The Asahi Shimbun
Competition heats up between Japan, China for railway projects in Asia
Japanese and Chinese companies are battling for potentially lucrative railway projects around Asia, as rapid economic growth and expanding populations have led to plans for about 10,000 kilometers in railway networks.
An object being made by a 3-D printer (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Japanese 1st to seek patent for 3-D printing back in 1980s, but still lost out
NAGOYA--The lion's share of patents for 3-D printer technology are owned by the United States and nations in Europe, but it was a Japanese researcher who developed the world's first prototype.
A tsunami evacuation guidance sign using phosphorescent materials (Kosuke So)
Emergency signs, products using phosphorescent materials to expand in wake of 2011 disasters
NAGOYA--One of the lessons from the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami: more illumination from phosphorescent materials could have greatly helped in guiding evacuees to safety.
The Asahi Shimbun
LED light harnessed to prevent secret snapping of photos
Smartphone users could soon be thwarted from taking secret photos.
AWN-02 Assist Suit (Provided by Panasonic Corp.)
Panasonic subsidiary develops suit device to assist in heavy lifting
Panasonic Corp. said Sept. 11 its Nara-based subsidiary has developed a suit device that helps users lift heavy objects and will have practical applications in cargo handling and product distribution centers.
A woman uses the technology to create the sensation of pressing a button that is displayed on a computer screen. (Susumu Yoshida)
Virtual world moves a step closer to reality
TSUKUBA, Ibaraki Prefecture--Japanese researchers say they have developed technology that gives the illusion of a sense of touch in a virtual environment.
The Achillies robot is capable of running at 4.2 kph, the speed of an average human jogger. (Takeshi Tokitsu)
Tokyo University team engineers a robot that can go for a jog
Scientists at the University of Tokyo announced Sept. 1 that they have developed a bipedal robot that can run like a human.
Japan's first stealth fighter prototype developed by the Defense Ministry at the Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. factory in Toyoyama, Aichi Prefecture, in May. (Provided by the Defense Ministry's Technical Research and Development Institute)
Defense Ministry reveals prototype of first Japanese stealth fighter
The Defense Ministry released images of a homegrown experimental combat plane designed to be Japan's first stealth fighter.
Young people in Madrid use the Line app to arrange their schedules. (Isabel Contreras)
Line messaging app approaches 500 million users
In just three years, Line Corp. has neared the 500-million mark for registered users of its free call and messaging app, thanks in part to a surge in popularity in Spain, the company said.
Nobuhiro Yoshioka, a Whill official in charge of sales, rides the company-designed wheelchair. (Akiko Okazaki)
Former automotive engineer designs more user friendly wheelchair
A wheelchair designed by a former automotive engineer that promises to be more comfortable and easier to operate than conventional models is set to go on sale from September.
The "science globe," which shows satellite images of the Earth, is displayed for the first time in Japan at the exhibition facility in Higashi-Matsushima, Miyagi Prefecture, on July 26. (Eri Takamizawa)
Giant globe in Miyagi shows real-time view of Earth from space
HIGASHI-MATSUSHIMA, Miyagi Prefecture--A gigantic globe designed to show the Earth as viewed from space in real time is giving visitors to the city’s new Discovery Center an out-of-this-world experience.
Nissan Motor Co. tests one of its autonomous cars on a highway on Nov. 25. (Masahiro Yuchi)
Nissan to market its first self-driving cars by end of 2016
Nissan Motor Co. will market cars with autonomous driving capabilities by the end of 2016, making it the first Japanese automaker to offer a detailed timetable for the release of such advanced self-driving technologies.
Euglena Co. President Mitsuru Izumo, right, and Isuzu Motors Ltd. President Susumu Hosoi show off a beaker containing euglena algae in front of a bus powered by the biofuel. (Masahiro Yuchi)
Isuzu Motors, venture firm eye low-cost, algae-based biodiesel
Isuzu Motors Ltd. is teaming up with an algae research and development company to produce more cost-effective biodiesel made from euglena algae for use in trucks, buses and other commercial vehicles.
A flightless ladybug beetle developed by the Western Region Agricultural Research Center (Provided by Tomokazu Seko)
Flightless ladybug could lessen reliance on chemical pesticides
A national research center in Hiroshima Prefecture developed a flightless ladybug that looks promising for controlling a pest that damages crops.
Katsuragi Mayor Kazuya Yamashita, second from left in front row, and others pose at an official car donation ceremony in Katsuragi, Nara Prefecture, on May 29. (Masanori Kobayashi)
Mayor's new car a pigment of the imagination
KATSURAGI, Nara Prefecture--An automobile that seems to magically change its colors will soon hit the streets of Katsuragi.
Sharp’s trial model of a security robot can take pictures of an intruder and transmit the images to a TV in a user’s home while moving around a garden. (Aki Fukuyama)
Sharp reveals concept products for new business plan
Sharp Corp. on June 5 unveiled 28 unique trial gadgets that are part of a new project to reduce dependency on its flagship liquid crystal display business.
Softbank Corp. President Masayoshi Son shakes hands with Pepper on June 5. (Tsubasa Setoguchi/ The Asahi Shimbun)
Emotional robot set for sale in Japan next year
A cooing, gesturing humanoid on wheels that can decipher emotions has been unveiled in Japan by billionaire Masayoshi Son who says robots should be tender and make people smile.
Inspectors from the Fukushima prefectural government visit the ALPS (advanced liquid processing system) at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant in April. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Problems still plague ALPS decontamination system at Fukushima plant
High radiation levels and technical difficulties continue to stymie full-scale operations of key decontamination equipment at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant even though tests started more than a year ago.
Toyota's Fuel Cell Vehicle Concept car on display at the Tokyo Motor Show last November (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Toyota fuel-cell cars to hit market by the end of 2014
Toyota Motor Corp. anticipates selling the first of its next generation eco-cars that emit zero carbon dioxide around year-end, sources said.
Sharp Corp.’s new liquid crystal display TV and hard disk recorder that can deliver 4K broadcasts is shown in Osaka on May 20. (Aki Fukuyama)
Trial 4K broadcasts start; TV stations skeptical
Trial 4K TV broadcasts started in Japan on June 2 amid high expectations from the government and pessimism among TV stations due to the high costs to view or create the ultra-high resolution shows.

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