SURFING IN THE RAIN
Internet Umbrella Lets Users Browse in Any Weather (October 4, 2007)
Gray, rainy days may be about to get more colorful thanks to a new umbrella invented by Japanese researchers. The Internet Umbrella, conceived by a team at Keio University, acts as a photo browser by displaying images from the Internet as the user walks along.
WORLD'S SMALLEST HUMANOID ROBOT
i-SOBOT Can Dance and Mimic Animals (August 31, 2007)
A new humanoid robot, certified as the world's smallest, will be released this autumn by Japanese toy manufacturer Tomy Company. Robotics fans look forward to i-SOBOT as a fun toy to add to their collections, but also as a leap forward in miniaturization of the advanced parts that go into these high-tech tools.
FLOWERS ON DEMAND
(July 31, 2007)
A group of researchers led by Professor Shimamoto Ko of Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST) has identified the hormone that makes rice plants flower. It has taken 70 years for scientists to track down the hormone.
A SHOPPING REVOLUTION
(March 27, 2007)
Some convenience stores, supermarkets, and other retailers are attaching integrated circuit tags to their merchandise. The use of this technology not only enhances convenience for the consumer but also boosts efficiency for retailers.
PC CONTROLLED BY USER'S EYES
(March 19, 2007)
Professor Arai Kohei of Saga University's Faculty of Science and Engineering has developed a system whereby PC users can input text simply by looking at an on-screen keyboard.
BURYING CO2 TO COMBAT GLOBAL WARMING
(February 2, 2007)
Interest in sub-seabed storage - a method of sealing carbon dioxide (CO2) under the seabed - has been growing. The underground sequestration of the gas is regarded as a very promising method for reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
(January 5, 2007)
A growing number of companies are putting ergonomics front and center when designing and developing such things as car and airplane seats.
(December 21, 2006)
On the afternoon of December 18, 2006, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) launched the Engineering Test Satellite KIKU No. 8 (ETS-VIII)
, Japan's biggest satellite to date. The satellite was loaded with two record-large antennas, each as big as a tennis court.
MUSIC THAT COMES WHEN YOU CALL
(December 15, 2006)
There is now a robot that will come over to you and play music with just the push of a button on a remote control.
HOT NEW HAIR DRYER
(December 8, 2006)
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co.'s latest model in the Nanocare series of hair dryers has been making waves since its release in July 2006. Thanks to its "nanoe ion" generator, which reduces frizz and makes hair strong and lustrous, it has become a hot seller.
NOW WHERE WAS THAT MOVIE?
(November 16, 2006)
Makers of HDD/DVD recorders and PCs continue to compete over how many hours of recorded video can be stored on their products. In response to feedback from users, NEC has developed what it claims is an unprecedented system that makes searching for specific content much easier and faster.
COME SEE THE FUTURE
(November 8, 2006)
Japan's science museums are attracting attention around Asia. The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation, located in Tokyo's Koto City, has become a destination for school trips for students from China and other countries.
MATH THE JAPANESE WAY
(October 4, 2006)
Japanese math textbooks are being translated into English and other languages and are gaining popularity in countries like the United States and Singapore.
(September 29, 2006)
A propeller aircraft took to the air while powered by nothing more than commercial dry-cell batteries this past July. The flight was the fruit of a joint project by Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. and undergraduates at the Tokyo Institute of Technology.
DEEPER THAN EVER
(September 14, 2006)
The deep-drilling vessel Chikyu began test drilling off the Shimokita Peninsula in Aomori Prefecture in August 2006. Through this record-breaking deep drilling, researchers are hoping to achieve such results as clarifying the ecology of microorganisms that live deep underground.
ELECTRICITY FROM SEAWEED
(August 24, 2006)
Japanese researchers have developed a biomass fermentation system that uses seaweed dredged from the shore to produce fuel for generating electricity.
THE MIND-READING ROBOT
(July 11, 2006)
Honda Motor and the Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute International (ATR) have jointly developed new technology that enables a robot to mimic the movements of a person by reading the patterns of activity in the person's brain.
HELP FOR THE HEART
(July 4, 2006)
A string of recent technological developments in Japan are holding out hope for patients awaiting heart transplants, particularly children. The goal of the researchers involved in these developments is to improve ventricular assist devices (VADs).
