A Japanese car manufacturer, Nissan, will have autonomous cars by 2020 and another Japanese firm eye driverless transport and robot taxi
According to The Asahi Shimbun, Nissan Motor Co. will have vehicles packed with autonomous driving technology by 2020 but whether people will be able to drive them on roads is up to government regulators, CEO Carlos Ghosn said May 18 2015.
Many of the world's automakers, and companies outside the auto industry such as Google Inc., are working on technologies that allow cars to navigate without human intervention.
The bigger hurdle for such vehicles becoming readily available to consumers is approval from regulators around the world, he told reporters at Nissan's Yokohama headquarters.
Ghosn said autonomous driving was sure to be part of the cars of the future because market studies with consumers, especially younger drivers, who will determine future cars, show that is what they want, along with connectivity and zero or low emissions.
Ghosn said Nissan sees autonomous vehicles as adding to driving pleasure, and a totally driverless car is not at the center of the automaker's plans.
The autonomous driving Nissan foresees will assist or enhance driving, he said. Nissan may end up with a driverless car, but that was not the automaker's goal, he said.
According to the Wall Street Journal, another Japanese company, mobile Internet company DeNA, will join the race to make human drivers obsolete.
DeNA said it will launch a joint venture with Tokyo-based ZMP Inc., known for developing autonomous vehicle technology, with an eye toward building a driverless transportation business.
The two companies said in a statement Tuesday that the venture will combine DeNA’s “Internet services know-how with ZMP’s automated driving technology” to realize robot taxis and buses.
ZMP is a start-up that develops robots and driverless car technology.
We don’t need to go to a GP? Australian doctors have invented a new technology and it is turning the promise of telemedicine into reality.
According to the Australian Financial Review, an interesting smartphone app has been developed by Australian doctors and it can analyse the data such as temperature, heart rate and breathing and give a prognosis before sending it to a GP confirmation.
As winter turns Melbourne a darker shade of grey, 11-month-old Toby has a worrying gurgle in his chest. It's bad enough that his mother, Julianne, wants him seen by a doctor. But instead of taking her son out into the cold on an hour-long trip for a five-minute consultation, she plugs a small digital stethoscope into her iPhone's headphone jack and gets to work.
The device looks more like a silver yo-yo than a medical instrument but paired with the accompanying wireless, non-contact thermometer it has, in less than a minute, measured Toby's temperature, heart rate and made a 15-second recording of his breathing.
As he shuffles impatiently in his mother's arms, a smartphone app analyses the data and gives a prognosis before sending it to a GP for confirmation. It's nothing more than a passing cold and Toby is soon back on the sofa with a spoonful of cough syrup – the whole process having taken seven minutes and 32 seconds in the warmth of his own home.
Far from science fiction, this product is already on sale. CliniCloud was invented by two Melburnian doctors and while local rules mean this scenario can't play out fully in Australia because there is no video doctor service yet, it will start shipping across the United States from July 2015 with a family-friendly price tag of $US149.
CliniCloud is one among a wave of new products that, after years of talk, are turning the promise of telemedicine into reality. In recent months Google, Apple and Telstra have all invested serious money in telemedicine.
Aside from CliniCloud's smart stethoscope, a Californian company has started selling otoscopes that clip onto smartphone cameras to allow remote viewing of children's eardrums.
According to The Australian Financial Review today, Japanese developer, Daikyo, is preparing to get back into the Australian property market with a joint venture to undertake the development of apartment and mixed-use projects with Australian residential developer, Devine.
The Japanese apartment builder which owned a string of Queensland properties in its Australian heydays from the 1980s to the mid-2000s, has provided 50 per cent of the capital in Devine's $82 million Mode Apartments in Newstead, Brisbane, the first seed asset in the joint venture.
"Daikyo is a leader in apartment development and management in Japan with a long and proud history, and we are excited to couple this with the experience of Devine, such that we may each share some of our knowledge to the benefit of both companies," said Devine's chief executive, David Keir.
"We are already jointly investigating a second project development opportunity in the Brisbane market."
Construction of inner Brisbane Mode Apartments began in April 2015 and will be completed in August 2016. Of the 157 units, 115 have been sold.
Devine, in which Leighton holds a 50.6 per cent stake, would continue to manage and oversee the Mode Apartments project and construction in the joint venture.
