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Highlighting JAPAN

December 2014



Attending APEC
Attending ASEAN-Related Meetings
Attending G20 Summit Meetings



Expanding Foreign Market is The Key to Improving Japan's Infrastructure Technology

The public and private sectors are cooperating proactively, and exports of Japanese infrastructure technologies and systems by both private and public organs are thriving. The term "infrastructure technologies" not only refers to building physical infrastructure such as roads, railways and water and sewage systems, it also includes improvements to these systems and the training of related talent. We spoke with Prof. Hitoshi Ieda at the University of Tokyo and the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, about the impact these exports are having in Japan and abroad.

Supporting Africa's Power Grid
Olkaria Geothermal Power Station

In Africa, electricity is still in short supply and its delivery is unstable. The continent is dependent on hydraulic power, which is influenced by the weather, and thermal power, which requires the import of petroleum resources. It was discovered, however, that the Great Rift Valley in eastern Africa has geothermal deposits, so expectations are high for geothermal power stations that can convert that energy into electricity.

Finally Connected
Turkey's Marmaray Subway Tunnel Fulfills a 150-Year-old Dream for Istanbul

Situated at the crossroads between Europe and Asia, Istanbul is divided by the intricate waters of the Bosphorus Strait. Yet on October 29, 2013, a railway tunnel underneath the strait finally linked the two sides. Sometime ago, a century and a half after railway engineers first envisioned steam trains crossing the gap. Before the Marmaray tunnel, people either spent up to two hours crossing by car on congested suspension bridges or took a thirty-minute ferry ride. By contrast, trains on the new underwater rail conduit make the crossing in just four minutes.

New Gateway
Creating an Optimal Passenger Environment at Viet Nam's Main Airport

Vietnam has posted enviable growth even among ASEAN countries. With the global demand for low-cost labor power climbing, the nation has made astonishing industrial progress and also found favor as a tourist destination that offers World Heritage sites. Many Japanese companies are entering Vietnam, and Japan is the number one supplier of ODA aid to the country.

Let It Flow
Japanese Traffic Control Systems Alleviate Chaos and Congestion on Southeastern Asian Roads

As Southeastern Asian countries develop at a breakneck pace, local infrastructures are coming under significant pressure, especially their roads and highways. A rapid influx of motor vehicles has generated higher traffic death tolls and exacerbated social problems such as traffic congestion and pollution in cities like Bangkok, Yangon and Hanoi.

Special delivery
Deploying Japan's Postal System in Myanmar

If you send a letter from anywhere in Japan to another address within the country, it will arrive in approximately one day, clean and free of damage just like the day it was sent. The outstanding speed and accuracy of its postal services serve as a good example of how reliable Japan's infrastructure can be.

Airborne Inspectors
Aerial Robots Help Maintain Infrastructure

Due to Japan's rapid economic growth, the country's infrastructure development peaked between the sixties and eighties. During the next two decades, however, many structures constructed during that period will reach fifty years of age. In response, the government has come up with the Basic Plan for Extending the Service Life of Infrastructure, which utilizes the latest technologies to keep costs down while improving the safety of these structures.

Right on Schedule
Sophisticated Systems and a Passion for Transit Make rail Travel in Japan Safe and Timely

One of the first things that astonish visitors to Japan is the precision with which its trains run. Safe, on-time rail travel, characteristics that are considered commonplace here, is hailed around the world as the highest standard of service and technology. We sat down with Hideki Hashimoto at the transport division of East Japan Railway Company's (JR East) transport and rolling stock department to discover how it all happens.


The Legend of Kasajizou

A Bright Future Illuminated by Blue LEDS
Interview with Nobel Prize Winner Prof. Hiroshi Amano

Dance Fusion

Naomichi Hanazono Looks Westward to Remix Japanese Performing Arts


Mountain Highs and Captivating Crafts


Dynamic Sights and Folk Dances