SEEING INSIDE CELLS
(June 29, 2006)
Scientists observing the world of microscopic organisms will soon be able to obtain real-time images with exceptional levels of clarity and magnification, thanks to a Japanese invention. The breakthrough is a new type of laser microscope.
(June 9, 2006)
Recent technological advances mean that it may now be possible to warn people of an earthquake before the most destructive tremors strike.
(May 22, 2006)
When the opening match of the 2006 FIFA World Cup gets underway in Germany, Japanese technology will help fans enjoy the action on the pitch. The Allianz Arena is constructed from panels containing a fluoropolymer film called ETFE foil, which was developed and manufactured by Asahi Glass Co., Ltd.
(May 8, 2006)
Electronic paper and other paper with innovative functions is now coming into use. Paper is finally entering the IT age through a fusion with digital technologies.
(May 8, 2006)
Sumitomo Electric Industries, Ltd. has developed a type of superconductive cable that can carry up to 200 times as much power as copper cable - and with electrical resistance of zero.
EASY AS PIE
(March 20, 2006)
Fruit consumption in Japan has been on the decline in recent years, but all this may be about to change, thanks to a number of new fruit varieties that not only taste good but are much easier to eat, too.
A NEW KIND OF "DRY" CLEANING
(March 13, 2006)
Sanyo Electric Co. has developed a household washing machine like no other: It can use air to wash clothes.
THE RUNNING ROBOT
(March 1, 2006)
Japanese firms continue to set the pace in the development of multifunctional, interactive robots. The work to improve ASIMO, the world's most advanced autonomous bipedal humanoid robot, continues at Honda Motor Co.
HYBRID GOES MAINSTREAM
(February 24, 2006)
The age of the hybrid car has finally arrived. The latest models boast vastly improved engines and other features that leave their predecessors in the dust.
(January 19, 2006)
NEC recently announced the development of an ultra-thin, flexible, rechargeable battery. A mere 0.3 mm thick, this wafer-thin battery holds great promise for wearable computers and other applications.
(December 20, 2005)
Though injections are vital for preventing and treating diseases, they are almost universally disliked. The fear of injections, however, may soon be a thing of the past. In July 2005, a painless needle went on sale to hospitals and other medical facilities.
TOYOTA DEVELOPS ECO-FRIENDLY SHRUB
(November 28, 2005)
Toyota Motor Corp., Japan's largest car manufacturer, has developed a new type of cherry sage shrub that can absorb airborne pollutants much more effectively than existing varieties.
A LEGACY OF SUSTAINABILITY
(November 25, 2005)
Even though the 2005 World Exposition in Aichi, Japan, has shut its gates, many of its exhibits and structures will continue to live on, thanks to extensive recycling efforts in line with the event's goal of environmental sustainability.
(November 22, 2005)
A project led by the Japanese government aimed at developing the world's fastest next-generation, high-performance supercomputer is about to get underway. The move is likely to intensify competition among supercomputer builders around the world.
(October 14, 2005)
Rice is the staple food in Japan, and the planting of rice seedlings has been a backbreaking, yet essential, job since ancient times. Now, a group of scientists is working on a project that would hand the delicate task of inserting rice seedlings into paddies over to robots.
(August 22, 2005)
Shiretoko is a peninsula of dense pristine forest that is home to a wide variety of fauna and flora and is ringed by dramatic, sheer cliffs. The area's spectacular scenery and state of preservation so impressed UNESCO that in July it put Shiretoko on its World Heritage list.
(August 10, 2005)
Cool Biz is the title of a government campaign to persuade office workers to dispense with their ties and jackets as an environmentally friendly way of staying cool. And now an innovation called kuchofuku (air-conditioned clothing) is taking the concept one step further.
KEEPING EXPO VISITORS COOL
(August 5, 2005)
EXPO 2005 Aichi has now passed the midway point of its six-month duration. As the summer heat rises, organizers are focusing on measures to help visitors stay comfortable in the heat.
(July 26, 2005)
The role of the toilet has long been limited to flushing away waste, but that may be about to change with the recent introduction of a hi-tech bathroom system that can instantly gather, compile, and analyze data about a person's physical health.
(July 15, 2005)
Beer-like alcoholic beverages that have collectively been dubbed the "third beer" because they fall into neither the regular nor low-malt beer category, are a big hit in Japan right now.
