Fresh & Hot from Japan, 22 to 26 August 2016

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

22 Aug. Nursing by night without disturbing patients by light, An ear cover light developed by Shimane University

Shimane University announced that it developed an LED light for nurses to use hanged on the ear to take care of patients during the night. The wish of a nurse of the hospital attached to the medical department of the University to have a hands-free light which light up the hand without disturbing patients has come true. This lamp is a result of development with companies in Izumo city (Shimane Prefecture) and to be launched in commercial markets in the autumn.

Comments: This case convinces us that technologies find a way to be welcome in society when they are used to help people.

島根大 耳架けライト

23 Aug. UFJ Bank and Hitachi, starting experiment of the electronic check using FinTech

Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Hitachi, Ltd. announced that they began demonstration experiment of electronic issuing and settlement of checks using FinTech (Information Technologies for the financial sector) in Singapore. They aim at putting the electronic check system in practical use in 2018, and plan to use it in Japan and other countries in Asia in the future.  In the experiment, so-called “block chain” technology, that encrypts business transaction records such as the settlement will be used.

Comments: The electronic check will accelerate the speed of transaction and therefore money flow in the economy.

24 Aug. The super high-quality sake “rice wine” of Y 88,000.- ($ 880.-) being exported

It costs 88,000 yen or about $ 880.- (tax-excluded) per bottle of 750 milliliters. Such a super high quality sake “Mujaku” has been put on sale. A venture company of Yamaguchi-shi and a sake producer of Iwakuni-shi, Yamaguchi ken, developed it. One thousand (1,000) bottles will be produced, out of which 250 bottles will be sold in Japan. The rest will be exported as “Rice wine” to Dubai, France, etc. Online purchase is also possible from the link here — http://mujaku.jp.

Comments: Sales and consumption of Sake has been shrinking in Japan since years. The sake industry must have a new strategy to appeal the sake to wider markets and a large variety of consumers.

25 Aug. Drying the clothes with high-speed wind of 300km/hour, Hitachi to release a new model of a washing and drying machine

Hitachi Appliances,Inc. is releasing a new model “BD-SV110A” of the drum-type washing and drying machine, “Heat recycling wind iron big drum slim” series in September. In addition to a major feature of this series of drying with a high speed wind of approximately 300km per an hour while steaming the clothes, it has become possible to dry the clothes with less wrinkles by improving the turn control of the drum.  The washing capacity is 11 kg. The price without TVA will be around 310,000 yen (about CHF 3000.-).

Comments: What an expensive washing machine it is!

26 Aug. Insominia treatment using the Internet,  a new cognitive-behavioral therapy without using drugs

Chiba University Hospital developed a treatment program of the insomnia using the Internet. The therapy is based on the cognitive-behavioral therapy that enables a patient to review his/her way of thinking and action without depending on medicine, while staying at home. The hospital is recruiting participants of the clinical trial to check an effect of the treatment.

Comments: It is a therapy that allows us to voluntarily work on the brain.

  • 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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Fresh & Hot from Japan, 15 to 19 August 2016

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

15 Aug. 71 years after the Second World War, the national memorial ceremony for war victims organised by the Government in a martial arts gymnasium

On 15th, the day when the war was ended 71 years ago, the national memorial ceremony for war victims 0rganised by the Government in Japan martial arts gymnasium (Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo). There will be over 5,600 participants; the Emperor and Empress, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Chairperson of both houses of Representatives and Councilors, and families of the victims of the war. They will mourn approximately 3,100,000 war dead, and pray for the world peace.

Comments: It is the day when Japanese should be reminded that the war is all about painful consequence fall on each person, not a computer simulation or words in policy statements.

16 Aug. “Please work at home on an extremely hot day”, an e-mail alert system based on the weather forecast of the Meteorological Agency

“Please work at home today” — infoteria,  a software development company in Tokyo, has developed a system which automatically sends a message to its employees on the day when the Meteorological Agency forecasts the highest temperature to be more than 35 degrees, or “an extremely hot day”. It is a company policy  to advise employees to work at the home on an extremely hot day. The company provides the e-mail alert system for in-house use, as well as to other companies.

Comments: It is a company policy to promote ecological way of working. It is a good idea to put CSR (Corporate social responsibility) in practice!

17 Aug. JR West to introduce new technology for track checking, such as image recognition and 3D data management

West Japan Railway Company (JR West) will introduce state-of-the-art technologies for maintenance and inspection to improve the level of precision. For example, the company will use an image recognition system to check railway track, and manage results of inspection of elevated bridges by three dimensional (3D) data to improve the security.

Comments: ICT will largely change the hard work of maintenance and inspection of railway facilities.

18 Aug. Art exhibition of lifelike food sample in Sora Machi, Tokyo 

“Art of the taste 2016”, which exhibits a variety of food samples will be held in Tokyo Sora Machi East Yard in Tkyo Skytree Town (Sumida-ku, Tokyo) on 20 -29 August. About 40 food samples that participated in an in-house competition organised by Iwasaki Corp., a specialist of food sample production. Admission is free.

Comments: The photo below is a food sample, and looks more delicious than the real one.

