100 Companies in Japan Make Something Stronger than Steel — Will work together to produce nanocellulose

About 100 companies in Japan will work together to put nanocellulose, made from wood fibers, into practical use as a next-generation material, with one-fifth the weight of steel but about five times the strength.

Companies involved with its development include paper manufacturers, automakers, chemical companies and others.

They aim to utilize the new material for manufacturing auto parts, construction materials, artificial blood vessels and various other purposes.

Because nanocellulose is made mainly from wood chips, it is considered friendly to the environment. Thus, the government plans to support the development as part of its economic growth strategy.

Nanocellulose is made by chemically processing fibers contained in wood. The fibers are dissolved into pieces, each of which is measured on a nanometer scale. One nanometer is one-millionth of a meter and is about one-hundred-thousandths of the thickness of a human hair.

Japan Broadcasters refuse to run ads for new Panasonic TVs

Japan’s broadcasters have been refusing to advertise Panasonic Corp.’s new TV sets because the new product line, Panasonic’s Smart Viera series, displays websites and online video clips at the same time as TV programs.

The TV networks are demanding Panasonic change the way the online information is shown on the TV.

Do you think Panasonic will listen?

People want more online content in their living rooms and companies are doing all they can to control the space. Microsoft has been trying to do it for over a decade with their media center and now the newest version of x-box, which tries to be an all-in-one entertainment behemoth.

Apple files iWatch trademark in Japan – but does it equal a smartwatch???

Apple hasnt confirmed that it is working on a smartwatch, or that the rumored device will be called “iWatch,” but it has filed for a trademark on the name in Japan. That, in and of itself, isnt confirmation that Apple really does have a smartwatch in the works, but it sure does make the idea more plausible.

The rumors surrounding the iWatch claim it will link wirelessly to users iPhones to display messages, alerts and other content such as driving directions and weather reports. It may also sport fitness tracking features and apparently the company has over 100 engineers working on the watch project, assuming, of course, that the reports allegedly leaking out of Cupertino are legit.

Now an Apple trademark filing in Japan from early June has surfaced for the iWatch name, according to Bloomberg.

Read the rest of the story: Japan iWatch Trademark Means Apples Smartwatch is Coming. Maybe.

BlackBerry no longer to sell handsets in Japan

BlackBerry will stop selling smartphones in Japan, partly because the company cannot justify the cost of modifying its operating system to accommodate the Japanese language, the Nikkei business daily reported.

BlackBerry’s market share in Japan has shrunk to 0.3 percent from 5 percent, the daily said.

BlackBerry could not be immediately reached for comment.

The company, which changed its name from Research In Motion when it launched its new BlackBerry 10 smartphones a week ago, will continue to offer support to existing users, the Nikkei said.

Namie Amuro’s next single is “Big Boys Cry / Beautiful”

March 6th, Namie Amuro will be releasing her 39th single, “Big Boys Cry / Beautiful.”

The double A-side single will showcase 2 songs used in a series of KOSE ESPRIQUE commercials. “Beautiful” is currently being used in the company’s commercials, while “Big Boys Cry” will be in commercials starting at the end of February.

Amuro is a model and spokesperson for KOSE ESPRIQUE, a Japanese cosmetic brand.

The upcoming release will only be available as a 4-track CD.

Track list:

1. Big Boys Cry
2. Beautiful
3. Big Boys Cry (Instrumental Version)
4. Beautiful (Instrumental Version)

Maeda Atsuko to star in commercial for Sapporo Beer

On January 30th, it was revealed that former AKB48 member Maeda Atsuko has been chosen as the new image character for Sapporo Beer’s ‘Mugi to Hop‘. While she has starred in numerous CMs in the past, this will be her first appearance in a CM for an alcoholic beverage.

The new CM will air starting in February and it will also star Tamura Masakazu and Hotei Tomoyasu. Since her graduation from AKB48, Maeda has starred in CMs for Softbank Mobile’s ‘Shirato Family’ series and job search site ‘Mynavi Tenshoku‘.

