is the first trial for the company to collect voice from consumers as inputs to the ongoing development by releasing the device at its early stage of development.

Comments: This action by Sony is a good example for a company to benefit from collective thinking process in the development of new products.

15 Mar. From the wind, hydrogen to a fuel cell, experiment by Toyota, etc. to cut CO2

Toyota Motor Corporation, Kanagawa Prefecture, etc. announced that they will undertake  a demonstration experiment to move a fuel cell forklift in warehouses powered by the electricity generated by hydrogen created by the wind-generated electricity. The system is expected to cut the carbon dioxide (CO2) generated in all the steps by a conventional engine by 80% in comparison to existing forklift.

Comments: If successfully developed, this system may become an excellent alternative to the energy generated by the fossil fuel.

16 Mar. Air cleaner that catch mosquitoes, washing machine that does not damage Sally … “Made in Japan” adjusting to local needs

An increasing number of Japanese companies are developing localized products in Asian markets, which respond to unique customs and needs. Background of this move is a strong competition with Korea and other countries over growing and prosperous Asian economies. These products signal a major change in market strategy of Japanese companies to catch consumer needs in Asia, switching from the appeal of the high quality of “Made in Japan” brand.

Comments: These products are the proof that a company can produce products welcomed by consumers if they feed consumer needs into product development.

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

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