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The Art and Science of Relaxation: Japanese Massage Chair Maker Fujiiryōki

Mechanical massage chairs have been soothing weary bodies in Japan for more than 60 years. Leading maker Fujiiryōki shares how the devices have evolved over the decades from the first simple models to today’s high-tech machines.

Chinese Technological Innovation Transforming Sino-Japanese Economic RelationsKajitani Kai

Even as the Chinese government uses its authority to curtail freedom of speech, it is pointing to the success of private-sector companies in the country that are driving a new wave of innovation to legitimize its policies. With the relationship between politics and the economy in contemporary China at a turning point, countries like Japan can no longer take past assumptions for granted.

Manabe Daito: Pushing the Boundaries Between Art and Technology

We sat down with Rhizomatiks chief Manabe Daito to talk about his work with drones and augmented reality and how he is using them to push the boundaries of artistic expression forward.

Accelerating Pace of Innovation in China and Japan’s Emerging ResponseItō Asei

Technological innovation is gathering pace in China, giving rise to a new economy as clusters of cutting-edge companies come to the fore. How should Japan respond to China as the economic giant strengthens its position as a global hub of technological innovation?

Lithium-Ion Battery Developer Yoshino Wins Japan Prize (News)

Tokyo, Jan. 30 (Jiji Press)—The Japan Prize Foundation said Tuesday it will award the 2018 Japan Prize to Yoshino Akira, 70, honorary fellow of Asahi Kasei Corp., who developed lithium-ion batteries, and two other scholars. "Many people are still engaged in research and development of lithium-ion batteries for further technological innovation. Winning the prize will greatly encourage them," Yos…

Rakuten Announces Plan to Become Japan’s Fourth Mobile Carrier (News)

Tokyo, Dec. 14 (Jiji Press)—Rakuten Inc. said Thursday that it aims to become Japan's fourth mobile carrier with its own communications infrastructure, hoping to launch services in 2019. The major cybermall operator will apply for frequency band allocation for the fourth-generation mobile communications service with the communications ministry as early as next month. The existing three carri…

Aeon Bank Launches Service Using Fingerprint Info (News)

Tokyo, Nov. 27 (Jiji Press)—Aeon Bank said Monday it has launched a service that allows customers to make some transactions without cash cards or identification numbers, by verifying ID through both fingerprint and vein information. The lender, affiliated with retail giant Aeon Co., is the first bank in Japan that has offered a service requiring only biometric authentication. The bank carrie…

Sony to Revive Aibo Robot Dog after 12-Year Hiatus (News)

Tokyo, Nov. 1 (Jiji Press)—Sony said Wednesday that it will launch the fully remodeled Aibo canine robot on January 11 next year, marking the return of the robot pet after a hiatus of 12 years. Equipped with artificial intelligence and communications function, the new Aibo is much smarter than its predecessors. The new Aibo robot on display at Sony headquarters in Tokyo on November 1, 2017.…

Japan Developing Snow Removal Vehicles Using Self-Driving Techs (News)

Tokyo (Jiji Press)—Japan's transport ministry will speed up work to develop snow removal vehicles using self-driving technologies for trials on expressways starting this winter, officials have said. The ministry plans to test the vehicles on other public roads from fiscal 2018, utilizing data from the Michibiki quasi-zenith satellite network for the Japanese version of the Global Positioning Sy…

The Crisis Facing Japanese Scientific ResearchNakano Tōru

In March this year, an editorial in the British journal Nature showed that the pace of scientific research in Japan has slowed considerably over the past decade. Nakano Tōru, a leading stem cell researcher, discusses the challenges facing researchers in Japan and some of the structural weaknesses holding science back.

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