Seven-Eleven Buys Speedway

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — Seven & i Holdings, the Japanese operator of the Seven-Eleven chain, gained approval last month from the Federal Trade Commission (FTA) to buy Speedway, a US convenience store chain formerly owned by US oil refiner Marathon Petroleum, after addressing a number of anti-trust concerns.

In August last year, Seven & i Holdings first announced that it intended buy Speedway for US$21 billion at the beginning of new year. However, in March it revealed that it had to delay its purchase of Speedway due an FTA review.

By May, Marathon Petroleum and Seven & i Holdings announced that they had closed the US$21 billion deal.

However, two FTC officials related to the US Democratic Party, former Acting Chair Rebecca Slaughter and Commissioner Rohit Chopra, deemed the transaction as illegal on anti-trust grounds. The Republican Party commissioners disagreed, and due to one seat being vacant, the FTC was split 2-2.

In June, Lina Khan was appointed chair, allowing the FTC to function normally once again.

On May 17, Seven & i Holdings issued a press release in which it said Seven-Eleven and the FTC had reached an agreement to resolve concerns relating to Seven-Eleven’s 293 fuel outlets.

Last month, the FTC confirmed that it had agreed to the deal, provided that all the stores, including both Speedway and Seven-Eleven convenience stores, include gas stations in twenty states as specified by the FTC.

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IR Firms Sweeten the Pot for Nagasaki

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — Three would-be casino consortiums remain in the contest to become Nagasaki Prefecture’s partner to potentially build an Integrated Resort (IR) at the Huis Ten Bosch theme park in Sasebo, and some of them are trying to sweeten the pot in the run-up to the final selection.

The current schedule calls for the prefecture to choose its consortium partner next month, and three remain in the race.

Casinos Austria International, a government-backed company based in Vienna, has remained very quiet in public about the nature of its Nagasaki bid, in contrast to its competitors.

Niki Chyau Fwu (Parkview) Group is a Taiwan-Japan consortium which was a latecomer to the IR race in Japan, but has become one of the most active in recent months. When they announced their bid in January, they stated, “We will propose to build a Super Smart Community that makes full use of cutting edge technology, centered on an IR in Sasebo city, and spreading to Omura Bay.”

Oshidori International Development, which has also been quite active, is based on a Hong Kong-listed investment company. It has partnered with Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment, a Native American tribal casino firm based in Connecticut, which is also building a major IR in Incheon, South Korea.

In the latest round of sweeteners announced this week, both the Niki Chyau Fwu consortium and the Oshidori consortium have made additional moves.

Niki Chyau Fwu’s move was by far the bigger of the two. It announced that it had reached an agreement with ESR, a Hong Kong-listed company, providing that—should its bid be selected and the Huis Ten Bosch IR licensed by the central government—it would, in addition to its planned US$3.5 billion investment to build the casino resort, also bring in an external investment of US$1 billion to build a data and logistics center to Nagasaki Prefecture. This data center initiative alone would be expected to create about 8,000 new jobs for the community.

Stuart Gibson, co-founder and co-CEO of ESR, commented, “The Niki Chyau Fwu (Parkview) Group’s IR concept and its consortium team are truly amazing. This development will create recreation, hospitality, and cultural facilities in Nagasaki, making it a center of global tourism. It will become a destination tourism site. This is a perfect match for our business, and if they are licensed and proceed with the development, we promise that there will be, in the 21st century, an advanced recreation area, including the data center, near the IR development area.”

The Oshidori consortium has been focusing more of its attention on building positive community relations.

The Kyushu Oshidori Children’s Foundation was established in 2019 and owns approximately 18.8% of the share capital of Oshidori International Holdings. Last July, the Foundation donated ¥20 million (US$180,000) to Akai Hane (Nagasaki Community Chest Association & Social Welfare Corporation) to support flood relief efforts. This year it donated ¥10 million (US$90,000) to seven child welfare institutions in Nagasaki as part of a Children’s Day initiative.

Moreover, in February, Oshidori formed an official partnership agreement with V-Varen Nagasaki, a Japanese J2 League football club.

In its latest move announced this week, Oshidori, in partnership with the Nagasaki Bus Tourism Development Promotion Fund, invited seventeen local students on a tour to discover the rich history of Nagasaki.

