Fresh & Hot from Japan, 24 to 28 October 2016

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

24 Oct. Toyota to release a fuel cell battery bus in the market, promoting the ecology-car technologies

Toyota Motor Corporation announced that the company will start selling a bus powered by a fuel cell battery, that generates electric power by the reaction of hydrogen and oxygen, from 2017. Toyota aims at having over 100 of the bus running in downtown Tokyo in 2020, the year of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic, thus appealing its technology to produce ecology-cars to inside and outside Japan.

Comments: It is a good side effect of the Olympic and Paralympic that the event provides a strong motivation for the industry of technology innovation.

25 Oct. J League (Japanese football league) entered into partner with Tag Heuer

 J League (Japanese football league) announced at a press conference that it has entered into a partner contract with a Swiss high quality watch maker, Tag Heuer. The boards used to display a relief player or an additional period in a game of J1 (The top league) will become the one modeled after Tag Heuer watches.

Comments: Glad to find another tie between Switzerland and Japan!

26 Oct. Japanese gender gap the worst among G7, down to the 111th

World Economic Forum (WEF) known as the Davos Forum announced the Gender Gap Report 2016, that compares the status of women and men of each country. Japan is the 111th place out of 144 countries of the world, which is the lowest rank among seven major economies (G7). The country lowered the rank from the 101st place out of 145 countries in 2015.

Comments: Low participation of women in decision-making level in politics and business is a major reason of the low rank. Thus women are heavily underutilized resource in Japan.

27 Oct. In which companies sexual minorities work comfortably? Ranking of 82 companies are released in Japan

To create a workplace in which those who are sexual minority may comfortably work, supporting organizations pulled together an “index” of the companies based on an evaluation of their actions for the minorities. The organizations awarded the highest category, “Gold”, to 53 companies and group companies of telecommunications, finance and manufacturing industries. A similar index is established in the UK, the US and Australia, and this is the first time in Japan.

Comments: Publicly recognizing good actions is a good way to admit and promote LGBT in society.

28 Oct. Too much assist by an electric bicycle, not allowed on the public road, seven products with over power

The National Police Agency announced that the power of the motor was beyond the legal limit as for at least 7 models from 6 vendors of the electric bicycles. According to the Agency, 4536 electric bicycles of these models were sold from 2013 to September 2016. The Agency invites users of such bicycles not to use them, as their motors are stronger than the level determined by the ordinance and thus are not allowed to run on the public roads.

Comments: Why isn’t there a checking of the motors of electric bicycles, if there is a legal limit  in the strength of the motors?

  • 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, 17 to 21 October 2016

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

17 Oct. Yoneyama, not ready to go for the re-operation of nuclear power plants in the prefecture, won the election of Governor of Niigata

The vote for the Niigata governor’s race,  in which a re-operation of the Tokyo Electric Power Company’s (TEPCO) Kariwa and Kashiwazaki Nuclear Power Plants had been the central issue, was held and ballots were counted on 16 Oct. Ryuichi Yoneyama (49) , whose position was to be very carful in proceeding with the re-operation of the Plants won over Tamio Mori (67), who supported the operation. The turnout was 53.05% (cf. 43.95%  last time).

Comments: It is a good sign of democracy that a Governor who take health and safety of the residents as priority over the national policy was elected, following Tokyo Governor’s case.

18 Oct. Governor of Tokyo Koike and IOC Chairperson Bach to meet to discuss Tokyo Olympic Games

A meeting between Thomas Bach, chairperson of International Olympic Committee (IOC) and Yuriko Koike, the Tokyo Governor began in the Metropolitan Government today. They will exchange opinions as to the plan of Tokyo Olympic and the Paralympics Games to be held in 2020, taking into account a forthcoming review initiated by the Governor of the plan to reduce costs.

Comments: The Governor’s review is much needed as the present budget is five times larger than the one originally presented to the IOC. Japan has many other things to spend tax payers’ money other than Olympics, such as disaster recovery of the Tohoku region, reducing budget for the medical expense for the aging population, etc.

