Fresh & Hot from Japan, 26 to 30 December 2016

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26 Dec. MRJ to postpone the delivery date for the fifth time, said the President of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

President Shunichi Miyanaga of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries indicated the delay of the first delivery of MRJ, the first regional jetliner made in Japan, in an interview with the Asahi Shimbun, “It may not be easy to deliver the MRJ in the mid-2018, taking into account the present conditions.” It will be the fifth time to delay the delivery date. The company plans to officially announce the delay next month.

Comments: Manufacturing an aircraft is a very complex process. This news recalls that the delivery of A383 was delayed for a few years.

mrj_3rd-flight-test_3

27 Dec. Costs for system creation of the simultaneous TV program delivery over the Internet to be paid by NHK fees, said commercial broadcasting companies

A meeting of the panel of experts of Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications was held to discuss the simultaneous delivery of TV programs over the Internet was held on 26th, and NHK (Nippon Hoso Kyokai, or the Japanese public broadcasting corporation) requested revision of the Broadcast Act needed to legally enable the simultaneous delivery. The commercial broadcasting companies argued that they and NHK should jointly push forward creation of the delivery system over the Internet as it requires a large amount of investment.

Comments: I hope that regulatory barrier will be removed so that we can take full advantage of the Internet.

28 Dec. Toshiba officially announced a possible loss of up to hundreds of billions of yen

Toshiba currently under management reconstruction announced that the company is to return a loss of maximum hundreds of billions of yen, due to the property value of the American company related to a nuclear power plant which Toshiba recently acquired much lower than the value originally estimated. Despite an estimated black figure in the net profit or loss this year, Toshiba might return deficit. Should the finance would get worse, thorough reconstruction of management including the capital reinforcement may be needed.

Comments: Toshiba’s financial scandal still continues. Something must be wrong in the management and even in its corporate culture.

29 Dec. The congestion peak of the homecoming rush in the air and rail, passengers queue till ticket gates

The homecoming rush of people who spent the year-end and New Year holidays in hometowns peaked on the 29th. The railroad and flights such as the Shinkansen were heavily crowded all over Japan.

Comments: It’s an annual home-bound travel season in Japan.

30 Dec. FamilyMart reconciled at 43 million yen with the family of a shopkeeper whose cause of death was overworking

“FamilyMart” (HQ in Tokyo) , one of major convenience stores in Japan, reconciled at the Osaka District Court with the family of its ex-employee who passed away due to too much overtime working.  It is an exceptional case that the franchise headquarters would accept a payment of compensation for a shopkeeper’s accident who was hired by and has a contract with member shop. FamilyMart will pay 43 million yen in total 

Comments: The Japanese are hard worker but should put a limit on it, both employees and managers.

  • 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, 19 to 23 December 2016

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19 Dec.”Bioplastic” which is painting-free, Roadster to adopt

Bioplastic resin, produced by Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. from bio materials, is being used for an increasing number of automobile parts. Though more expensive than the resin derived from oil, attention is being paid to bioplastic for its eco-friendliness and cost-saving effects due to no need for painting.

Comments: Bioplastic could be a breakthrough for ecological production.

20 Dec. NEC to establish a company for development of medicines for cancer treatment using AI

NEC announced that the company would enter an innovative drug development business using artificial intelligence (AI). By using AI, the company has already discovered a promising material which may be used to create “peptide vaccine” that is attracting attention as a new therapeutic drug of cancer. NEC has established a new company to push forward the drug development to put the new medicine into practical use around 2025.

Comments: What an interesting development it is to stretch its core competence of information technology to medical science!

nec-medicine

21 Dec. Assessment of economic status raised for the first time since one year and nice months, “recovery continued”

The Cabinet Office raised an overall assessment of the domestic economy one year nine months since March, 2015, according to a monthly economic report of December. It is judged that movement of the improvement came out to export and individual consumption, saying, “the delay in the improvement was partly seen, but a gentle recovery tone continued”.

Comments: It’s a good news.

22 Dec. Honda, to partner with Google to develop automatic driving, starting a run experiment in the US

Honda announced that the company would start collaborative investigation of the “complete automatic driving” with the US net search major Google. Artificial intelligence (AI) of Google will be loaded in the car provided by Honda. The two companies will repeat run experiments in the United States and share know-how of the automatic driving.

