Japan Newsletter

Science & Technology News from Japan

Science and Technology Policy Japan

S&T Policy
Health
The Asahi Shimbun, February 20, 2020
The health ministry is moving to test whether a drug designed to treat influenza also works against the new coronavirus.
S&T Policy
Drones
Nikkei Asian Review, February 02, 2020
Japan is set to expand support for its domestic drone industry to alleviate security concerns posed by Chinese-made devices dominating the world market.

Education

Education
Alliances&TechTrans
The Japan Times, February 21, 2020
With more than 610,000 alumni around the world, including 12 alumni chapters in North America alone, Waseda University, the No. 1 private university in Japan, understands the importance and power of networking.

Life Science & Medical Technology

Bio/Medtech
Health
The Asahi Shimbun, February 20, 2020
A study of several dozen elderly people suggests that eating Camembert daily may help keep dementia at bay, but not Mozzarella cheese.
Bio/Medtech
Health
Nikkei Asian Review, February 20, 2020
Fujifilm Holdings has started to develop a reagent to use in testing patients for the novel coronavirus.
Bio/Medtech
Health
Nikkei Asian Review, February 20, 2020
Fujifilm Holdings has started to develop a reagent to use in testing patients for the novel coronavirus.
Bio/Medtech
Swiss news
Nikkei Asian Review, February 17, 2020
With COVID-19 spreading from China to other countries, pharmaceutical, chemical and other companies are rushing to develop quick test kits that promise to facilitate quarantine procedures.
Bio/Medtech
Health
Nikkei Asian Review, February 12, 2020
Doctors in Thailand and Japan have used HIV medications to treat patients infected with the novel coronavirus with apparent success. But why did they think to test drugs made to combat one pathogen on a seemingly completely different disease?
Bio/Medtech
Health
Nikkei Asian Review, February 06, 2020
Takara Bio is preparing to produce 50 times more of a coronavirus testing reagent at its plant in Dalian in response to an urgent request from the Chinese city, where the Japanese drugmaker's main factory is located.
Bio/Medtech
Health
The Asahi Shimbun, February 07, 2000
A Keio University research team has been given the green light to transplant heart muscle cells derived from iPS cells into patients who have experienced severe heart failure

Material Science

Material Science
Electronics
IoT
www.asahi.com, February 24, 2020
Scientists here have created a biodegradable paper-thin sensor device that connects to the internet of things (IoT) system to transmit data.
Material Science
Energy
The Asahi Shimbun, February 12, 2020
A Japanese research team has "seen the light" and is utilizing infrared wavelengths to generate electricity, an untapped energy source that accounts for nearly half of solar energy striking the Earth.
Material Science
Env
The Asahi Shimbun, February 12, 2020
Researchers have developed an environmentally friendly method of recycling concrete waste by mixing in wood and other materials.

Electronics

Electronics
The Japan Times, February 21, 2020
In the modern world, the Fujitsu brand has become synonymous with quality and satisfaction. Across its many different subsidiaries, the Japanese tech giant has earned that reputation, and reflects the country’s world-renowned style of business through its commitment to excellence in manufacturing…
Electronics
Energy
Nikkei Asian Review, February 19, 2020
Japan's Sanyo Chemical Industries aims to begin mass production next year of a new, fire-resistant type of rechargeable battery made almost entirely of plastic.
Electronics
ICT
The Japan Times, February 17, 2020
Sharp Corp. unveiled its first 5G smartphone model Monday, ahead of the ultrafast network service launch scheduled for March.
Electronics
Bio/Medtech
Health
The Asahi Shimbun, February 06, 2020
An extremely thin sensor worn around the finger or arm can measure pulses and scan fingerprints and vein patterns, thereby preventing identification mix-ups among medical patients and nursing care residents, the device’s developers said.

Information & Communications Technology

ICT
The Japan Times, February 21, 2020
Over the past 30 years, Silicon Valley has established a reputation and expertise that still attract aspiring entrepreneurs. Many of them come with what they hope is the next big thing, but only a few manage to thrive and grow beyond the region— and even the United States.
ICT
Health
The Asahi Shimbun, February 18, 2020
A website aimed at doctors working in Japan’s rural areas is attracting much interest from medical practitioners overseas who are eager to learn the latest expertise and advancements from Japanese specialists.
ICT
Nikkei Asian Review, February 04, 2020
The world's insurance companies are moving toward covering damage to business from cyberattacks through specialized policies.

Energy

Energy
Nikkei Asian Review, February 09, 2020
Nissan Motor and Japanese telecom provider NTT Group will kick off a service as early as this year that allows corporations to cut utility bills by tapping power generated by electric vehicles and solar panels during peak demand.

Environment

Env
CleanTech
Energy
The Japan Times, February 19, 2020

In the gusty northeast, a power company is looking to fund offshore wind projects with a landmark sale of green bonds that seeks to muscle in on the growing pool of money available for environmentally friendly investments.

