Fresh & hot from Japan, from 20 to 24 February, 2017

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

20 Feb. Developing use of Drone, getting rid of deers, monitoring of marathon race, etc.

Areas of use of the small robot plane, Drone, is expanding. Extermination of birds and animals that eat farm products, weather observation of high above the sky, medical support, etc. The expectation of those concerned is growing that Drone may enable what has been impossible in the past.

Comments: While Drone may bring benefits to farmers, hunters and a variety of people, ecological balance should be taken into account when used for wild birds and animals.

22 Feb. “Astro Boy” to build at home to be on sale, conversation via AI also possible

Kodansha, a major publishing company in Japan, is launching a weekly magazine in April, “Let’s make Astro Boy!”, which will allow the readers to build a robot of “Astro Boy” at home if they collect all the pieces that will be attached to each of the series of 70 issues. NTT DOCOMO and IT major, Fuji Software, worked together to enable natural conversation using artificial intelligence (AI) and distinguish up to 12 people by facial recognition.

Comments: “Astro Boy” was a national hero in the 60s in Japan. He will have life again thanks to robot and AI technologies.


23 Feb. Buy a drink by smartphone and get it via a vending machine in a station, JR to start a new service to start in March

 JR East water business, a subsidiary of JR East, that run business of drink vending machines at railway stations announced that the company will start a new service by which consumers buy drinks using a smartphone and receive it later from a vending machine in March. Consumers may give drinks to friends as a gift if consumers send the purchase data stored in the phone to friends via SNS.

Comments: It is a type of online shopping that involves the vending machines. A major difference is that delivery system isn’t needed as buyers go to the machine to receive the purchase products.

24 Feb. The first “premium Friday” started today, would it be well integrated in the society?, a skeptical voice says, “We’d just suffer next week for too much work carried forward”

“Premium Friday”, the last Friday of the month when workers leave work at 3:00 p.m. started today. It is the public-private initiative that intends to increase consumption while reducing working hours, thus to chase “two rabbits”. The Government and the business community economic expect “Premium Friday” to trigger consumption increase and the reform of way of working, but would it be well integrated in the society?

Comments: Productivity increase at work would bring substantial changes that will enable shorter working hours and increased consumption.

  • 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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