Comments: A merger between the automobile manufacturing and information technology companies are taking place over the automatic driving, and the connected car.

23 Dec. Diplomatic documents related to Asia after the WWII to be open to the public on the web

The Asian history document center of the National Archives decided to extend the coverage of the documents related to international relations with Asian countries available to the public via its web site from those covering from Meiji era to the Second World War (WWII) to the era that include post WWII period. It is intended to fill the gap between different interpretations of historical incidents that sometimes cause disputes among different views by enabling to share the common documents between researchers and scholars. This change will start from 2017.

Comments: Better late than never — it is a good idea.

  • 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, 12 to 16 December 2016

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12 Dec. Inquiries and doorstepping investigations in the cyber space by a special force of Fukuoka Prefectural Police

Eradicate cyber crimes! — a special force of Fukuoka Prefectural Police, whose members are special investigators who had studied the computer science, “Cyber security special team (F-CST )”  started operating. The team deals with the investigation to go back and forth between the cyber space and real world, and started seeing the results.

Comments: Police needs competence of hackers to investigate cyber crimes.

13 Dec.  Automatic driving bus in campus, field experiment by a group of public and private organizations including Kyushu University

Four private and public organizations including Kyushu University announced that they would start a field experiment of the automatic driving bus from next January, and showed a demonstration run in Ito campus of Kyushu University  (Nishi-ku, Fukuoka-shi). The Road Traffic Act does not allow the unmanned driving in the public road, but premises in the campus is all right as it is not the public road.  The group of organizations plans to progressively  test the bus in the environment near to the public road and improve safety and convenience. It is aimed to put the automatic driving bus into practice as a means of transportation in campuses in the latter half of 2018.

Comments: The automatic driving cars may start being used for specific purposes in the private premises, such as Universities, factories, hospitals, etc.

14 Dec. Please read it before you use!, “Toilet paper to read” getting popular

It is too good to just use — “Toilet paper to read” by Hayashi Paper (President Hiroyuki Hayashiof Hina, Fuji-shi, Shizuoka produces is popularFrom a quiz to a novel and disaster prevention information, here are more than 30 products of this kind. The company is receiving a number of requests for an original toilet paper from public institutions and companies inside and outside the prefecture.

Comments: It is a great value-added of toilet paper!

xmas-toilet-paper

15 Dec. Fuji Film acquired Wako Pure Chemical Industries from Takeda Pharmaceutical to strengthen its medical business

Fuji Film Holdings Corp. purchased Wako Pure Chemical Industries  Ltd. (Osaka-shi), a subsidiary of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited specialized in reagent for studies for approximately 154,700 million yen. Fuji Film intends to acquire techniques necessary for research and development of the regenerative medicine and thus to strengthen its medical business.

Comments: With decreasing demand for films, Fuji Film is undergoing a strategic shift to the medical business using its core competence on chemicals.

16 Dec. Christmas tree of high-quality melons, “If you hit the right number, please get one”

“The melon tree” which used the high-quality cantaloupes is displayed in the Nishijima gardening housing complex of Hataeda, Nankoku-shi, Kochi until 24th and heaps up a Christmas season.

Comments: Japanese are good at using Christmas for marketing of high quality melons!

melon-tree_comm

  • 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, 5 to 9 December 2016

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5 Dec. From filament to stamp, Panasonic switching the use of material of lamps due to switching of lighting to LED

Panasonic converted material (tungsten) for the filament of incandescent and fluorescent lamps into a stamp. Due to the spread of lighting  by LED (light emitting diode), the use of the filament is decreasing. The company therefore has switched the use of processing technique of tungsten developed in-house to stamps.  The stamps made from tungsten has advantages over existing materials of stamps, such as a long life and only a little pressure needed to use it. Panasonic plans to ship the material to stamp manufacturers before the end of this year.

Comments: Panasonic is flexible to search and find a new use of existing techniques in a competitive ways.