The joint venture marks the first project in Daikyo's foray back into Australia. The Japanese company left Australia after it ran into financial troubles in the mid-2000s and sold its portfolio in Queensland, including the Gold Coast International Hotel and golf courses.
In Japan, Daikyo is one of the largest builders of apartments and has supplied about 450,000 units across 8200 complexes.
Daikyo Australia's managing director, Hiroshi Mori, said Daikyo was eager to bring its expertise to the partnership with Devine. Daikyo was known to have been introduced to Devine over two years ago when the Japanese developer was investigating the Brisbane market as part of its comeback plans.
According to The Asahi Shimbun today, elderly people who live alone can now be monitored around the clock by a new system that detects and analyses everyday sounds in their homes without violating their privacy.
Developed by Fujitsu Ltd., a Japanese multinational information technology equipment and services company headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, the system detects household noises via a microphone that is connected online to a data centre, the company announced May 11. If an abnormality is detected, it alerts registered family members or a security firm.
The company plans to market its new sound system in December to hospitals, municipal governments and security companies.
According to Fujitsu, the system can differentiate between the sounds of a falling object and a person collapsing. The system can also detect heavy breathing and hacking coughs. If no sounds are detected in the morning, the system can conclude that the person has not awakened.
Remote monitoring systems have been in demand in recent years to check on the health of older people who live alone.
Although systems that use cameras are available, many people fear that such systems can be an invasion of privacy.
Fujitsu said its new system sends only wavelengths of gleaned data to a data center, ensuring that conversations cannot be heard by third parties.
The electronics giant is also considering introducing a service that utilizes a device worn like a wristwatch that can locate the user and detect changes in their heartbeat in the event of an unusual occurrence.
The Japanese government has warned that by 2060, nearly 40% of the population will be aged 65 or over. Data released last April shows it is already difficult for the East Asian nation of to support the elderly and pensioners who currently make up 25% of its population.
According to The Australian Financial Review today, the summary of the Australian Federal budget 2015/2016 is as follows:
•Families - extra $3.5 billion in childcare, including $246 million nanny trial
•Small businesses - 1.5 per cent tax cut for small companies and 5 per cent tax discount on income from unincorporated small business activity. Immediate tax writeoff for assets $20,000 or less
•Older workers - $10,000 payments over 12 months to employers hiring over 50s who have been unemployed for six months
•Pharmaceutical buyers – $1.6 billion PBS listing new medicines for melanoma, breast cancer and blindness, offset by $252 million price hike for certain drugs
•Western Australians - one-off $499 million payment to be spent on nine infrastructure projects
•Northern Australians – concessional loan facility of up to $5 billion, to cost the government $800 million over three years
•Poor retirees - 170,000 asset poor retirees to get an average pension increase of $30 per fortnight
•Defence - $403 million over four years to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and 2 per cent pay increase for defence workers
•Reefs - extra $100 million to save the Great Barrier Reef
•Wealthy retirees - 326,000 asset rich pensioners to lose part pension benefits
•Families on employer-sponsored parental leave - $1 billion saving from no 'double dipping' into government and employer parental leave
•Welfare recipients - tightened activity test to weed out people not working, studying or seeking working from receiving childcare benefits
•Welfare recipients – crackdown on welfare and no Family Tax Benefit Part A for families who don't vaccinate their children
•Foreign investors – applications fees on all real estate, business and agricultural foreign investment proposals to raise $735 million over the next four years.
•Multinationals - 30 multinationals to disclose how much they pay on Australian earnings and beefed up enforcement of existing tax laws
•Netflix and overseas service providers - Introduce GST on imported digital products and services to raise $350 million
•FIFO workers – fly-in, fly-out workers to lose beneficial zone tax offset if they do not normally live in remote area
•Working holiday makers – Treated as non-residents and taxed at 32.5 per cent
According to The Australian Financial Review (today) and press release from Mitsui & Co., Ltd, Mitsui entered into an agreement with the specialist infrastructure debt funds management company Westbourne Credit Management Limited ("Westbourne", Head Office: Melbourne, Australia), to acquire a 20% equity ownership in Westbourne. As a result of this investment, Mitsui will become the first Japanese company to participate in a funds management business specializing in infrastructure debt. It is a concrete sign that under newly appointed chief executive Tatsuo Yasunaga, Mitsui is planning to expand the non-resources part of the business.
Infrastructure debt funds invest into the debt securities issued by infrastructure-related companies. The infrastructure debt funds market has grown rapidly on a global basis in recent years with the asset class offering stable and predictable returns. The institutional interest in infrastructure debt from Japanese investors is also expected to grow.