Oshidori International Development Chief Operating Officer Keigo Nakatani stated, “We are pleased to provide children who will lead the future of Nagasaki with some time to learn more about the area in which they live. I am convinced that this opportunity to develop a feeling of familiarity and attachment to their hometown and to talk about the future of Nagasaki with friends will surely lead to a better future for both the children and Nagasaki.”

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Melco “Remains Committed” to Yokohama IR Bid

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — Melco Resorts & Entertainment Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Lawrence Ho used the opportunity of a corporate earnings call to again assert his Macau-based firm’s interest in building an Integrated Resort (IR) including a casino at Yamashita Pier in Yokohama.

“We remain committed to bringing a world-leading Integrated Resort there and continue to pursue opportunities within the market where we remain actively engaged with our partners,” Ho stated.

He added, “The development of the Integrated Resort industry in Japan has continued to move forward. We remain convinced that Japan represents the best potential new gaming market globally and that the quality of our assets and our focus on premium segment is a great fit for the country’s tourism development. We remain patient and continue to maintain our disciplined approach with respect to all development activities, including in Japan.”

When asked about the August 22 mayoral election in which many candidates oppose IR development, Ho responded, “We’re guests and visitors of the country… In terms of something as important as mayor election or political positions, is certainly… we were we just need to continue to be respectful to the market and really do the best that we can and not worry too much about things that are completely outside of our control.”

Melco is one of only two international firms that remain in the Yokohama IR race, and most observers put it in the underdog category. If the IR initiative survives the mayoral election and moves forward as planned, its rival Genting Singapore-Sega Sammy Holdings consortium is tipped to have the advantage.

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Nagasaki Training Casino Resort Staff

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — Although there is at least half a decade before it potentially opens its doors, Nagasaki is getting serious about human resources development for its prospective Integrated Resort (IR) including a casino at the Huis Ten Bosch theme park in Sasebo.

The Kyushu Nagasaki International Tourism Human Resource Development Consortium Preparatory Committee will be holding its second human resources development seminar this coming Saturday, July 31, featuring four main speakers.

The intention to establish this educational consortium was first revealed in late April. It is being launched by four inaugural members—Nagasaki International University, the University of Nagasaki, the Nagasaki prefectural government, and the Sasebo municipal government. It may be expanded to other institutions in the Kyushu region in the future, should Nagasaki be licensed to construct an IR.

At Saturday’s event, the main presentation will be delivered by Professor Hideya Inoue, head of international tourism studies at Nagasaki International University, before turning the floor over to three guests with specialized knowledge about the casino and IR industry.

Joji Kokuryo of Bay City Ventures and Chris Wieners of Hogo Digital will share their experiences working for companies in the gambling and tourism hospitality industries, and also touch upon how their involvement and exposure to international business has helped them develop skills in running their own companies.

Mototsugu Asada of KPG Resort & Hotel will provide specific examples about the importance of hospitality in the food, beverage, and restaurant management segments, and also relate stories from his time running Mizumi, the main Japanese restaurant at Wynn Palace in Macau.

Nagasaki is one of four local governments competing for the three possible IR licenses that the central government is expected to issue next years. At present, its three likely competitors are Yokohama, Osaka, and Wakayama.

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Notable Japan Space Industry Startups

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — The space race in Japan is gaining momentum as a myriad of startups have been established to industrialize and commercialize space ventures.

Some of the notable fledgling companies in Japan include Astroscale, Axelspace, Gitai, Infostellar, Interstellar Technologies, ispace, Skygate Technologies, Spacetide, and Synspective.

Astroscale was founded in 2013 by Nobu Okada in Singapore. This company works on the removal of debris from orbital space and the retrieval of end-of-life satellites. Some of its recent ventures include collaboration with Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to remove orbital debris.

Axelspace was established in 2008 and is currently run by President Yuya Nakamura. This company designs and produces microsatellites and related components. The most significant project of Axelspace is its 2013 launch of the world’s first commercial microsatellite to monitor the Arctic Ocean. Since then, the firm has launched five more microsatellites for private businesses and for JAXA.

