Fresh & hot from Japan, 25 to 31 Mar. 2016

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

25 Mar. Fossile of pithecanthropus discovered for the first time in the east of Great Rift Valley, from the stratum of 3,5 million years old

An international research team, including scientists from Kyoto University, announced that they discovered the fossile of pithecanthropus for the first time in the stratum of 3,5 million years old in the from the huge valley, or so-called Great Rift Valley“, that ran through the East Africa from the north to south.  It has been confirmed that the pithecanthropus lived in an area larger than it had been thought.

Comments: History has full of opportunities of innovative discoveries.

28 Mar. Artificial intelligence (AI) called “White Jack” supports medical diagnosis, announced Jichi Medical University

Jichi Medical University (Shimotsuke-shi, Tochigi-Ken) and five companies including the medical equipment vendors, such as Toshiba Medical Systems, announced that they developed a system that supports Doctors’ diagnosis using artificial intelligence (AI). With input of symptoms of a patient, the AI calculates and concludes names of possible diseases and their probability. The University plans to operate the system for examination from the coming fiscal new year that will start in April.

Comment: The system may help further development of online remote diagnosis.

29 Mar.  Remarkable rise by 30% of the price of “Table salt” for home use for the first time in the past 24 years, due to price increase of the raw materials and wrapping materials

The price of “Table salt” and “Cooking salt” for home use will be raised by about 30%  from the shipment of 1 April. It is the first rise since 1992. This is due to the increase of the procurement cost of the raw material imported from Mexico and remarkable rise of the product wrapping.

Comment: Doesn’t sound good as the salt is the basic food indispensable for everyday life.

30 Mar. Toshiba agreed with Midea Group (Chinese vendor) to sell its “White goods” branch at 53,700 million yen

Toshiba has agreed with Midea Group, a major Chinese household appliance vendor, to sell 80.1% of the stocks of the Toshiba lifestyle (Toshiba LS), a subsidiary of Toshiba that produces and sells so-called the “White Goods”, i.e. large household electrical appliances. The sale is at 53,700 million yen. Midea Group will take over employees and production sites of Toshiba LS, and continue the production using the Toshiba brand.

Comment: It appears that Toshiba is in the process of shaping up of its group management as a whole.

31 Mar. Enforcement of the law on the promotion of alleviation of discrimination on the grounds of disability to start on 1 April, 700 people marched in Hibiya Park, Tokyo

People with disabilities and their supporters marched in Tokyo in order to make it widely known that the law on the promotion of alleviation of discrimination on the grounds of disability will be enforced from 1 April.

Comment: The law is a significant step forward for awareness raising and alleviation of one of the major discriminations, that still deeply lasts in society.


  • 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.

Author: Yoshiko KURISAKI (栗崎由子)

I am Yoshiko Kurisaki, Japanese, executive consultant specializing in cross-cultural management between Europe and Japan. Being based in Geneva, I travel between Europe and Japan. Culture may be a stop factor in business. That said, if you go beyond that, culture is a vaIuable source of inspirations and innovation. I help European businesses to turn cultural barriers to innovation.   栗崎由子(くりさき よしこ)、ダイバーシティ マネジメント コンサルタント。約30年間欧州の国際ビジネスのまっただ中で仕事をしてきました。その経験を生かし、日本発グローバル人材を育てるための研修やコンサルティングを行なっています。文化の違いは”面倒なこと”ではなく新しい価値を生み出す源泉です。日本人の良さを国際ビジネスに生かしながら、違いを資源に変えて価値を創造しましょう。

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