Fresh & Hot from Japan, 21 to 25 November 2016

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

21 Nov. “I can study in the evening!”, Light of hope in Tanzania from a venture born in University of Tokyo

The technique developed in the University of Tokyo has brought the light to African villages which there was no electricity. Digital Grid, a venture based on the technology developed in the University of Tokyo, has been running a business to rend to villagers an LED lantern which was charged with a required minutes worth of the electricity generated by solar panels. The electricity is charged by a remote charging system operated via the Internet by a branch office of Digital Grid and lanterns may be rented at village kiosks. This service is rapidly spreading in Tanzania.

Comments: Sale of the electricity like the water in a pet bottle, mobile money coupled with need for the electricity have given birth to innovation!

(Photo from Wassha corporate web site)

22 Nov. One meter of tsunami at Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant, all the staff evacuated

Due to the earthquake originated in offshore of the Fukushima Prefecture in the early morning of 22nd, Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) manually stopped the operation of facilities which transferred the contaminated water pooled underground of buildings of the first Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. TEPCO said that the company stopped transportation of the water because contaminated water might leak when being  transferred in case a water pipe might be broken by the rolling of the earthquake.

Comments: It is only horrible that tsunami attacked the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant again.

23 Nov. Nobel Laureate Professor Amano to develop the next-generation technology with his senior disciple

Professor Hiroshi Amano, Nagoya University, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics of 2014 for the development of the blue light emitting diode (LED) will establish a laboratory jointly with National Institute for Materials Science to benefit from gallium nitride which he studied for as material of LED for the next-generation technology development. The representative of the two organizations announced the plan in a pressroom of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

Comments: One good work gives birth to another development.

24 Nov. A wearable terminal to stick to the skin developed, maybe disposable?

A team of researchers led by Kuniharu Takei, a Research Associate of Osaka Prefecture University, has developed a wearable terminal to stick to the skin like a thin adhesive plaster, which is used to check health conditions. They published the research results in a US science journal, Science Advances. It is said to be possible to make a product with a disposable sensor, because of a low cost.

Comments: A number of application may be possible!

(Photo from Mr. Takei’s web.)

25 Nov. To reduce burden on the back, a robot suit was introduced for luggage handlers of Haneda Airport Limousine bus

Ten “Robot suit HAL” developed by CYBERDYNE, a venture company of Tsukuba-shi, Ibaragi Prefecture, were adopted  by Airport Transport Service, which operats buses to and from airports. Luggage handlers working at bus terminals in Haneda Airport started wearing the robot suit around their waist when loading and unloading of the heavy baggages of customers.

Comments: CYBERDYNE is a spin-off company of Tsukuba University. It is a good example of the use of robot technologies for those needed.

  • 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.

How does a Swiss innovative start-up fight to enter the Japanese market?

We enjoyed discussion at “Moshi moshi, Japan?” (held in Geneva on Friday, 17 April) on  “How does a Swiss innovative start-up fight to enter the Japanese market?”

Mr. Shaban Shaame, CEO & Founder, EverdreamSoft, an innovative vendor of Moonga, a game soft run over the mobile device, such as smartphones and tablets.

EverdreamSoft, online games for mobile device

Highlights of discussion


  • I found that a large download volume of Moonga, our game soft, from Japan. I thought “Why?”, as I knew that people don’t speak English as default in Japan. This made me to think that there must be a big Moonga market there.
  • I went to Japan (in 2009) to find a business partner who could translate the game into Japanese and who’d provide graphics for the games. Communication with the Japanese was difficult. I din’t know Japanese and they din’t know English. We managed to negotiate a contract using Google translator, though sometimes English translated by Google function didn’t make sense.
  • Japanese people are hard workers, more than Swiss people are. However, whether their hard work is efficient is questionable. Some (or many?) people work hard where their boss is near by.
  • In the Japanese work ethics, a  group culture is strong. All the people in the same office stay working till midnight. Some cohesion power must be working.
  • Consensus is extremely important in the Japanese decision-making at any level.
  • Is change possible? — Yes but only slowly.
  • Lay-off is difficult and rare in Japan. Hence employing someone involves a risk to an employer. Mobility is still low in the job market.
  • Re. Women at work, maternity leave is guaranteed by law but employers don’t like it. Mobbing to women exists in some offices.
  • Then, we discussed bit coin; what it is, how it works, where can we use it, etc.


Forthcoming meetings —

Friday 8 May, Uchi and Soto, the key concepts of the Japanese relationship building

Moshi moshi, Japan? — Japanese market for Swiss innovative start-ups, Geneva, Friday, 13 March

You are cordially invited for “Moshi moshi, Japan?“, Geneva on Friday, 13 March.
Moshi moshi, Japan?” is an informal meet-up with people who are doing business with Japan. Though Japan is a fascinating market, its business culture is nothing like others. In addition, handling the culture well is the key to success with Japan.
South Entrance, Shinjuku Station, Tokyo
South Entrance, Shinjuku Station, Tokyo
What are other people doing to work well with Japan?
What works and what doesn’t?
What breakthrough did other people make? 

Let’s exchange experiences and discuss over coffee!

Mr. Shaban Shaame, CEO & Founder, EverdreamSoft
on “Japanese market for innovative startups

Participants: Anyone interested in business with Japan.

Date and time: From 18h00 to 19h15, Friday,13 March

Place: Starbucks, Rive, Geneva central area

Languages: French and English

Organisation fee: CHF 10.-
Please register: By e-mail or phone call to Yoshiko Kurisaki, Europe-Japan Dynamics, Tel. 076 411 6076

I look forward to seeing you!
Check it out! Forthcoming meetings —
Friday 17 April, Uchi and Soto, the key concepts of the Japanese relationship building
Friday 26 June, Negotiations with Japanese companies (Tentative)