Spacetide intends to commercialize the space industry through the dissemination of information. The company was established in 2015, and it strives to normalize the integration of space into daily lives with a vision of driving the future of human society through the space industry.

ispace, founded in 2010 by Takeshi Hakamada, focuses on the sale and survey of Moon surface data. The company also conducts research and development for space resource development with the aim of constructing a sustainable Earth and Moon ecosystem. Some recent projects of the firm include its collaboration with JAXA to send a tiny robot to the Moon that will collect and convey data.

Gitai is another startup that focuses on this same field, including robotics in space development. Gitai was founded in 2016, and aims to reduce operation costs for travel to the Moon and Mars, as well as to construct space colonies.

Infostellar, established in 2016, is a cloud-based ground station platform that offers satellite operators a means to communicate with their satellites from a varied range of antennas from anywhere using an interface.

Synspective and Skygate Technologies, established in 2018 and 2020 respectively, specialize in similar facets of the space industry; namely, assistance of data recovery and delivery.

Interstellar Technologies, founded in 2003, is working to build a launch vehicle for small satellites under 100 kilograms. The company’s aim is to lower the costs and to commercialize space launch services. It’s most recent success was the launch of a space rocket called the Momo7, its third rocket to reach space.

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Odaiba’s Medieval Europe Faces Destruction

SNA Travel (Tokyo) — Those who explore the many shopping malls in Odaiba, the manmade island in Tokyo Bay across the majestic Rainbow Bridge, may happen upon a surprise–an indoor area constructed to resemble a medieval European city. It won’t be around for long, however, because it faces imminent closure.

VenusFort, located nearest to Aomi Station on the Yurikamome Line, is the venue for the unusual construction, with the second floor of the facility, called Venus Grand, serving as the ground floor for a mock European city.

It comes complete with an overhead sky, in addition to the southern European architecture, which changes color at different “times of day.” The effect is very similar to The Venetian, for anyone who has visited this casino hotel in Macau or Las Vegas.

VenusFort is operated by Mori Building, and it opened in its original form in August 1999.

However, news has emerged that VenusFort is soon to fall victim to redevelopment. A new commercial facility and sports arena has been earmarked for the land where VenusFort now stands.

While the exact nature of the new commercial facility is still under discussion, the sports arena is expected to become home to the Alvark Tokyo professional basketball team, backed by the Toyota Motor Corporation.

The current schedule calls for VenusFort to close on March 27, 2022.

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Demon Slayer: Master a Single Thing

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — In the seventeenth episode of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Zenitsu defeats one of the members of the spider demon family, but not before he is poisoned. Meanwhile, Tanjiro and Inosuke encounter one of the Twelve Kizukis.

The episode begins with Tanjiro determined to find the Twelve Kizuki who reportedly resided on Mount Natagumo. He believed that retrieving its blood would get him closer to turning his demon sister Nezuko back into a human.

Tanjiro returns to Inosuke who appears to be injured. When Tanjiro tries to check if he is alright, Inosuke tells him to stop coddling him and keep moving.

Zenitsu gets bitten by a spider, which sends him into a rage. He is frustrated that he cannot seem to find either the boys or Nezuko. He then encounters a spider with a human head and runs further into the forest.

He halts in shock when he comes to an opening and sees a few half-human, half-spider people hanging from the sky. A spider demon drops from the sky and tells Zenitsu that there is no point in running away.

The spider demon explains that the spider that bit Zenitsu earlier was one of his, and Zenitsu has been poisoned and will slowly start turning into a spider. As always, Zenitsu goes into a state of frenzy, and then he climbs a nearby tree.

As he sits in the tree he reminisces about his training days with the old man who trained him. He starts thinking of the day he climbed a tree because he was afraid to disappoint the old man and was struck by lighting. That was the reason he turned blond. Zenitsu, an orphan, was always grateful to the old man who never abandoned or gave up on him, unlike the rest of the people in his life.

Zenitsu’s hair starts falling out, as the spider demon warned him it would, and he faints in fear.

The story cuts to a flashback of the old man telling Zenitsu that all he has to do is master one skill, which Zenitsu does. He knows only one attack, but he has mastered it to perfection.

As the spider poison seeps into his bloodstream, Zenitsu unleashes an attack in his state of unconsciousness and defeats the spider demon. He regains consciousness, but the poison has already started taking effect, debilitating him. He uses a breathing technique to slow the process.