19 Oct. 25 cm in width, Hitachi to introduce a robot vacuum cleaner which is one of the smallest in the same class

Hitachi Appliances, Inc. is releasing “minimaru“, a compact robot vacuum cleaner of 25 cm in width and 9.2 cm in height on November 19. Minimal being one of the smallest among the similar product range by major vendors, the robot cleaner is good at cleaning of small places by going between legs of chairs or under a sofa. Minimal is equipped with a function to compress garbage in the dust case by a strong current of air to make it easy to throw it away. The expected price is around 100,000 yen excluding VAT.

Comments: The Japanese has demonstrated its talent to create a small product with high functionalities again.

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20 Oct. Discount by 500 yen for customers with thin hair, a hotel in Kitakyusyu

It is the “hair day” today. There is a hotel Kitakyushu-shi that offers “the thin hair discount” by which  the hotel charges less than 500 yen for those customers whose hair is thin. About 20 customers benefitted from the discount so far, by asking at the reception if they would be eligible.

Comments: The rationale is the discount is that it takes less work to clean the room of the customers with little hair.

21 Oct. Starbucks to open a new store with roasting equipment in Tokyo  by the ned of 2018

The Starbucks coffee Japan announced that the company would open a store based on a new business model that is equipped with a roasting equipment of coffee beans in Nakameguro, Tokyo,  in December 2018. There is a same type of the store in Seattle, the US, and to be open in Shanghai, China in 2017 and in New York in 2018. The planned store in Tokyo will be the fourth of this kind in the world.

Comments: Could be a good news for coffee lovers. Watch that Starbucks foresees an increasing number of coffee lovers with a sophisticated taste in Chinese market.

  • 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, 10 to 14 October 2016

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

10 Oct. Abe Administration positive to the Osaka World Exposition, as an economic measure after the Tokyo Olympic Games

The Abe Administration began examination with a positive spirit possibility of an international exposition that Osaka Prefecture aims at organizing in 2025. The Administration expects economic effects of a large event after the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020. The prefecture is going to show the basic design of the international exposition to the government at the end of October. There are many problems are left to be resolved, such as a large expense needed for the exposition.

Comments: Why does Japanese government always think of physical construction projects as economic incentives? There are many other essential problems to attack in the economy.

11 Oct. Decline of explosive buying, surplus of Japan’s travel balance declined

According to the international trade balance (breaking news) of August released by the Ministry of Finance on the 11th. of October,  “the current account balance” indicating income and expenditures arising from trade and the investment became the black of 2,000,800 million yen. The black figure increased by 375,900 million yen from the same month in the previous year. The amount of black figure of the travel balance, that increased since the beginning of the second Abe Administration reduced for the first time in the past 43 months.

Comments: This is due to reduced shopping by Chinese tourists.

12 Oct. Toyota and Suzuki, started discussion on a possible business cooperation

Toyota Motor Corporation and SUZUKI Motor Corporation announced that they had started examination of the business cooperation in those areas as environment and safety, information technology, etc.

Comments: The news is worth following as the dialogue may lead to an M&A of a significant consequences on the Japanese automotive industry.

13 Oct. Sharp to enter factory efficiency business, while not selling the office appliance business

Sharp has announced that the company will enter the business of “a smart factory” business, that would improve production efficiency by using the IoT technologies. For this business, Sharp plans to use its own technologies of multifunctional office equipment and know-how of Foxconn Technology Group (Taiwan), its new parent company. The company also plans to examine a plan to produce monitoring robots or a conveyance apparatus to export to the overseas markets led by China.

Comments: New business developments have started under a new management of Foxconn Technology Group.

14 Oct. CEO of GLM originated from the Univ. of Kyoto, “We’ll be known to professionals”

GLM, a venture company specialized in EV sorts vehicles born in the University of Kyoto, extended its world by its first exhibition in Paris Motor Show.