Established in Australia in 2008, Westbourne is a funds management company specializing in infrastructure debt funds management. Westbourne was established by former executives from Westpac Banking Corp-owned Hastings Funds Management, and has attracted $4 billion from 24 Australian and global clients. It intends to embark on a further capital raising when it has invested the amassed funds. The firm's local clients include the $117 billion Future Fund, Mercer Investments, Qantas Superannuation Plan and Sunsuper.
As a leading infrastructure debt funds management company, Westbourne provides investment management services for global institutional investors, including sovereign wealth funds, pension funds and the insurance sector based in East Asia, the Middle East, Europe and Australia. The capital raised from these institutional investors is being progressively invested in the debt of infrastructure-related companies, such as airports, tollroads, ports and water and energy utilities. Westbourne enjoys strong support from a number of well-regarded investment consultants.
Since 2001, Mitsui's wholly owned subsidiary, Japan Alternative Investment Co., Ltd has built a track record of sales of alternative financial instruments based on various assets. Infrastructure debt funds managed by Westbourne will also be marketed by Japan Alternative Investment to Japanese investors with the aim of offering a diverse range of investment opportunities.
Through the participation in this infrastructure debt funds management company and other initiatives, Mitsui said that Mitsui will continue to respond to the needs of investors by further strengthening our asset management activities and expanding our business platforms in Japan and overseas.
Westbourne already had an existing alliance with Mitsui subsidiary Japan Alternative Investments, designed to help the Australian firm to raise capital from Japanese pension funds, life insurance companies and government funds.
According to The Asahi Shimbun today, Toyota Motor Corp. and Mazda Motor Corp. are considering joining forces in green technologies to ensure their new vehicles are given the green light.
The Japanese auto giants may enhance their cooperation in environmental technologies to better respond to tightened regulations across the globe, sources said.
Toyota can provide technology used in the world’s first commercial fuel-cell model it marketed last year as well as from its plug-in gas-electric hybrid vehicles that are charged from an outside power source.
Mazda, on the other hand, is considering contributing its unique small-displacement engine, which boasts excellent fuel-economy performance.
The two automakers have a history of cooperation. In 2010, Toyota offered to share its expertise concerning hybrid vehicles, while in 2012, Mazda decided to manufacture compact vehicles in Mexico for Toyota to sell in North America.
Although Mazda’s sales have been growing in the United States, it is expected to be required to sell a certain number of eco-friendly vehicles from 2017 in California.
The enhancement in technical cooperation under consideration is expected to enable Mazda to cut expenses to develop next-generation green vehicles. It would also allow Toyota to lower its production costs by using common eco-car parts and develop models that meet the needs in respective countries by using a wider variety of engines.
[Spececial Edition] Creation of branding image for Australian agriculture business with Japan is a key to success
In January 2015, Australia has become the first major agricultural nation to implement a free trade agreement with Japan (JAEPA) after seven years of negotiation.
The Australian Government said the agreement meant a range of Australian agricultural exports would now be able to enter Japan duty free, including prawns, lobsters, asparagus, cherries, grapes, macadamia nuts and almonds.
According to The Australian Financial Review today, Australian farmers are now ready to take advantage of low interest rates and invest in their businesses.
But unfortunately, this article didn’t tell us how the farmers should invest the money....
Japan Australia Business Creators Pty Ltd thinks that creation of branding image is very important to success the agriculture business in Australia if they want to export their products into Japan.
Let’s have a look what has been done for agriculture business (to success) in Japan.
Case study in Japan
Japanese Government (Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) investigated some projects which built local branding in Japan.
The projects in Japan which could not generate the revenue streams have the following problems regarding the quality and marketing:
1) Management of the quality is insufficient and cannot differentiate it from other products
2) Do the sales activities without specify the branding image and the target of customers
3) There is no branding concept such as:
- How to sell the products?
- What kind of quality of products companies want to sell?
- Who is the targeted customer?
Establishing name of the branding and/or image character is not enough at all.
4) Introduced the improved or new products and began to sell, however, it could not catch up with the development of the production system.