Tanjiro and Inosuke hear Zenitsu’s attack from afar and try to find him. As they make their way, one of the spider demons shows up undetected.

As they try to strike her, she calls for her father.

The episode ends with the father, who turns out to be one of the Twelve Kizukis, showing up to protect her.

Previous Articles

Demon Slayer: Cruelty

Demon Slayer: Trainer Sakonji Urokodaki

Demon Slayer: Sabito and Makomo

Demon Slayer: Final Selection

Demon Slayer: My Own Steel

Demon Slayer: Swordsman Accompanying Demon

Demon Slayer: Muzan Kibutsuji

Demon Slayer: Smell of Enchanting Blood

Demon Slayer: Temari and Arrow Demon

Demon Slayer: Together Forever

Demon Slayer: Tsuzumi Mansion

Demon Slayer: The Boar Bares Its Fangs

Demon Slayer: More Important Than Life

Demon Slayer: House with Wisteria Crest

Demon Slayer: Mount Natagumo

Demon Slayer: Let Someone Go First

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Japanese Drones in India

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — Japan’s largest drone-maker Autonomous Control Systems Laboratory (ACSL) is making a move into the Indian market through a partnership with a local firm.

Tokyo-based ACSL has tied up with Delhi-based Arc Ventures to establish a joint venture called ACSL India, at an initial investment of US$3.5 million.

ACSL develops industrial drones used in various fields such as logistics, infrastructure inspection, and disasters. It has developed its own flight controller to manage its drones, which serves as a extra layer of security.

The joint venture is planning to build several manufacturing plants in the country, with the first one targeted to open in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, in October.

India’s overall drone market is expected to reach a value of US$1 billion by 2025.

Jyotiraditya Madhavrao Scindia, India’s minister of civil aviation, has remarked, “Drones are bringing the next tech revolution around the globe with reduced costs, resources, and time taken for operations. It is upon us to ride on the new wave and facilitate its uptake, especially among our startups.”

Sales will also be targeted to the region of Southeast Asia.

Last month, ACSL formed a partnership with Japan Post to begin drone mail deliveries in Japan.

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Wakayama Taps Canadian Firm for Casino Project

The Wakayama Prefectural Government has accepted a consortium led by Toronto-based investment firm Clairvest Group to develop a luxury Integrated Resort (casino resort) at the Marina City district within the jurisdiction of the Wakayama municipal government.

Through the partnership between Wakayama and the Clairvest-led consortium, a licensing application will be made to the central government between October 2021 and April 2022. Currently, there are four local governments—Yokohama, Osaka, and Nagasaki aside from Wakayama—which are planning licensing applications, but under the law only a maximum of three can be permitted at this time.

The Clairvest consortium, operated through its local subsidiary Clairvest Neem Ventures, also includes the French casino operator Groupe Partouche and AMSE Resorts Japan.

Earlier, a number of alternative consortiums had planned to compete with Clairvest for the Wakayama partnership. Two firms, Bloomberry Resorts of the Philippines and Groupe Barriere of France, were forced to withdraw by circumstances related to the Covid pandemic, and a third company, Suncity Group of Macau, was reportedly informed that the Japanese central government would not approve its candidacy due to its suspected links to organized crime in China.

The Clairvest consortium’s proposal is to construct a US$4.3 billion luxury casino resort at Marina City, featuring hotels, exhibition areas, a casino, and all of the other attributes required under the terms of the 2018 IR Implementation Act and subsequent Cabinet decisions.

If it is licensed, the plans call for the Wakayama resort to be built on a 560,000 square meter plot of land, intended to host about 13 million visitors a year. It would potentially become the first casino resort to open its doors in Japan around autumn 2027.

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Sister Cities Commit to Hydrogen

Akihabara News (Tokyo) – The town of Namie, Fukushima, is collaborating with its sister city Lancaster, California, to commit to hydrogen as part of their green energy strategy.

In an online summit that took place between Japan and the United States a few days prior to the opening of the Tokyo Olympics, mayors Kazuhiro Yoshida and Rex Parris signed a “Smart Sister Cities” agreement that will aim to adopt hydrogen into their efforts of transitioning into cleaner energy.

