Fresh & Hot from Japan, 6 to 13 January 2017

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


6 Jan . Mr. Tramp criticized Toyota for its plan to build a new factory in Mexico, “Should build it in the US!”

The President Elect Mr. Trump criticized Toyota by his tweet for the company’s plan to build a new factory in Mexico, saying, “You should build it in the US, or otherwise pay a high import tax”.  Having attacked US automobile major, Ford and other companies to stop building relocating factories outside the US, he shot an arrow of criticism to a Japanese company for the first time after the US presidential election.

Comment: Government intervention in economic activities must be done with much care, as economic activities always run before the governments actions in the history.

11 Jan. The new imperial era name to start from 1 Jan. 2019, assuming the abdication on the previous day

The government started examining ways to allow the Crown Prince to succeed to the throne to the new Emperor on January 1, 2019, and to commence the new imperial era name on the same day, following abdication of His Majesty the Emperor. It was judged that the change of an era on the New Year’s Day was desirable to minimize consequences on life of the public.  If things go advance in line with the present plan, the present His Majesty will step down from the throne on December 31, 2018, and the Heisei will close a curtain on the 30th year.

Comments: It should not be forgotten to discuss and establish a set of general rules for the emperor to step down from the throne. Otherwise, one might face the same issues for the next emperor, when the life time of the population is becoming longer and longer.

12 Jan. The Nikkei Average to close with 229 Yen lower, upset by an expression of dissatisfaction by Mr. Trump

Stock price of the Tokyo stock market decreased after an interval of two days due to a mass selling caused by disappointment after a press conference of the President elect, Mr. Trump.

Comments: Would the stock exchange markets continue reaction sensitively to Mr. Trump for the coming four years?

13 Jan. Detection of drowsy driving, health check of cows, etc., an increasing number of wearable terminals are being released to the markets

Toyobo, a textile major, and Union Tool, a vendor of  medical equipment, announced that they had developed the underwear that alerted a driver when it detected that he/she was falling asleep and that the companies planned to put it on sale before the end of this year. The underwear is intended to prevent an accident by having drivers of bus or taxi wear.  An increasing number of clothes-shaped wearable terminals are being developed as they may be worn more naturally than glasses type terminals.

Comments: We’ll be wearing wearable devices in as it is literally meant.


  • 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, 7 to 11 November 2016

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

7 Nov. Drone, the aerial hot battle over the God flag by 20 brave men

“The drone God flag contest” was held in Minamisoma-shi, Fukushima prefecture on 6th. The contest is to catch the God flag by drones, modeled after a wild horse chase of Soma, a traditional event of the region in which samurais on galloping horse to compete to catch the God flag.

Comments: It’s an interesting idea to replicate horse racing by drones!


8 Nov. “Fukushima to be a world pioneer of energy revolution”, the 1st World Community Power Conference

The 1st World Community Power Conference (WCPC2016) was held in Fukushima on 3-4 November, aiming at investigation of ways for communities to promote the use of renewable energy, such as distributed power supply. A total of 620 people involved in renewable energy participated in the conference from worldwide. The WCPC 2016 launched a message that Fukushima, a disaster site of unprecedented nuclear plant accident 5 years ago, will entrust the next generation with the society that will not depend on the atomic energy.

Comments: WCPC 2016 is an initiative by local municipalities. It’s unusual for Japan and worth seeing how it will roll out.

9 Nov. “May take some measures if JPY’s value keep rising after the US Presidential election, said Deputy Vice‐Minister of Financial Affairs, Asakawa

Ministry of Finance, Financial Services Agency and the Bank of Japan held an urgent meeting in the afternoon of 9th and discussed possible reactions of Japan to a rising value of Japanese Yen (JPY) and falling price of stocks, in case the Republican candidate Trump may become dominant in the U.S. presidential election. Masashi Asakawa, Deputy Vice‐Minister of Financial Affairs stated to the press, “We will take necessary measures if this moment would continue, after careful observation”. This implies that Japanese Government would not hesitate to intervene in currency markets, should a rapid rise of the value of JPY may not cease.

Comments: We’ll see how market of JPY would react soon.

10 Nov. Smartphones made by “SANYO” to be marketed in India, following a steady sales performance of  liquid crystalline TV 

It was known that Panasonic is preparing the sale of smartphones in “SANYO” brand in India from next year. The plan  is to grow the sale of smartphones in the Indian market where economy is growing, by addressing a market for low-price products available only via an online sale via the Internet.

Comments:  Low-cost & high performance smart phones would be a good fit for Asian markets.

11 Nov. Groping for diplomatic strategy with Trump, Japan the first among G7 States to start diplomatic discussion on phone

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe discussed diplomatic issues on phone with Mr. Donald Trump, the next US President, and agreed to meet in New York on 17th Nov. The Prime Minister wishes to reconfirm to firmly maintain the Japan-U.S. alliance, which Mr. Trump insisted to review. Thus the Japanese Government has started “the diplomacy with the Trump Administration” by groping, without having a strong tie with him.

Comments: One can only say, “Wait and see”.

  • 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, 31 October to 4 November 2016

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

31 Oct. Cleaning, cooking, and more, four tasks of hotel business taken by one person, hotel management reform by Hoshino Resort of inns

Hoshino Resort is known as revitalizing business of ryokans (Japanese style inns). A major strength of the company is “multi-tasking” of employees who take more than two roles, while, in other hotels, those in charge of the front desk takes tasks at the front desk and those in charge of cleaning do cleaning only. With the improvement of employee productivity, Hoshino Resort opened a ryokan in Tokyo last summer and intends to develop ryokan business overseas.

Comments: Multi-tasking reduced redundant time of employees. This management may be an interesting model of hotel business.

2 Nov. A major vendor suspended sales of some routers due to a possible abuse of the use for cyber attack

I-O Data Device Inc. (Kanazawa), one of the major Japanese computer peripheral manufacturers, suspended sales of some of its products, due to a possible abuse of use of its equipment for a new means of cyber attack, that utilizes the equipment used for IoT (the Internet of Things). There are a number of cyber attack cases recently in and outside Japan in which device for IoT is infected by virus and used for “DDos” attack.

Comments: IoT could be more vulnerable than human-to-human Internet. We need wisdom to prevent this new way of cyber attack.

3 Nov. Willingness of sending by family budget worsened for the first time in three months, said the Cabinet Office

According to the  consumer behavior survey of October undertaken by the Cabinet Office, the consumer sentiment index for private households (seasonal adjustment level) that indicates willingness to spend by the family budget turned worse to be 42.3 points, down from the last month by 0.7 points for the first time in three months. The Cabinet Office concluded “the slow upward trend continued” and maintained its basic observation to be “the movement of the improvement is observed”.

Comments: Japanese economy is still fragile, while moving upwards.

4 Nov. “World Tsunami Awareness Day” is the 5th Nov., disaster drill involving 420,000 people undertaken in Wakayama

One day before the first “World Tsunami Awareness Day” on 5 Nov. established by the United Nations, a disaster drill was held in Wakayama prefecture, involving about 420,000 people who are mostly in public facilities, such as schools.

Comments: “World Tsunami Awareness Day” is a good idea to regularly alert us to be prepared for the 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, 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.

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.


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.