Comments: EV is giving birth to small automobile companies addressing to specialized markets. The technology may change the automobile industry structure in the near future.

glm-ev-sports-car
GLM – “Astounding pleasure”

 

  • 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.

Professor Geert Hofstede

I was convinced that the real meeting is above all what the cyber may offer us.

I’m Just back from travel to Prague to meet with Professor Geert Hofstede, who is well known for who did a pioneering study of cultures across modern nations, and “The Six Dimensions of National Culture”. I attended as a guest with other five specialists of cross-cultural management — Tom Fadrhonc,Pernilla, George LP, Merita Vilen, Haas — the ceremony of conferral of the degree of Doctorat Honoris Causa at the University of Economics.

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Professor Hofstede (Center), Prague.

It was a great experience to talk to Prof. Hofstede with just 6 of us for as long as two full hours (!) over breakfast on the next day.

I was impressed by his sincere attitude to research, willingness to learn non-stop as a scholar, while being humble and with a warm-heart and charming sense of humor.

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A nutoritious meeting with Professor Hofstede, Café de Paris, Prague

 

Fresh & Hot from Japan, 3 to 7 October 2016

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

3 Oct. Dr. Yoshinori Ohsumi, professor emeritus of Tokyo Institute of Technology, won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine

Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, announced that the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine of this year will be given to Dr. Yoshinori Ohsumi (71), a professor emeritus of Tokyo Institute of Technology. The awarding reason was “the discovery of the structure of the automatic fuzzy” (autophagy action). Dr. Ohsumi clarified mechanism in which a cell broke down own part and recycled it as a nourishment source or its own renewal. He thus resolved a mystery of an essential life phenomenon common to various creatures.

Comments: It was original that Dr. Ohsumi looked at a destroying process, rather than creating process of a cell.

4 Oct. IMF raised Japanese growth rate expectation in increase 0.5% of this year

International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced latest World Economic Outlook on 4th. The organization raised the growth forecast from the one in July, taking into account the postponement of the consumption tax increase this summer, and the economic measures proposed by the Government raised. The IMF left the growth rate worldwide unchanged, due to the decrease of the growth forecast of industrialized countries upon slowdown of the US economy and the determination of the UK to exit from the European Union (EU), while the growth prospect of newly developing countries.

Comments: Hope that the growth of Japanese economy would last.

5 Oct. Gundam from the small factory in town! Bipedalism Robo of “the world’s largest grade

The engineers engaged in manufacturing in Osaka-shi made a humanoid robot made from aluminum of 4 meters tall and 300 kg in weightOne may control it in a cockpit in the body such as “Mobile Suit Gundam“.  According to Mr. Hajime Sakamoto (49) who runs a robot production company “Hajime Institute ” (Nishiyodogawa-ku, Osaka-shi) and who is the head of the development of the robot, “The robot is one of the world’s largest” among those robots of the bipedalism.

Video: Mounting on the 4m robot.

Comments: The engineers are working to make their dream come true.

6 Oct. CEATEC  Japan, exhibitors compete over wireless communication and sensors towards IoT 

Electronic parts vendors compete over wireless communication technologies and the sensor, which are indispensable for the IoT (the Internet of the things). Enormous volumes of sensors will be required for the IoT, and a large demand increase is expected. http://www.ceatec.com/ja

Comments: Fierce competition is an origin of innovation.

7 Oct. “Xperia ear”, a device on the ear to operate a smartphone by voice

Sony mobile communications will release “the Xperia ear” on November 18, which will connect a smartphone of the android operating system (the OS) with the wireless communications network.  The device attached to the ear will allow phone calls and message exchanges without holding a smartphone by hand.

http://www.sonymobile.co.jp/product/smartproducts/

 

Comments: Sounds like an SF.

sonx-xperia_equipment sony-xperia

 

 

 

 

  • 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.