Namie recently established a large solar energy-powered hydrogen production unit, the Fukushima Energy Research Field.

For its part, Lancaster was the first city in the United States to achieve Net Zero with the development of its very own green energy municipal utility.

The cities intend to introduce fuel cell vehicles as their official vehicles as part of the agreement. They also aim to become a model for other cities and towns to follow in their footsteps.

Just in time to promote their plan, the Tokyo Olympics torch will be lit for the first time using hydrogen, produced by the town of Namie.

“We are thrilled that Namie hydrogen is being used to fuel the Olympic torch, flame, and official fuel cell vehicle. With the cooperation of all parties concerned, we strive for Namie to become a town that pioneers a hydrogen-based society using locally produced carbon-free hydrogen,” states Kazuhiro Yoshida.

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Osaka Receives Proposal for Casino Resort

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — Osaka Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura has acknowledged receipt of a proposal to build a US$9 billion Integrated Resort (IR) including a casino at Yumeshima, a manmade island in Osaka Bay which is also earmarked to host the 2025 World Expo.

In the end, only one consortium bid for the project, which earlier attracted interest from about half a dozen potential competitors. The single bid is led by MGM Resorts International and the Orix Corporation as equal partners, but will also include smaller partners from among local companies.

“I am grateful to have received this proposal,” Yoshimura told reporters, “I want to proceed steadily so that an IR that is comparable to Las Vegas or Singapore can be built in Osaka.”

Osaka is competing with three other local governments—Yokohama, Nagasaki, and Wakayama—to receive one of three available licenses that the central government is expected to grant next year for casino resort development.

This will be done under the terms of the IR Implementation Act that was forced through the parliament by the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its allies in July 2018.

Japanese “Integrated Resorts” will be legally mandated to include luxury hotels, conference and exhibition facilities, and tourism promotion offices in addition to the casino. By law, the casino can occupy up to 3% of the total floor area of the entire IR, with the aim being that family-friendly non-gambling areas will make up the bulk of the complex.

If it is licensed next year, the Osaka IR at Yumeshima is not expected to actually open its doors to the public until some time between 2028 and 2030.

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Demon Slayer: Let Someone Go First

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — In the sixteenth episode of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Tanjiro and Inosuke defeat the mother demon and discover that one of the Twelve Kizukis reside on the mountain.

The episode begins with Zenitsu wandering the mountain in search of Nezuko, ending up frustrated.

Meanwhile, Murata offers to take care of the demon slayers that were being controlled by the spider webs so that Tanjiro and Inosuke can go find the mother demon that is controlling the threads.

As they head towards the mother demon, they encounter another female demon slayer controlled by the spider webs. She begs them to run away as she is not in control of her actions.

The little demon boy approaches his mother and tells her to hurry and kill the demon slayers or else he will summon his father, to which the mother looks petrified. She assures him that she has the situation under control.

The mother demon starts controlling the demon slayers more vigorously. She breaks the female demon slayers bones while trying to get her to move the way she wanted her to. Another demon slayer begs Tanjiro and Inosuke to kill him as he also sustained broken bones and the movement was causing him excruciating pain.

Tanjiro and Inosuke lift and throw the demon slayers onto tree branches so that they get tangled and cannot move. Deeming them useless puppets, the mother demon snaps all their necks, killing them instantly.

As they continue in pursuit of the mother demon, they are intercepted by a headless demon controlled by the spider webs. They struggle to find a weak point as the demon was already decapitated. Inosuke strikes without thinking and almost gets himself killed.

Tanjiro and Inosuke team up and slash the headless demon to pieces. Inosuke is impressed by Tanjiro’s ability to make strategic attacks. He then throws Tanjiro in the direction of the mother demon.

The mother demon sees Tanjiro falling towards her with his Nichirin Blade ready to kill her. She panics for a moment before realizing that death would mean her own sweet release, as she feels trapped in her current life. She closes her eyes and accepts her fate.

The episode ends with her warning to Tanjiro that one of the Twelve Kizukis is residing on the mountain.

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Woven Planet Buys Carmera

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — Toyota subsidiary Woven Planet Holdings has announced its acquisition of US spatial HD mapping company Carmera.