いわさき 食品サンプル

19 Aug. Japanese nuclear power plants easy targets of terrorist attack? Slowly having counterterrorism in place

At last counterterrorism has begun moving ahead for the nuclear power plants in Japan, while terrorism has become frequent in all parts of the world, and the risk of attacks is increasing in various places.

Comments: It is unbelievable.

  • 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.

Fresh & Hot from Japan, 8 to 12 August 2016

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

8 Aug. His Majesty the Emperor Akihito expressed his feeling of abdication by video message

The Imperial Household Agency released o the public the video message of His Majesty the Emperor Akihito, who showed  intention of “the abdication while alive” to hand over the throne to  Crown Prince, on his feeling about “the duty as the symbol” to at 3:00 PM. Emperor Akihito has expressed that it may become difficult to achieve the duty as the symbol of Japan with his heart and soul as he got aging. While avoiding the direct expression on abdication due to constitutional prohibition for him to step in any political matters, he speech strongly suggested intention of the future abdication.

Comments: Pope retired. Why not the Emperor? He worked hard throughout his life. It’s time to exit.

11 Aug. “Buddhist priest service” by Amazon, Buddhism community rebelled but unexpectedly criticised

“Buddhist priest service” by Amazon, in which you click a button in Amazon, put it in a cart, pay by credit card, and see the Buddhist priest coming your home before long, has become popular. Despite request made by the Buddhism community to stop the service, it is selling well, because there are some reasons why behind on both service ordering and delivering sides.

Comments: Where there is an unmet demand, there is a business opportunity.

12 Aug. The third unit of Ikata Nuclear Power Plant resumed operation, becoming the third nuclear power plant in operation 

Shikoku Electric Power Corp. has resumed operation of the third unit of Ikata Nuclear Power Plant  (Ehime, output 890,000 kilowatts) in the morning on 12th. This has become the third nuclear power plant currently in operation, following the Units 1 and 2 of Kawauchi Nuclear Plant (Kagoshima) of Kyushu Electric Power Corp. Residents of Matsuyama and Hiroshima and Oita filed an application for a provisional disposition order to their respective district court to request a tentative court order to stop driving the plant. There may be a chance that the plant operation may be stopped by judgement of the courts.

Comments: Japan should consider the energy supply of the future before hurriedly moving to resume operation go nuclear plants in the country. This is the act of learning form the Fukushima disaster

  • 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.

Fresh & Hot from Japan, 1 to 5 August 2016

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

1 Aug. New Governor of Tokyo, Ms Koike to set up a new organization to improve transparency of the governance, including a team to pursue abuse of public rights

In the first morning after the election of the governor of Tokyo, MS Yuriko Koike (64 ) held a press conference in her office in Toshima-ku, and revealed that she would create an organization whose mission is to improve the transparency of the governance of Tokyo, as she had promised in the campaign pledge. She went on to say that she would promote information disclosure of the business taken by Tokyoincluding the Tokyo Olympic and the Paralympic Games.

Comments: New policies must be implemented in the first six months after taking the throne, said a political philosopher of an ancient Rome.

2 Aug. Food self-sufficiency ratio in Japan, 39% for six years in a row

Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries announced that the food self-sufficiency ratio (on calorie base) of 2015 was 39% for 6 years in a row. Though the Government aims at raising the rate to 45% by the summer 2025, the ratio still remains unchanged.

Comments: Despite years of huge investment by the Government to raise the food self-sufficiency ratio, we have not got significant results. Essential changes in the structure of agriculture is needed.

3 Aug. GDP to increase 0.6% p.a., average of forecasts by private think tanks 

Forecasts of gross domestic product (GDP) of the second-quarter by 14 private think tanks have been made available.  The average of the predicted real growth rate that excludes  influence of the price fluctuation is 0.2 % increase (0.6% increase when converted into an annual rate). This is a positive growth for two quarters in a row.

Comments: It is a good news, even though the growth appears to be still fragile.

4 Aug. Unifying wireless LAN between public facilities of Fukuoka-shi and public transportation of Nishitetsu

Fukuoka-shi and Nishitetsu announced that they will allow from 1 September mutual recognition of certification of public wireless LAN services between public facilities of Fukuoka -shi and bus services of Nishitetsu. Mayor Soichiro Takashima of Fukuoka-shi said at the press conference that such service will help visitors of the city to access to various information.

Comments: Public LAN (WiFi) has been made available in wider areas in the past few years, but the progress is still slow. Many other cities should follow the arrangement between Fukuoka-shi and Nishitetsu. 

5 Aug. Prime Minister to express the acceptance in response to a planned expression of the feeling by the Emperor

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe started consensus building among those Government officials who are involved in order to express the acceptance in response to a planned expression of the feeling by the Emperor of his intention of abdication while being alive. Upon the expression of the feeling by the Emperor, the Government plans to examine what actions to take by spending ample time, widely collecting opinions from well-informed persons.

Comments: While the Government appears to have started taking a way to admit the abdication of the Emperor, why do they move so carefully and slowly? The Emperor is 86 years old, have worked much to perform roles as established by the Japanese Constitution, it’s time for him to peacefully retire.

  • 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.