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Wacoal Lingerie: In Pursuit of the Ideal Figure

Lingerie today is about more than just showing off a shapely figure. More and more women are looking for undergarments that also bring health benefits, such as improving posture. Japanese manufacturer Wacoal has been at the forefront of this trend toward developing lingerie that is both flattering and functional.

“Hayabusa” 2 Lifts Off, Seeking Clues to the Origins of Life

On December 3, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) successfully launched the Hayabusa 2 probe on a Japanese H-IIA rocket from the Tanegashima Space Center. Like its predecessor Hayabusa, the probe aims to land on an asteroid, take samples, and bring them back to Earth in search of clues to the origins of life. Hayabusa 2 is targeting an asteroid with the designation (162173) 1999 JU3,…

Physics Nobel Goes to Three Japanese Researchers

On October 7, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced the winners of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics. Sharing the prize were three Japan-born scientists: Distinguished Professor Akasaki Isamu and Professor Amano Hiroshi of Nagoya University and Professor Nakamura Shūji of the University of California, Santa Barbara. The three won the prize “for the invention of efficient blue light-emitti…

Euglena: A Microorganism with “Macro” Potential

The biotech company Euglena is attracting attention for pioneering an amazing algae-like microorganism of the same name that has the potential to address global food shortages and environmental problems. The microorganism, with its high nutritional content and powers of carbon sequestration, could be a game-changer for the planet.

The Great STAP Cell CommotionTakeda Tōru

The uproar over the STAP cell papers and the doubts raised about their authenticity goes beyond science, offering an insight into the current state of Japanese society. Media sociologist Takeda Tōru describes Riken’s attempts to use public relations techniques to boost interest in its results and how this plan backfired.

The Problems of Science Management: Riken Is No Isolated CaseSven Saaler

The recent revelations concerning irregularities in papers published by a number of researchers affiliated with the research institute Riken have caused a rare surge of media interest in the state of affairs of science in Japan. In fact, the situation has exposed problems not only in Japan’s scientific establishment, but also in science and research management in general. Media coverage has nar…

After Riken Confirms Misconduct in STAP Cell Papers, Obokata Haruko Fights Back

Earlier this year, the government-funded Riken scientific research institute set up a Research Paper Investigative Committee to investigate alleged improprieties in the publication of two papers on STAP (stimulus-triggered acquisition of pluripotency) cells. The papers were published in January by a team of researchers from the Riken Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe, led by Obokata Haruk…

The Three Principles on Arms Exports: Why Are They Up for Replacement?Shiraishi Takashi

At a meeting of Japan’s National Security Council on March 11, the government approved the draft outline of a new set of rules to replace the existing Three Principles on Arms Exports. Dubbed “Three Principles on Defense Equipment Transfers,” the new restraints would (1) ban transfers (exports) of defense-related equipment that would clearly impede the maintenance of international peace and secu…

Putting Fido Through His Paces: The World’s First Pedometer for Dogs

Fujitsu has developed the world’s very first dog pedometer, “Wandant.” (The name is a punning reference to “wan,” the sound Japanese dogs supposedly make when they bark.) The pendant-style pedometer attaches to the dog’s collar and, in conjunction with cloud computing, helps owners to monitor exercise and look after their dogs' health.

Kōshinsha—At the Forefront of “Extreme Counting” Technology

Kōshinsha is a Kyoto-based manufacturer of highly accurate counting devices called Digital Area Counters. Here we look at how the company is bringing innovative technology solutions to the most challenging counting tasks.

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