EXPO 2005 FEATURE 6
(June 23, 2005)
From March 25 to September 25, 2005, the 2005 World Exposition is taking place in the eastern hills of Nagoya, which is located in the center of Japan in Aichi Prefecture. Twenty-two countries in Southeast Asia and Oceania are holding their exhibits in the 12 pavilions of Global Common Six.
"PLACE YOUR HAND ON THE SCANNER"
(May 10, 2005)
Some Japanese banks have already begun installing biometric ID systems at their ATMs in an effort to combat cash-card fraud. But biometric ID has many other uses, including keeping track of who enters and leaves offices, protecting computers from tampering, and preventing unauthorized entry to apartment buildings. Manufacturers of these hi-tech security systems report that demand is booming.
EXPO 2005 FEATURE 5
(April 28, 2005)
From March 25 to September 25, 2005, the 2005 World Exposition is taking place in the eastern hills of Nagoya, which is located in the center of Japan in Aichi Prefecture. A total of 30 countries in Africa will hold their exhibits in Global Common Five, where they will be joined by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, which will hold exhibits at the NEDO Pavilion.
EXPO 2005 FEATURE 4
(March 29, 2005)
From March 25 to September 25, 2005, the eastern hills of Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, will play host to the 2005 World Exposition. A total of 21 countries in Europe will hold their exhibits in Global Common Four.
MAKING THE KYOTO PROTOCOL WORK
(March 28, 2005)
Now that the Kyoto Protocol on the prevention of climate change has come into force, Japan is busy seeking out innovative ways to meet its obligations under the protocol.
EXPO 2005 FEATURE 3
(March 18, 2005)
From March 25 to September 25, 2005, the eastern hills of Nagoya, which is located in the center of Japan in Aichi Prefecture, will play host to the 2005 World Exposition. A total of 18 countries in Asia, excluding Southeast Asia, will hold their exhibits in Global Common One.
GOING GREEN AT HOME
(February 24, 2005)
Several Japanese companies have begun marketing home-use fuel cells that generate electricity from hydrogen and oxygen and help to cut carbon dioxide emissions.
(February 21, 2005)
The technology of fish farming, a practice that offers advantages in terms of food safety and conservation, is advancing rapidly.
EXPO 2005 FEATURE 2
(February 16, 2005)
From March 25 to September 25, 2005, Aichi Prefecture will be the site of the 2005 World Exposition, which will be held under the theme of "Nature's Wisdom." Global Common Three is home to countries located in Europe and the Mediterranean.
EXPO 2005 FEATURE 1
(February 8, 2005)
From March 25 to September 25, 2005, Aichi Prefecture will host the 2005 World Exposition under the theme of "Nature's Wisdom." Global Common Two is home to the countries of the Americas.
BACK TO BASICS
(January 14, 2005)
Modern cell phones are a lot more than just phones. In addition to voice calls,
they can be used to send e-mail, take photos and videos, navigate the Internet,
and even conduct bank transactions. But not everyone is impressed with such a
plethora of functions.
(December 22, 2004)
Recently, an increasing number of local governments and private-sector organizations
have taken measures to encourage mental exercise as a means of preventing the
onset of dementia.
(December 20, 2004)
A revolutionary type of oven that uses steam to bake food has injected new life
into the market for cooking appliances, which was generally thought to have passed
NEW BANKNOTES COMBAT FORGERY
(December 16, 2004)
For the first time in 20 years, Japan rolled out a newly designed set of banknotes
in November 2004.
ROSES ARE BLUE
(November 30, 2004)
It was announced on June 30 that Suntory and an Australian company, Florigene,
had pulled off the feat of genetically engineering the world's first blue rose,
something that had long been considered the holy grail of horticulturalists.
THE FUTURE IS ALMOST HERE
(November 18, 2004)
Less than six months remain until the opening of the 2005 World
Exposition, Aichi, Japan, on March 25, 2005. The theme of this Expo, which is
expected to draw some 15 million visitors from around the world to the Nagoya
area in central Japan, is "Nature's Wisdom."
(April 7, 2004)
The Diamond Princess, one of the
largest passenger liners in the world with a gross weight of 116,000 tons, set
out on its maiden voyage from Los Angeles to Mexico and back on March 13 after
being completed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., at the Nagasaki Shipyard
and handed over to its owner, P&O Princess Cruises.
BUILDING A BETTER BICYCLE
(March 22, 2004)
The Japanese bicycle industry has been riding a wave of technological
advances recently. A small factory in Osaka has developed the world's first device
that uses the pedaling of the rider to automatically replenish the air in a bicycle's
tires, while another small enterprise in Tokyo has produced a new type of front
lamp that runs on the bicycle's kinetic energy but does not make pedaling harder.
