Fresh & Hot from Japan, 2 to 8 June 2016

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

1 Jun. Learning drill like a game on the Internet, developed by Gakken to improve motivation

The Gakken Holdings will start new learning drills services on the Internet in July. The services are addressed to children of primary and junior high schools, and have game characteristics so that children will obtain custom of learning. The Gakken Holdings plans to increase the number of customers of its main business of tutoring school by attracting potential customers by an easy-access service such as the online learning drill service.

Comments: Would an online game motivate children to study?

2 Jun. “We’ll dispatch robots to factories that plan production increase”, a new business of Kawasaki Heavy Industries

Kawasaki Heavy Industries launched a new business to dispatch robots to work on the production line of factories that need to increase production temporarily. By dispatching robots instead of human work force, the company plans to offer solutions for the shortage of work force on the shop floor.

Comments: Robots to replace human workers — it was an SF dream. Now the dream may gradually come true taking such an avenue.

3 Jun. Russia to designate the Northern Territories as a special economic zone, aiming at promotion of fish farming and tourism

The Russian Ministry of Far East Development announced the policy to create a special economic zone in the Kuril Islands (Name of the Chishima Islands and the Northern Territories in Russia) before the end of this year. The Government intends to promote industry such as fish farming or tourism in Etorofu and Kunashir Islands. Expectation of Japanese investment in the region is increasing in Russia after Japan and Russia summit meeting of May. The country may demand Japan an economic cooperation in the new special economic zone.

Comments: Japan should take advantage of this opportunity to push interests of regional development forward in order to create a realistic and feasible solutions with Russia over this disputed territories  since the end of the WWII.

6 Jun. A number of “Drone class” being held in cities, responding demand for practice due to regulations limiting areas of flying 

An increasing number of fields and flight schools of a small robot plane (Drone) is open in Japan. While the Government included drone in the growth strategy of the country, the drone regulations increased due to accidents and other troubles. As a result, it has become difficult to fly drones in urban areas. This gave rise to demand of companies investigating business opportunities using a drone to practice flying the drone in safe zones.

Comments: It is an excellent business idea to provide the space and course for future drone service providers. While it is a nice market, an increasing use of drone will provide stable demand.

7 Jun. Honda factory in Kumamoto to partly start production in June, expecting the full operation in August

Honda is restarting production of motorcycels in the Kumamoto factory (Ohzu-machi, Kumamoto), which has been stopped since the Kumamoto earthquake, though partly by the end of this month. The factory is the only base of motorcycle production in Japan. The company is starting some of the 50 models and plans the full-scale production in the middle of August.

Comments: It is a good sign of economic recovery from the Kumamoto earthquake.

8 Jun. Real growth rate of GDP increased by 0.5% from the previous quarter, in January to March period

A real growth rate of GDP that excludes the influence of price fluctuation increased by 0.5% in the first quarter 2016 as compared to the rate in the previous quarter (Oct. – Dec. 2015), according to the second breaking news announced by the Cabinet Office. The rate is equivalent to the 1.9% increase if converted into the annual rate. The 0.5% figure was revised upward from 0.4% increase (1.7% increase in annual rate conversion) announced in the breaking news released in May. It is the first positive growth in the past two quarters.

Comments: Let’s see how the economic status will roll out.

  • 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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