Woven Planet Holdings was established with the primary purpose of expanding and improving operations at the Toyota Research Institute.

Carmera is startup company that specializes in HD maps for automated driving as well as consumer maps for human navigation. It uses consumer-grade cameras from its customers to detect and log changes, and it covers all sorts of landscapes.

Through this acquisition, Carmera will be integrated into the Automated Mapping Platform (AMP) division of Woven Alpha, which will focus on producing a comprehensive road and lane HD map platform on a global scale for automated vehicles.

Working towards a multi-regional commercial launch, Woven Alpha will use Carmera’s established IoT sensing technology to update lane markings, traffic signals, signs, and more in near real-time to enable automated vehicles to direct themselves.

“Carmera’s software stack, which is focused on real-time HD map changes and proprietary hardware custom-tailored to crowdsourcing, is an ideal complement to AMP’s mapping efforts,” stated Mandali Khalesi, Woven Planet’s vice president of automated driving strategy.

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Demon Slayer: Mount Natagumo

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — In the fifteenth episode of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, the three demon slayers, Tanjiro, Zenitsu, and Inosuke recover from their injuries and head off on another demon slaying assignment together.

The episode begins with Zenitsu expressing his infatuation for Tanjiro’s demon sister Nezuko. Tanjiro tries to keep him away from her.

Meanwhile, Inosuke is taken aback by the kindness and care he receives from the family in the wisteria house.

Once the doctor notifies the boys that they are fully healed, the Kasugai Crow assigns them to another mission, this time at Mount Natagumo in the northwest.

On their journey, it becomes evident that Inosuke has never had a person care for him. He seems baffled and does not understand why the family in the wisteria house cared for his wellbeing when they did not even know him.

As they arrive the base of the mountain, Zenitsu hesitates in fear. He does not like the eerie vibe of the dark mountain.

Tanjiro also smells danger. They see an injured demon slayer walk out of the mountains only to be snatched back by some invisible threads. Tanjiro and Inosuke run in pursuit of the demon slayer. Zenitsu stays put.

As they enter the mountain, they meet another demon slayer, Murata. He explains to them that he was assigned on this mission with several other demon slayers. Once they entered, most of them turned and attacked each other. A lot of them died.

Just then, a few unconscious bodies of demon slayers turn up and start attacking them like puppets on a string.

Tanjiro notices that they are controlled by spider webs. He picks up an acrid smell but cannot pinpoint the source.

Outside the mountain, Zenitsu realizes that Tanjiro has taken Nezuko with him. He immediately runs after the boys to protect Nezuko.

A small arachnid-looking demon boy shows up walking on threads, appearing as if he is floating. He warns Tanjiro and Inosuke to stop or else his mother will kill them instantly.

Inosuke uses his spatial awareness to locate the mother.

The episode ends with the demon boy stating that he and his family of five are living in the mountains and intend to do so for a long time.

Previous Articles

Demon Slayer: Cruelty

Demon Slayer: Trainer Sakonji Urokodaki

Demon Slayer: Sabito and Makomo

Demon Slayer: Final Selection

Demon Slayer: My Own Steel

Demon Slayer: Swordsman Accompanying Demon

Demon Slayer: Muzan Kibutsuji

Demon Slayer: Smell of Enchanting Blood

Demon Slayer: Temari and Arrow Demon

Demon Slayer: Together Forever

Demon Slayer: Tsuzumi Mansion

Demon Slayer: The Boar Bares Its Fangs

Demon Slayer: More Important Than Life

Demon Slayer: House with Wisteria Crest

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Robot Boom in Japan

Akihabara News (Tokyo) – Despite the announcement from SoftBank Robotics that the iconic Pepper is heading for retirement, Japan’s robotics market as a whole is witnessing a major boom.

A multitude of factors have come together to boost demand for the robotics industry.

One of these factors is the aging population and the related issue of a shrinking workforce in Japan. Robots have been promoted in some quarters as a partial solution to the nation’s demographic crisis, though the results have so far fallen well short of the vision.

More recently, the Covid pandemic has helped push forward any kind of service that doesn’t require human contact, and robots have an obvious role to play in this respect as well. The need for robotics may be especially keen for logistics, warehousing, and medical firms.