Env
Space
Alliances&TechTrans
The Japan Times, February 15, 2020
The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization have agreed to cooperate on monitoring forests and mangroves — considered a sponge for greenhouse gases — around the world by using data from observation satellites amid deepening concerns over climate change.

Space & Aeronautics

Space
The Asahi Shimbun, February 20, 2020
No country has landed a probe on a Martian moon, but a new Japan space mission aims to make that giant leap for mankind in 2024.
Space
The Asahi Shimbun, February 09, 2020
The H2A No. 41 rocket was successfully launched from the Tanegashima Space Center on Feb. 9, putting an information gathering satellite in orbit 20 minutes later, according to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.

Robotics

Robotics
Alliances&TechTrans
Nikkei Asian Review, February 01, 2020
Daiwa House Industry is teaming up with Nike to launch smart distribution centers where robots whisk racks of items to workers for packing.

Automotive

Automotive
Energy
Nikkei Asian Review, February 05, 2020
Toyota Motor is preparing to release a new ultracompact electric vehicle with a standardized battery that can be easily reused in homes.
Automotive
Nikkei Asian Review, February 04, 2020
Japanese motor maker Nidec will invest around 200 billion yen ($1.8 billion) in overseas production of drive units for electric vehicles, aiming to raise output capacity to as much as 10 million units.

Artificial Intelligence

AI
Nikkei Asian Review, February 18, 2020
Japan will lean on artificial intelligence to identify illegal items hidden in the growing tide of parcels being shipped to the country.
AI
The Japan Times, February 07, 2020
A consortium of five companies including IBM Japan Ltd. said Thursday that they will develop a navigation suitcase equipped with artificial intelligence to help guide people with visual impairments.
AI
Fintech
The Japan Times, February 05, 2020
Remember Aibo, the computerized dog Sony Corp. started selling in 1999 as the first personal robot? Hiro Mizuno, the chief investment officer of the Government Pension Investment Fund, does. So he asked Sony’s computer science lab unit to build him a cyberhound using artificial intelligence to help…
AI
Nikkei Asian Review, February 02, 2020
In a novel twist on marketing research, a number of Japanese beverage companies are experimenting with neural network and other advanced technologies to discover what foods pair best with their libations.

Startups

Startups
Alliances&TechTrans
Nikkei Asian Review, February 05, 2020
The venture capital arm of Singaporean sovereign wealth fund Temasek Holdings is diversifying its sources of funding by tapping an unusual group of Japanese companies and government agencies to fuel its global expansion at a time when many other investors feel skittish about cooling tech valuations.
Startups
AI
The Japan Times, February 04, 2020
When a fifth of the people living in the city of Wakayama faced a three-day water stoppage last month to fix a 60-year-old pipe network, they rushed to get ready, only to learn that the repairs could be made without a shutdown.

Alliances & Technology Transfer

Alliances&TechTrans
Crypto
Swiss news
Nikkei Asian Review, February 06, 2020
The heads of six central banks and the Bank for International Settlements in mid-April will hold their first meeting on developing their own digital currencies, which can serve as alternatives to Facebook's Libra or the digital yuan.
Alliances&TechTrans
Energy
The Japan Times, February 05, 2020

The United States and Japan have signed an agreement to jointly encourage more private investment in energy and infrastructure projects, the U.S. Treasury said Tuesday.

Alliances&TechTrans
Energy
Nikkei Asian Review, February 05, 2020
Japan will support the construction of liquefied natural gas terminals across Asia, aiming to take a leading presence in the expanding market before its position as world's largest buyer is overtaken by China in the near future.

General Interest

General Interest
The Japan Times, February 18, 2020
Major general contractor Taisei Corp. on Tuesday showed the media a bridge built using a 3D printer.
General Interest
The Japan Times, February 15, 2020
Since winning the international bid over seven years ago, the Tokyo Olympics has been all Japan can talk about. But there is another Olympics taking place in Tokyo, just before the traditional one. And this event has far more importance to the future of Japanese soft power.
General Interest
Nuclear
Health
The Japan Times, February 10, 2020
In an unusual move, a nuclear power exhibition facility in a small town in Yamaguchi Prefecture, which has been seeing a steady decline in the number of visitors in recent years, will reopen as a medical clinic when a new doctor starts work there in April.
General Interest
Env
The Asahi Shimbun, February 08, 2020
Researchers looking into the history of fish in this country are turning to ink prints typically made when fishermen want to mark a great catch to fill in the gaps.
General Interest
Nikkei Asian Review, February 02, 2020
Say the words "public toilet" in most countries, and the reaction you will get is likely one of mild distaste, if not outright disgust. Less so in famously fastidious Japan, where public toilets are smartening up ahead of the Tokyo Summer Olympics.