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Highlighting JAPAN

February 2015

Global Warming Countermeasures


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Visit to The Middle East
Statement by Prime Minister Abe of Japan Regarding the Hostage Incident Involving Japanese Nationals in Syria

Global Warming Countermeasures


The World Taking Action on Climate Change
An interview with Junichi Fujino of the National Institute for Environmental Studies

With active support and pressure of the international community, a variety of efforts to combat climate change are being conducted across the planet. How have the debates and technology surrounding climate change evolved in the more than twenty years since the existence of the greenhouse effect was internationally acknowledged? We posed this question and more to Junichi Fujino, Senior Researcher at the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES)' Center for Social and Environmental Systems Research.

Super Plants
Genetically Modified Trees that can Thrive in Harsh Conditions

In the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the absorption of carbon dioxide by forests through photosynthesis was included as a method of cutting greenhouse gases. As a result, forest conservation and afforestation became highly valued as a global warming reduction strategy. In recent years, research into genetically modified trees has made a breakthrough in this field. Tsuyoshi Maruyama director of the department of molecular and cell biology at the Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute and a participant in this research tells us all about it.

Creating Energy from CO2
The evolving technology of artificial photosynthesis

Photosynthesis is the chemical process by which plants and algae convert light energy to chemical energy, using sunlight, water and carbon dioxide to create organic matter such as sugar (glucose). During photosynthesis, the oxygen created from water is released into the atmosphere. The oxygen we breathe and most of our nutrients are the products of photosynthesis.

Powering Rail
Using regenerated energy from trains

Since 2014, Tokyo Metro the company that operates the subway lines that run through downtown Tokyo has been using regenerated power from subway cars to power the equipment in train stations.

Elemental Change
Kansai International Airport's cutting-edge hydrogen experiment

Kansai International Airport (KIX) plans to transform itself into a "hydrogen airport" by introducing the use of hydrogen, which is increasingly gaining attention as the ultimate form of clean energy. Kiyotaka Nakaoka of New Kansai Airport International Company described the airport's plans to become the frontrunner in eco-friendly airports.

Eco Model
Kyoto's energy-saving projects

The Kyoto Protocol, adopted in 1997, was the first time in which the international society had synchronized its approach to environmental problems, with the document setting explicit targets for cutting greenhouse gases. Since then, Kyoto has been a frontrunner in Japan in reducing greenhouse gases and pursuing energy-saving projects.

Green Convenience
Transforming regional Asian shops into eco-friendly outposts

Japanese convenience store chains are expanding rapidly overseas, particularly in Asia. One such operation is Family Mart, which has opened 1,186 shops in Thailand as of December 2014, with comparable growth in Vietnam and other countries. Family Mart is seeking to curb global warming by retrofitting existing shops and building new ones in an eco-friendly fashion. Fumiaki Ohno, head of CSR for the company's management division, explained how the chain plans to accomplish that.

High and Getting Dry
Managing Water Needs for Bolivia's Highest Metropolis

Bolivia's capital of La Paz and its neighboring suburb of El Alto, flanked by snow-covered peaks in the Andes mountain range, are situated at altitudes that range from around 3,100 meters to 4,000 above sea level one of the highest cities in the world. Nearby glaciers are significant sources of water for the area's two million residents. Global warming has caused these glaciers to recede at a rapid pace, however, particularly since the 1990s. In 2008, concerns over a diminishing water supply for a growing population prompted the Bolivian government to seek outside scientific assistance of predicting the rate at which glaciers recede and establishing water resource management.


The Rolling Rice Balls

Deep Security
Artificial DNA Ink Prevents Counterfeiting

Wannasirin Iida
Body Language


Gokayama: a Ling Museum


Experience Japan's Rich Culture at Koyasan