According to The Asahi Shimbun, a self-driving wheeled robot can now deliver groceries and daily necessities to about 1,000 households in central Tsukuba.
The delivery service, provided by Rakuten Group Inc., Panasonic Holdings Corp. and Seiyu Co., started on May 28 and covers an 850-meter radius from the Tsukuba Takezono outlet of the Seiyu supermarket chain.
The deliveries are made only on Saturdays, and the service will end on July 30.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. (NTT) will adopt remote working as its standard work style, in principle, from July 1, with employees no longer being required to reside within commuting distance of the office.
About 30,000 employees of its group companies who work in departments where teleworking is already introduced will be eligible at first. The firm plans to expand the operation later.
The firms currently require employees to reside within a two-hour commute of the office. However, that limitation will be removed and the firms will allow them to live anywhere in Japan.
Any visits to the office will be deemed business trips. The transportation costs will basically have no limits.
According to The Australian Financial Review, Japan finally opened its borders to tourists, but with strict rules.
Tour groups from 98 countries, including Australia, can now visit the country – but only if they wear masks, have insurance and are closely monitored by guides from “arrival to departure”. The visa application is complex and Japan has a daily cap on arrivals of 20,000.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, Sony Group Corp. and Honda Motor Co. have officially signed a joint venture agreement to set up a new company that will start selling electric vehicles in 2025.
They aim to establish Sony Honda Mobility Inc. by the end of this year with each company owning 50 percent, the two partners announced.
Honda will manufacture the electric vehicles at its plants, while Sony will provide in-car services, such as music and video accessories.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, Japan’s largest oil distributor is plugging into the electric vehicle charging business as it plans to start building a vast charging network across the country.
ENEOS Holdings Inc. announced that it acquired the rights from electronics firm NEC Corp. to operate about 4,600 EV chargers at commercial facilities.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, Japanese entrepreneur is committed to rendering his enterprise here “friendly” to all relevant parties including employees and sustainable as a “good company.”
“The current increased interest in the SDGs (U.N. Sustainable Development Goals) should not be quickly lost just as a temporary trend,” said Mitani, 37, CEO of Mitani Sangyo Co.
Mitani Sangyo, a long-established firm handling chemicals and plastics for use in automobiles for more than 90 years, effectively abolished its mandatory retirement system for employees.
While employees at the company in the Hokuriku region listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange’s top Prime Market can retire at age 60, they are allowed to continue working there for additional years on an unlimited basis.
Staffers are eligible for severance allowances on two occasions: when they reach the standard retirement age of 60 and when they decide to dissolve their contracts with Mitani Sangyo on their own.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, the unemployment rate for April improved to a level seen before the novel coronavirus pandemic, but some hard-hit sectors were still struggling to provide jobs, statistics showed.
The internal affairs ministry on May 31 said the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for April was 2.5 percent, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point and the third straight month of decline.
In October 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic was raging, Japan’s unemployment rate was 3.1 percent, but it has since improved steadily.
There were about 1.76 million unemployed people in April, 30,000 fewer than in March.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, the central government is planning to ramp up investment in education and skills training to attract laborers from developed industries into sectors with solid future growth prospects.
It aims to accomplish this through actions such as expanding career consultations for workers and encouraging them to get side jobs.
The move comes amid concerns that Japan is lagging behind other countries in investing in human resources development, and that workers are not moving into these areas quickly enough.
The government is seeking to boost labor productivity and make workers more aware of opportunities in these developing industries, such as the digital industry, regardless of whether they currently work for companies in those sectors.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, Nissan Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Motors Corp. announced the release of an ultra-small electric vehicle this summer, which can be as affordable as its gasoline-powered counterparts.
The model, based on Japan’s minivehicle standard, will be available for under 1.5 million yen (US$11,719) in Tokyo, after the metropolitan government's 450,000 yen and central government's 550,000 yen subsidies for electric vehicles are applied.
Minivehicles, with engine displacements of 660 cc or less, account for nearly 40 percent of Japan’s new vehicle sales. They are mostly used over short distances such as for shopping or commuting.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, Japan was preparing to allow more foreign tourists to enter the country in June after it accepted a first group from overseas on an experimental basis, sources said.
The number of tourists will still be limited, the sources said.
The first foreign tourists in more than two years arrived in Japan on May 24 for an experiment on whether the country can safely reopen its borders to travelers in the COVID-19 pandemic.
The group from the United States landed at Narita Airport on the outskirts of Tokyo on the night of May 24.
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