Inspector Gadget iPhone Invention Quick-Draws Your Phone

Answering phone calls by taking it out of your pocket or purse and placing it to your ear is so 2012. Now that a Japanese man has invented an iPhone quick-draw system, the only way we want anyone to answer their phone is by having it project out of their sleeve, to then hold it up to their ear in a super-cool manner.

The Japanese inventor featured in the video above shows a number of his prototypes for a quick-draw iPhone system. Some prototypes completely fall apart, while others shoot the iPhone out of his hand at screen-cracking speed. Ultimately, the inventor produces just the right prototype for him to begin using it for its obvious purpose: to perform a montage of cool-looking action moves, ending with answering his iPhone.

For some strange reason, at one point in the video, the inventor equips the quick-draw iPhone system to his legs. A moment later, he performs a quadruple quick-draw that makes us immediately wish we had such a system available to us right now.

Read the rest of the story: Japanese Inventor Features Quick-Draw iPhone System In Mind-Blowing Montage.

Hopefully this guys phone will really ring sometime soon. It’s pitiful to watch him fake answer it every time.


Giant Kuratas Robot For Sale in Japan

Like many Japanese, Kogoro Kurata grew up watching futuristic robots in movies and animation, wishing that he could bring them to life and pilot one himself. Unlike most other Japanese, he has actually done it.His 4-tonne, 4-metre 13 feet tall Kuratas robot is a grey behemoth with a built-in pilot’s seat and hand-held controller that allows an operator to flex its massive arms, move it up and down and drive it at a speed of up to 10 kph 6 mph.“The robots we saw in our generation were always big and always had people riding them, and I don’t think they have much meaning in the real world,” said Kurata, a 39-year-old artist.“But it really was my dream to ride in one of them, and I also think it’s one kind of Japanese culture. I kept thinking that it’s something that Japanese had to do.”

Read the rest of the story: Giant Kuratas robot comes to life in Japan.



New in Japan: ‘Pepsi Special’ Cola Claims to Block Fat

Who wants some yummy fibre-infused “fat blocking” soda?

PepsiCo is hoping that Japanese people do. They launched their new “Pepsi Special” in Japan today, along with claims that the drink will block the absorption of fat, reports ABC.

The soda contains dextrin, a type of fibre sold in Canada in supplement form as Benefibre. According to The Atlantic, dextrin absorbs water as it moves through your digestive system, basically moving food through your system more expediently. PepsiCo is claiming that adding dextrin to Pepsi Special makes it a “fat blocking soda.”

This claim is based on a study conducted in 2006 which found that rats who ate dextrin absorbed less of the fat in the food that they ate, reports The Atlantic.

Read the rest of the story: ‘Pepsi Special’ cola claims to block fat.

Triumph Japan Unveils “Rise of Japanese Women” Metallic Bra

Triumph International Japan unveiled its newest concept bra in Tokyo on Tuesday November 13 which features metallic breast cups and the Japanese characters “restoration” showing its support for the rise of Japanese women on the world stage and at home. The crown jewel of the concept bra are the pliable metallic cups made of tin and forged by a female cast metal artisan, Yuko Hagiwara. Side pockets house a comb and mirror. “I feel I am strong and am empowered and I think it is also cute. If I think I am cute, I feel empowered,” said 19-year-old model Alisa. Individual Japanese characters which form the word “restoration” when placed side-by-side sit in the mid-section and were hand-crafted by female blacksmith Yuki Okamoto. Two metallic ornaments designed as cherry blossoms sit on the bra strap and skirt. Japan was ranked 101 amongst 135 countries in terms of gender equality, according to “The Global Gender Gap Report 2012” released by the world economic forum. But Japanese womens achievements are on the rise, and Triumph said it wanted to celebrate that. “These past few years, we have seen a remarkable increase in incorporating Japanese women into Japanese society and witnessed their rise on the world stage in the areas of sports and arts. We wanted to make a bra which could support these women,” said 34-year-old marketing division employee Yoshiko Masuda. Japanese women brought back four of the seven gold medals won by Japan at the London 2012 Olympic Games and various Japanese womens teams broke new ground for their country by bringing home medals in events in which Japan had no dominance.