The following characteristics can be found from the successful case that could generate revenue streams and has led to the activation of the local region by creation of branding image:
1) Taking advantage of local own history and narrative, the area of the image and region-specific climate conditions
2) The name, mark (label), etc. to ensure the quality and quality are properly managed
- The quality controls of the products were performed well such as:
> Develop the cultivation standard and the shipment standard
> Only allow the use of the name/ mark (label) to those that meet the certification standards
> Acquiring the trademark right to protect the name/ mark (label)
- The action not to betray consumers' confidence for the label is accomplished.
3) The marketing strategy was superior
Marketing to suit the agricultural and marine products and regional food have been made such as:
- During the development of the market of goods, stick to direct sales
- Keep the close relationship with customers by direct mail distribution, etc.
- Limit the distribution channel to the high-quality department stores
Japan Australia Business Creators Pty Ltd (J-ABC) provides business liaison and facilitation to expand business creation, joint ventures and business partnerships between Japanese and Australian enterprises.
Japan Australia Business Creators Pty Ltd will show you more details and we can also introduce the people and company who have knowledge and experience to create the branding image (in Japan) if you want.
If you are interested in our 30 minutes free consultation, please contact us.
Most people are drinking cups of coffee every day. As I am Japanese, I also love to drink cups of green tea every day. Do you know the cups of coffee and green tea are good for our health?
According to a Japanese Newspaper, The Asahi Shimbun, today, cups of coffee or green tea can work not only as daily pick-me-ups, but they can also lower the risk of death by almost one-quarter, according to a nearly two-decade study covering up to 90,000 people.
Coffee contains a polyphenol known as chlorogenic acid while green tea features catechin. The researchers said these likely helped to decrease the blood pressure of the subjects.
The caffeine in both drinks appears to have improved the function of blood vessels and the respiratory systems of the subjects, the researchers said.
“The caffeine may help people maintain their health,” said Mitsuhiko Noda, a consultation and treatment director at the National Center for Global Health and Medicine.
Noda and his colleagues asked 90,000 men and women across Japan ranging in age from 40 to 69 about their lifestyles and the frequency at which they drank the beverages. They kept track of the subjects’ health conditions for 19 years.
Around 13,000 of them died during the study period.
Those who consumed three to four cups of coffee a day had a 24-percent lower risk of death than people who rarely drank coffee, according to the findings, which have been published in two U.S. journals, one on nutrition and the other on epidemiology.
Drinking five cups or more of green tea each day reduced the risk of death by 13 percent in men and 17 percent in women, compared with those who consumed less than a cup a day, according to the study.
To gain an accurate assessment of the beverages’ effects on health, the researchers took into account other related factors, such as age and physical activities of the subjects, before analyzing the data on the two types of drinks.
The researchers said the beverages’ ingredients could be behind the lower incidence of death from cardiac diseases and strokes among the test subjects.
However, continually drinking pot after pot of coffee or green tea will not lead to immortality.
Noda noted that some people should be cautious about consuming so many cups of coffee or green tea.
“Drinking (the beverages) could lead to a spike in blood pressure in patients with cardiac illness,” Noda said. “Pregnant women and those with renal diseases should also be careful.”
Some of the key commodities in Australia rallies on China economy hopes.
According to the Australian Financial Review today, iron ore has rebounded above $US60 a tonne for the first time since early March, after logging a nearly 4 per cent gain on Wednesday, 6th May 2015.
Iron ore has now gained more than 29 per cent since early April when it was trading as low as $US47.08.
The dramatic turnaround has been fuelled in recent weeks by BHP Billiton's decision to slow its rate of production growth.
However, UBS has suggested iron ore prices could resume their fall and plumb the depths of $US45 per tonne in the second half of the year.
According to the Australian Financial Review today, Copper has rallied strongly after a disastrous past few months, driven by supply disruptions, a falling US dollar and a pick-up in the Chinese economy.
The red metal traded above $US6500 a tonne for almost all of 2014 before crashing to five-year lows of $US5395 a tonne in January as fears of a Chinese slowdown spread among traders.
Copper, used extensively in manufacturing and construction, is considered a bellwether for the global economy. China alone accounts for 46 per cent of global demand.
"There are a few things at play," said UBS commodities analyst Daniel Morgan. "A lot of commodities have had a pretty good April and some of that is US dollar weakness. In the past month it's been declining against everything.
"It's about 2 to 5 per cent weaker over the past month and that's translated into strength in most commodities and copper is part of that."
On the demand side, "we're starting to see a little bit of a lift in the China trade ... China's monetary policy changes are all positive for copper. Copper is a very credit-linked trade."
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