6 Dec. Automatic driving car carrying cars for export to a wharf, ”Intelligent Vehicle Towing” introduced by Nissan Oppama Factory

Nissan Motor Corp. introduced and showed to the press a system to carry newly manufactured cars from the factory to a dedicated wharf by  an electric car (EV) of the automatic driving in its major Oppama Factory (Yokosuka-shi, Kanagawa-ken). Nissan plans to use this system to carry 1,000 cars per day by 2019, thus to improve efficiency of production and the shipment.

Comments: Automatic cars may be used more efficiently in private premises for limited purposes than in public roads, at least until technology and operational know-how will have been piled up.

nissan

7 Dec.  Monitoring teleworkers, Canon to start a support service

Canon announced that the company will launch a system to support “the telework” via the Internet, a style of working  to work at homes. The system allows managers to watch employees working at home with a remote camera, and will be introduced to the market next February. The Government promoting the telecom as a part of “The reform of the way of working”, Canan and its competitors are developing the systems that facilitate the telework.

Comments: The system hits a thin line between private and work lives. Would teleworkers want to have a monitoring camera at home?

8 Dec. The East meets the West, Santa Clause in a shape of Japanese traditional doll

Hakata dolls (One of the Japanese traditional dolls developed in Fukuoka area, Kyushu region) of Santa Claus are on sale in the Christmas market held in front of the JR Hakata station (Fukuoka-shi ). Only three hundred dolls will be sold. People queued to but one.

Comments: The doll symbolizes adjustment of traditional craftsmanship to the modern life.

santa-%e5%8d%9a%e5%a4%9a%e4%ba%ba%e5%bd%a2

9 Dec. Innovative drug development of iPS, budget of 6 Billion yen over 6 years to be approved by the Government

Japanese government is starting a new project to create induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from the cells of patients to support the innovative drug development. A committee in charge of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology has approved an outline of the plan that will cost 6 billion yen over six years. The project is intended to support research to create the basis of a new medicine to be developed by pharmaceutical companies.

Comments: A long time and huge investment are needed for R&D of new medicine.

  • 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, 28 November to 2 December 2016

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28 Nov. Industrial waste + Water –> hydrogen, a group of Osaka University developed technology

An R&D group of Osaka University developed a technique to efficiently produce hydrogen from industrial waste and water. The hydrogen gas has the risk of  explosion, and its storage and transportation are challenges. With the new technology, it will be able to safely take out hydrogen when needed, and one may further expect application to a portable hydrogen generator. The group published the technology in a British science magazine, Scientific Reports.

Comments: The technology may help small and medium-sized companies.

29 Nov. Smart coaster that tells shop staff when not much beer is left in a mug, made by Kyocera

Kyocera made a “smart coaster” as a trial product that assesses remaining quantity of beer in a mug and that tell it to a shop staff. The company plan to propose it to restaurants and may produce it on a commercial basis if there would be enough demand.

Comments: One may use this technology for various other purposes, such as medical applications.

30 Nov. Recycling of waste paper from offices without water, Epson selling a new equipment for the first time in the world 

Seiko Epson starts selling “PaperLab” from December, equipment that produces recycled paper from the wastepaper of offices without water. According to the company, PaperLab is the first dry processing equipment in the world. Seiko Epson expects demand from companies and local governments that handle highly confidential documents, as PaperLab allows users to process these documents without taking them outside.

Comments: It’s an ecological technology.

epson-paperlab

 1 Dec. OK for interns even for one day only, Federation of Economic Organizations to scrap the “Five days” rule

The Federation of Economic Organizations decided to abolish a present condition of internship that requires students to work for a company to see if it matches with them for minimum five days. The Federation will amend guidelines of recruitment addressed to its about 1,300 member companies. This change will enable an internship of one day only and work to shorten time of internship.

Comments: The Japanese internship is for the support of job hunting of students, not like Europe.

2 Dec. Ability to talk determined by heredity and environment half-and-half, according to results of analysis of brain activities of 40 pairs of twins

A group of University of Osaka has reported results of its research that a controlling ability to speak words that pop up is influenced by the heredity and a surrounding environment. The group has reached this conclusion as a result of examination and analysis of 40 sets of adult twins’ brain activity of the adult in total and analyzed it.

Comments: An interesting research!

  • 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.