Public Toilet Shows All for All to see

A “smoke toilet” was recently put in the Japanese city of Oita. The idea being that the transparent window goes opaque, or smokes when someone enters.

Yet, the toilet seems to be exposing those inside for all to see!

The sensor is triggered upon entering and makes the window opaque, hence creating privacy, but in Japan and according to the Oita Press, the opaque window can accidentally go transparent.

But, why? Doesn’t that defeat the purpose?

The sensor will actually switch the window back to transparent, if there is no movement in the toilet for 35 seconds. The sensor thinks the toilet is empty and the private smokey window shade goes away. And then, “Hello World!”

Currently, the company has no plans to lengthen the duration…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=DxdfNvsV_pU

Japan Finance Minister does not know what bitcoins are

Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso on Friday expressed eagerness to hold discussions with other ministers and government agencies about what is behind the recent trouble in the “bitcoin” virtual currency market.

“We do not clearly know what bitcoins are, so we have to start studying it,” Aso said at a press conference, referring to the sudden shutdown earlier this week of all transactions on Mt. Gox, a major bitcoin exchange based in Tokyo.

Aso added there is a group in the ruling Liberal Democratic Party that is studying the bitcoin market.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=PpXdJFu0nig

Global Precipitation Measurement Core Observatory Satellite Launched

Japan’s space agency has successfully launched an H2A rocket carrying a satellite that can survey precisely rainfall on most of the earth.

The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency says the rocket lifted off at 3:37 AM from Tanegashima Space Center, southern Japan.

It flew as planned and released the satellite 16 minutes after launch at the height of 400 kilometers.

The satellite, co-developed by Japan and the US, is aimed at a detailed monitoring of rainfall on the earth using radars.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=AtpYK2sCoXU

Robocop Patrolling Trains in Japan

Japanese police collaborated with West Japan Railway Company and developed the Robocop — a man posing as a cyborg crime-fighter.

In an unusual move, the Japanese police have recruited a ‘Robocop’ on public trains to protect women commuters from perverts.

The Osaka Police Department has enlisted a robot to stop the perverts threatening women.

“Robocop is a hammer of justice to molesters threatening women,” the police said on its official site.

Japanese police collaborated with West Japan Railway Company and developed the Robocop — a man posing as a cyborg crime-fighter.

Interestingly, the Robocop has the right to arrest citizens who are found breaking the laws.

The robot is also assigned the duty of warning travellers not to leave their belongings and luggage in the train carriages, the Mirror reported.

In addition, it will caution drivers not to leave possessions on view in cars.

Read the rest of the story: Japan police recruit Robocop on trains.

Mt. Gox chief says he is “still in Japan” after sudden operational shutdown of the exchange

The chief executive of troubled bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has denied speculation that he fled Japan in the wake of its sudden operational shutdown and said work is under way to solve various issues.

“As there is a lot of speculation regarding Mt. Gox and its future, I would like to use this opportunity to reassure everyone that I am still in Japan and working very hard with the support of different parties to find a solution to our recent issues,” Mark Karpeles said in a statement posted online and dated Wednesday.

His statement came after the market for the virtual currency released a brief statement that it will “close all transactions for the time being in order to protect the site and our customers.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hC948CvN7zw

Read the rest of the story: Mt. Gox chief says he is “still in Japan” to solve issues.

Giant Squid Caught Alive

A giant squid has been captured alive by a fisherman in western Japan.

Tetsuo Okamoto was harvesting turban shells at a depth of 8 meters when he saw the squid moving overhead about 300 meters off Shin-onsen Town in Hyogo Prefecture.
Okamoto tied it to his boat and took it to a port.

The mollusk is 4.13 meters long and estimated to weigh 200 kilograms. It had lost both of its longest tentacles.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=xEvgfqk2_HE

Obama visiting Japan in April

Obama is due to meet with the leaders of all four nations, and plans to address diplomatic, economic and security issues, the White House said. In early October he shelved plans to visit Malaysia and the Philippines and attend regional summits in Indonesia and Brunei because of a U.S. government shutdown.

Political analysts said at the time that while the cancellation was understandable given events in the United States, it projected an unflattering image of the United States as politically and economically volatile and ceded the international stage to China.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=qhffukchDXk

Read the rest of the story: Obama to visit Japan, three other Asian countries in April.

Japanese Figure Skating Star Yuzuru Hanyu Wins Gold

The 19-year-old Japanese star Yuzuru Hanyu has become the youngest skater for 66 years to take gold in the men’s figure skating, despite falling twice in his final performance.

After becoming the first skater to surpass the 100-point mark in the short programme on Thursday, Hanyu went into the free skate on Friday in the top spot.

Hanyu made the rotation for the quad in the opening seconds, but slipped on the landing and lost his footing badly. After another fall on a triple flip, Hanyu finished crouched on the ice, his head bowed, certain he had lost the gold.

The judges awarded him 178.64 points – a good score, but one that left him vulnerable to three-time world champion Patrick Chan of Canada. But Chan, up next, fared worse, and made three errors. Hanyu’s combined score of 280.09 was enough give him the gold.

World silver medalist Denis Ten of Kazakhstan took the bronze. Hanyu is the Asian to take Olympic gold in the men’s figure staking.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=6df341h3BR0

Okinawa Mayor’s Election Deals a Blow to Marine Base Relocation Plan

Efforts to relocate a Marine air base that has been a longstanding irritant in ties between Japan and the United States suffered a new setback on Sunday when voters in a small Okinawan city re-elected a leftist mayor who promised to block construction of a replacement site.

The victory for the mayor of Nago, Susumu Inamine, dealt an embarrassing blow to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has invested his political capital in efforts to restart the long-stalled relocation deal, and who seemed to achieve a breakthrough last month by gaining the support of Okinawa’s governor.

Mr. Abe, a conservative, has vowed to build closer ties with the United States at a time when both nations face growing challenges from a militarily resurgent China and a nuclear-armed North Korea.

Read the rest of the story: In a City on Okinawa, Mayor’s Re-election Deals a Blow to Marine Base Relocation Plan.

Cause of Mass Food Poisoning in Japan School Identified

The city government of Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, central Japan, said Friday that it has identified bread served in school as the cause of mass food poisoning that has sickened more than 1,000 children in the city.

The city ordered Hofuku, a company in Higashi Ward of Hamamatsu that made the bread, to suspend operations for the time being.

As a result of the municipal authorities’ inspection Thursday night of Hofuku’s plant where the bread was made, norovirus was detected from a doorknob of a restroom for female employees, according to officials of the municipal government and the city’s board of education.

Norovirus was found in nine students and eight teachers who ate bread that was made at the factory on Monday and served in school lunch on Tuesday, the officials said.

A seven-year-old boy of an elementary school in Higashi Ward was hospitalized after complaining of stomachache Wednesday night, becoming the first person hospitalized in the food poisoning incident.

Read the rest of the story: Cause of Mass Food Poisoning in Hamamatsu Identified.

Japan is closer than you think.