Such demands have also encouraged companies to invest in advanced technologies such as image processing and Artificial Intelligence to attain better remote control services for robots.

According to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), the robot industry in Japan could be valued at as much as ¥10 trillion (US$90 billion) by 2035.

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Demon Slayer: House with Wisteria Crest

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — In the fourteenth episode of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Tanjiro makes the acquaintance of the boar-headed man and goes to a house with a wistera family crest where he and the other demon slayers are treated for their wounds.

The episode begins with Tanjiro breaking the ribs of the boar-headed man. He admonishes the demon slayer for attacking Zenitsu. In response, the boar-headed man goes on a rampage and fights Tanjiro.

Tanjiro is impressed by the swift movements of the boar-headed man despite his broken ribs. He eventually head-butts him and cracks his boar mask.

The mask a reveals the face of a pretty man who identifies himself as Inosuke Hashibara. He also reveals that he is unable to read or write, before passing out from a concussion.

As Tanjiro and Zenitsu bury the dead bodies from Tsuzumi Mansion, Inosuke wakes up. He immediately tries to fight someone, at which the boys just ignore him.

The Kasugai Crow then instructs them to head to the mountains, and the three demon slayers travel off together.

Throughout the journey Inosuke is trying to get Tanjiro to fight with him and Tanjiro acts unbothered.

They arrive at a house with a wisteria family crest and are greeted by an old lady. She feeds them and gives them a place to rest. Their wounds are also treated by a doctor, as all three of them have broken bones.

Tanjiro shares with the other boys that the house belongs to a family that was once rescued by demon slayers, and now they repay them by taking care of them.

Inosuke shares a tale of how he became a demon slayer and reveals that he is an orphan who just goes around testing his strength against creatures, and then promptly falls asleep.

Zenitsu asks Tanjiro why he was travelling with a demon, and before he could answer him, Nezuko steps out of the box.

The episode ends with Zenitsu attacking Tanjiro, assuming that Nezuko is his demon girlfriend.

Previous Articles

Demon Slayer: Cruelty

Demon Slayer: Trainer Sakonji Urokodaki

Demon Slayer: Sabito and Makomo

Demon Slayer: Final Selection

Demon Slayer: My Own Steel

Demon Slayer: Swordsman Accompanying Demon

Demon Slayer: Muzan Kibutsuji

Demon Slayer: Smell of Enchanting Blood

Demon Slayer: Temari and Arrow Demon

Demon Slayer: Together Forever

Demon Slayer: Tsuzumi Mansion

Demon Slayer: The Boar Bares Its Fangs

Demon Slayer: More Important Than Life

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Nissan’s Ev36Zero Hub

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — Nissan announced that it will invest US$1.39 billion to expand its Sunderland facility in the United Kingdom to produce fully electrified vehicles.

The motor company recently outlined its plans to facilitate the growth of an unique electric vehicle hub, naming the project the Ev36Zero.

The project will aim to move the company towards carbon neutrality by electrifying its new line of vehicles. The firm will collaborate with Envision-AESC (Automotive Energy Supply Corporation), a company that specializes in manufacturing lithium ion batteries for electric vehicles.

The first step in its three-step program will be to construct a Gigafactory in the International Advanced Manufacturing Park (IAMP), adjacent to the Nissan plant. This facility will aim to lower the costs of EV batteries as well as producing Gen 5 battery cells that are 30% denser, as part of the company’s effort to accelerate EV adoption in future lines of vehicles.

Another step of the project, as outlined by Nissan, is to start using 100% renewable energy that will be provided by the Sunderland City Council. This step will save 55,000 tons of carbon annually.

The announcement of the project elicited a comment from UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who stated that “Nissan’s announcement to build its new-generation all-electric vehicle, alongside a new Gigafactory from Envision-AESC is a major vote of confidence in the UK and our highly skilled workers in the northeast.”

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Demon Slayer: More Important Than Life

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — In the thirteenth episode of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Tanjiro defeats the Tsuzumi demon and goes head-to-head with the boar-headed man.

The episode begins with Zenitsu and Shoichi roaming around the mansion in search of Tanjiro. As they enter a room, it flips and they fall through several floors and a window, landing outside the mansion.