IN THE LIMELIGHT
(March 19, 2004)
A technology discovered and developed independently by a Japanese
researcher roughly 35 years ago is recently attracting attention in industrial
circles around the world. This type of photocatalyst works using a reaction that
takes place when titanium oxide is exposed to light, which makes it possible for
it to break down and render harmless airborne pollutants and organic material,
such as mold and bacteria.
COUNTDOWN TO EXPO 2005
(March 15, 2004)
From March 25 to September 25, 2005, the Nagoya Eastern Hills,
which are located in Aichi Prefecture in central Japan, will play host to the
2005 World Exposition, an unprecedented event in the history of International
Expositions that will give birth to a new global society surrounded with rich
greenery and beautiful ponds.
CAN NATTO SAVE THE EARTH?
(March 4, 2004)
Natto (fermented soybeans), a traditional
Japanese food rich in protein and vitamin B, is becoming widely known as a health
food. Though it is a bit difficult to eat because of its stickiness, it has been
discovered that this stickiness may be able to play an important role in protecting
(February 6, 2004)
Growing numbers of car owners are choosing vehicles equipped with GPS-based navigation systems, and security
companies and others are now marketing tracking systems that use GPS to pinpoint
the locations of people or objects.
JAPANESE RESEARCHER WINS GERMAN FUTURE PRIZE
(February 3, 2004)
The German Future Prize, which rewards outstanding scientific
research carried out in Germany, was won in 2003 by a team of researchers led
by the Japanese scientist Tarumi Kazuaki.
(January 9, 2004)
From underwear made from corn to fabric produced using banana
trees and T-shirts woven from bamboo, plant fibers are making their way into clothing
and other everyday products.
FAREWELL TO BARCODES?
(December 24, 2003)
Tags that store information using tiny integrated circuits
no larger than the size of a sesame seed appear set to revolutionize the way people
shop, replacing the familiar bar code.
(December 16, 2003)
More and more uses are being found for next-generation plastics
made from such plants as sweet potatoes and sugarcane. Bioplastics are environmentally
friendly because, compared with traditional plastics, their production results
in the emission of less carbon dioxide.
(August 28, 2003)
"Powered suits" that support disabled or elderly
individuals in their physical activities are now under development.
A LEGACY OF ENTERTAINMENT
(August 13, 2003)
At a special exhibition titled "Expo Edo: Science and Technology of the Edo
Era," among the
most intriguing items on display are those that were made using wind-up springs,
including mechanical dolls, the performances of which are winning particular acclaim.
FUEL CELLS FOR THE HOME
(July 23, 2003)
Competition to develop fuel-cell systems for the home is
heating up, and some could be on the market as early as next year. The spread
of such systems to generate electricity will help conserve fuel and could slow
down environmental destruction.
REACHING FOR THE STARS
(July 11, 2003)
The managers of some of the small businesses in Higashi-Osaka have
banded together to undertake a massive project that will inspire people not just
in their town but all over Japan.
(July 3, 2003)
On May 20 Honda Motor Co. unveiled an automatic braking system that monitors objects
in front of the car using radar, warns the driver when it detects the risk of
a crash, and automatically applies the brakes if it judges that the car may have
trouble avoiding an object.
FOLDING FOR FUN AND PROFIT
(June 25, 2003)
The traditional Japanese pastime of origami has been attracting
renewed attention. In addition to its status as an
artistic pursuit and a fun hobby, origami is finding new applications in the worlds
of science, technology, and industry.
JAPAN'S HOMEGROWN OPERATING SYSTEM
(May 22, 2003)
TRON is a computer operating
system from Japan in which tiny semiconductor chips are embedded in every product,
enabling computers to monitor situations and to support people in their daily
lives without specific prompting.
DRIVING THE INFORMATION HIGHWAY
(May 2, 2003)
Car navigation systems are advancing in leaps and bounds.
Many recently unveiled models not only provide information on roads but also offer
such added features as playing music and movies, locating nearby restaurants,
and sending and receiving e-mail.
(April 14, 2003)
Robots that take care of household chores or watch the home
while residents are away are appearing one after another. In addition, the development of robots
that can assist people with everyday activities - something that holds promise
in an aging society - is continuing.