According to The Asahi Shimbun, the industry ministry is taking actions to cut Japan's electricity generation by 10 percent by fiscal 2030.
It also plans to make nuclear energy and other non-fossil energy sources account for about 60 percent of the power output by bolstering renewables, according to sources.
These targets are expected to be incorporated into the new Basic Energy Plan, which may be unveiled as early as July 21. The plan is typically revised every three years, and the ministry has been working on the update to the plan.
Japan is ramping up efforts to meet its goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 46 percent from their level in fiscal 2013 by fiscal 2030.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, check-in and other procedures are rapidly being automated and rendered contactless at Tokyo's Haneda Airport to address health issues due to the COVID19 pandemic as well as personnel shortages.
With the summer break approaching, the second since the pandemic flared early last year, aviation industry officials are doing their utmost to reduce chances for passengers to interact with staff at the key gateway to Japan.
Air carriers also began bolstering their anti-virus measures in the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics that kicked off July 23.
Japan Airlines Co. upgraded its automated check-in system at Terminal 1 for domestic flights this past spring. The system scans fingerprints with infrared rays, allowing passengers to operate it while holding their finger several centimeters from the screen.
A zero contact solution has also been introduced for the automatic baggage registration equipment put in service last year. This eliminates the need for people to line up at check-in counters to explain the content of their luggage to staff.
According to The Nikkei Asia, the construction of large data centers is gathering speed in Japan, with Mitsui & Co. leading the private sector, after the government of Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga committed to backing the development of key 5G network infrastructure in hopes of turning the nation into Asia's hub for such services.
Demand for data centers is soaring, but the supply had been limited by the shortage of appropriate construction sites and high electricity costs. The government is now trying to expand supply by offering financial support and tax incentives, as it views the development of such infrastructure as a national security priority.
Mitsui & Co. is expected to invest a total of 300 billion yen (US$2.7 billion) by 2026 in the development of new data centers and the acquisition of existing facilities. The trading house has joined forces with overseas investors to build three large facilities in three locations, including Kyoto and Chiba by 2026. The project is expected to cost 150 billion yen.
According to The Nikkei Asia, the Japanese government looks to have renewable energy generate almost 40% of the country's power in fiscal 2030 in the latest version of its electricity mix targets, bringing zero-emissions sources as high as 60% of the total.
Renewables -- particularly solar -- are set to make up between 36% and 38% of overall generation in the revised energy plan to be drafted Wednesday, up 14 points from the current goal, with nuclear remaining flat at 20% to 22%. The share from fossil fuels will be cut to 41% from 56% now.
The changes aim to tackle a major contributor to Japan's greenhouse gas emissions. Tokyo pledged in April to cut greenhouse gas emissions by at least 46% from fiscal 2013 levels by fiscal 2030.
According to The Nikkei Asia, managing a diverse workforce is like coaching soccer in Brazil, says the head of a small Japanese auto parts supplier looking to establish itself as a trendsetter in support for foreigners in a country that tends to see them as guest workers rather than residents.
"Brazilian soccer is strong because players come together to win, regardless of race or nationality," Toshinao Hirano, the 45-year-old president of Hirano Vinyl Industry, which makes seat covers.
The manufacturer's story shows how such inclusiveness is becoming a factor in financial institutions and investors' views on Japanese companies, in addition to environmental and governance criteria.
According to The Nikkei Asia, Uniqlo is rolling out Friday its first made-in-Tokyo clothing, a limited release heralding a new design process and business model for operator Fast Retailing.
The three new items, which include a 2,990 yen (US$ 27) 3D-knit cotton crewneck sweater, will be available at a Uniqlo flagship store in central Tokyo and online.
Fast Retailing plans to produce just enough to meet customer demand -- a model made possible by the first foray into manufacturing by a company that had relied entirely on outside suppliers to make roughly 1.3 billion pieces of clothing a year.
The centerpiece of this strategy is a building in a manufacturing-heavy area of Shinonome on Tokyo Bay, with no signs outside connecting it to Fast Retailing. In this tidy space, machines from Fast Retailing partner Shima Seiki Manufacturing steadily churn out seamless knit fabric. Operating around the clock, this facility produces 1,000 pieces of fabric per day.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, Japanese meat processors and Japan's farm ministry were late to the table as a meat-free wave primarily in Europe and the United States is bringing change to the global meat industry.
Meat suppliers are successively pitching imitation products using soybeans and other plant-derived proteins to replicate the flavors of beef, chicken and pork for household consumption.
In Japan, leading meat processors were reportedly struggling to decide whether to ride the meat-replacement wave, since their core products utilize livestock.
NH Foods Ltd. said some employees raised concerns about the possibility that the handling of meat substitutes “may sound as if we, a business selling primarily meat products, were opposing the consumption of meat.”
Thus, NH Foods repeated discussions for half a year to a year and committed itself to “realizing the taste that only a meat seller can create” based on its special combination of materials, such as soybeans and konjac, to re-create a meat-like texture.
NH Foods currently considers it as its mission to offer “various sources of proteins,” on top of meat and fish, for consumers.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, a longtime staple food for Japan’s “salarymen” white-collar workers when they need a quick bite to eat is soaring to new heights.
Fast food chain operator Yoshinoya Co. and delivery service operator Demae-can Co. have tested a drone service that delivers “gyudon” beef-on-rice dishes.
In a flight demonstration for news media this month, staff at the iconic beef-bowl chain working out of a food truck near a park in the city cooked up enough mouth-watering gyudon dishes for four people.
According to The Argus Media, Iwatani aims to achieve commercial production of hydrogen in Australia and deliveries to Japan by 2030. The Brisbane office will enhance Iwatani's relationship with Australian companies and the Queensland state government, especially in terms of its green hydrogen project with Queensland state-controlled power utility Stanwell. The office will also make it easier for the firm to study the Australian market and infrastructure requirements.
The firm has experimented with generating liquified carbon-free hydrogen from brown coal in Australia's southwestern Victoria and made shipments to the Kobe hydrogen terminal in Japan's eastern Hyogo prefecture. Iwatani worked on the project as one of six members of the CO2-free Hydrogen Energy Supply-chain Technology Research Association.
Iwatani has also began feasibility studies on green hydrogen production and imports to Japan with Stanwell and Australian iron ore producer Fortescue Metals. The companies are targeting to manufacture carbon-free hydrogen by using renewable power sources such as solar and wind power.
According to The Asahi Shimbun, Japan’s transport ministry plans to compel auto manufacturers to install fuel-efficiency recording devices on all their new models to more accurately determine their mileage ratings amid increased public scepticism.
The transport ministry plans to revise the related regulations as early as next week and apply them for new car models as early as October 2023, officials said.
It comes amid heated industry competition over producing better fuel-economy cars, and as manufacturers find themselves under pressure to shift gears toward a low-carbon economy.
It also follows concerns expressed over large gaps between the mileage ratings reported by manufacturers in car catalogues and on websites compared to what the numbers actually are once the rubber hits the road.
And as automobile makers ramped up their efforts in recent years to compete over fuel economy, the automotive industry became plagued by scandal over fudged numbers.
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