In another room, Tanjiro is struggling to fight the Tsuzumi demon as the it keeps disorienting him by flipping the room over and over. His broken bones also deter him from fighting with his full potential.

He stops to ask the demon its name, to which the demon replies, Kyogai.

Tanjiro tells the Kyogai that he will not give him the marechi and will not give up until he defeats him. The demon responds by rapidly tapping the tsuzumi drums.

Tanjiro gets dizzy from the room spinning round and round. Mustering up all the strength he has remaining, he uses his total concentration technique and dodges the attacks swiftly before slashing Kyogai’s neck, killing the demon.

He then retrieves a blood sample, which he then sends to the demon doctor Tamayo using a messenger.

After defeating the demon, Tanjiro finds Teruko and her brother and heads outside to find Zenitsu and Shoichi.

He is shocked to find the boar-headed man bashing Zenitsu, as he protects the box his sister Nezuko was resting in.

Zenitsu reveals that he and the boar-headed man sensed a demon in the box. However, Zenitsu trusted Tanjiro and was risking his life to protect something Tanjiro seemed to value so much.

The episode ends with Tanjiro pouncing to attack the boar-headed demon slayer.

Previous Articles

Demon Slayer: Cruelty

Demon Slayer: Trainer Sakonji Urokodaki

Demon Slayer: Sabito and Makomo

Demon Slayer: Final Selection

Demon Slayer: My Own Steel

Demon Slayer: Swordsman Accompanying Demon

Demon Slayer: Muzan Kibutsuji

Demon Slayer: Smell of Enchanting Blood

Demon Slayer: Temari and Arrow Demon

Demon Slayer: Together Forever

Demon Slayer: Tsuzumi Mansion

Demon Slayer: The Boar Bares Its Fangs

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Momo7 Rocket Launches Successfully

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — Interstellar Technologies, a Japanese startup space launch rocket company, has successfully lobbed its second rocket into space.

Last Saturday, Interstellar Technologies launched the Momo7 rocket from a launch site in Taiki, Hokkaido. The rocket measures about ten meters in length and has a circumference of 157 centimeters.

The Momo7, also known as the “screw rocket,” reached an altitude of 100 kilometers, which is officially classified as outer space. The engine combustion lasted two minutes before falling into the Pacific Ocean, as programmed by the company.

“The mission was successful as all planned operations were performed normally, and we were able to obtain necessary data,” states Takahiro Inagawa, the firm’s president.

The Momo7 represents the company’s second successful rocket launch into outer space, succeeding the Momo3 which was launched two years ago. Reaching similar altitudes, the Momo3 flew for about ten minutes before falling into the Pacific Ocean.

These rockets were built with commercially available parts, in accordance with the company’s motto to transform the economics of space launch services, meaning lowering the costs and commercializing the services.

Interstellar Technologies promotes a vision of “creating a future where everyone can reach the universe.”

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Accelerating the 5G O-RAN Ecosystem

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT), its subsidiary, NTT Data, and NEC say that they are in the process of accelerating their joint venture to promote the global adoption of 5G solutions tailored for enterprises.

Akira Shimada, vice president of NTT, states that the companies are currently promoting “the spread of open architecture in order to create innovative technologies, products, and solutions in the telecommunications field, and will contribute to resolving social issues through the development of services utilizing 5G.”

Specifically, they are currently working on lowering dependence on specific communication equipment vendors (namely, Huawei, Nokia, and Ericsson) by creating the 5G O-RAN Ecosystem, which will allow multiple smaller vendors to provide various kinds of base station equipment in accordance with a set of agreed standards, specifications, and interfaces.

The three firms entered into a joint research and development agreement last year in an effort to expand their information and communication technology products on a global scale.

Other businesses participating in their program will be able to develop application prototypes according to custom requirements utilizing the Enso Lab in Munich, Germany.

NTT and NTT Data are playing a coordinating role, providing their expertise with the integration of 5G systems for enterprises, and NEC is offering its relevant technologies and products.

The alliance is striving to commercialize its 5G-related services, with a special focus on the automotive industries in Europe.

Related Articles

Creating the 5G O-RAN Ecosystem (February 2021)

Japan Pushes the O-RAN Alliance (December 2020)

NTT-NEC Alliance on ICT Products (June 2020)

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