Osaka Approves MGM-Orix IR Bid

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — Osaka Prefecture has officially selected the MGM Resorts-Orix Corporation consortium’s bid for the construction of a major urban Integrated Resort (IR) including a casino at the Yumeshima site in Osaka Bay.

The approval of the ¥1 trillion (US$9.1 billion) bid was widely anticipated because no other consortium opted to challenge MGM-Orix in the final Request for Proposal round.

Bill Hornbuckle, president and CEO of MGM Resorts International, stated, “Osaka Prefecture and Osaka City have implemented a comprehensive and well considered selection process to achieve the goal of developing a world-class Integrated Resort in Osaka, and I am honored that we have been selected as the partner for Osaka. No other place has a brighter and more enjoyable future for tourism and hospitality than Japan, and Osaka is a good place to launch that future.”

MGM Resorts has been working toward this result for the better part of a decade in a methodical and determined fashion. Its “Osaka First” policy was officially declared in January 2019, but long before that time it had focused on this location more than any other in Japan.

While at one point there was speculation that it might go higher, the ¥1 trillion investment figure has also been on the table for quite some time. Then-Chairman and CEO James Murren publicly dropped that number as early as November 2017.

Once it opens its doors in the latter part of this decade, it is estimated that the Yumeshima IR will pull in over 20 million visitors on an annual basis and produce yearly revenues of about ¥540 billion (US$4.9 billion).

MGM and Orix will be equal partners in the consortium with about 40% ownership each. The remaining 20% will likely be taken up by a wide range of smaller partners.

The planned IR will have a floor area of 770,000 square meters, including a casino, an international conference hall, an exhibition hall of ​​about 20,000 square meters, and large-scale accommodation and entertainment facilities. About 15,000 people will be directly employed.

All three of the candidate prefectures—Osaka, Wakayama, and Nagasaki—have now selected their IR consortium partners. The next step is the joint applications to the national government for licensing.

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Mitsubishi Seeks Canadian Blue Hydrogen

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — Mitsubishi Corporation and Shell Canada Products have signed a memorandum of understanding for the production of blue hydrogen.

The low-carbon hydrogen will be produced along with the use of carbon capture and storage (CCS) close to the Shell Energy and Chemicals Park Scotford, located near Edmonton.

Scotford is involved in the Polaris CCS project, an initiative by Shell to explore low-carbon opportunities, and the memorandum with Mitsubishi is a step forward in its development.

Edmonton is considered to be Canada’s first hydrogen hub as its abundance of natural gas resources and proven carbon dioxide storage capacity make it conducive to blue hydrogen initiatives.

The first phase of the project aims for production of 165,000 tons of hydrogen a year via a natural gas feedstock which will be converted into low carbon ammonia that will in turn be exported to Asian markets, mainly focusing on Japan.

The collaboration allows Shell to achieve a more significant role in the export of hydrogen and is presented as being progress towards Japan’s goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.

Mitsubishi aims to start construction of the facility by 2030.

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Food Production on the Moon and Mars

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — Japan’s Ministry of Agriculture has joined the space race with a subsidy program for the development of food production methods on the Moon and Mars.

The ministry explains, “In order for Japan to contribute to the international community, enhance its presence, and strengthen its competitiveness, it is necessary to promote the technological development required on the Moon and Mars. One of the important factors is the technology to achieve high quality of life while securing stable food.”

The winner of the public tender offering, presumably a domestic research institute, will receive up to ¥310 million (US$2.8 million) in taxpayer funding over five years.

The government envisions a need for food sources to be developed which do not depend on deliveries from Earth. This food might be cultivated in underground bases on the Moon and Mars, perhaps including lab-grown meat made from extracted cells of animals like cows and pigs, as well as the production of foods like rice, soy beans, and produce.

The recycling of organic waste will likely be critical to these efforts.

In August, it was reported that Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) would link up with Space Foodsphere, a Tokyo-based space food research group, with the aim of creating sustainable food sources on the Moon.

JAXA plans to establish a base on the Moon in the first half of the 2030s, and ambitious startups like ispace hope to push the timeline for Moon bases as much forward as possible.

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Marubeni Flying Car Alliance with Vertical

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — Just days after Marubeni Corporation announced a pre-order for up to 200 eVTOL (flying cars) from UK-based Vertical Aerospace, the two firms revealed that they were forming an alliance to serve the Japan market.

The ultimate aim of the alliance is to create one of the first eVTOL taxi services in Japan. It is said that this could, for example, make possible flights between Tokyo Station and Narita Airport with only 14 minutes of flight time. This compares with the 53 minutes it currently takes between these two points via the Narita Express train service.

In the earlier stages of the alliance, it will focus on matters such as conducting market research and investigating regulatory issues with related ministries and agencies. It will also look into the issue of developing vertiports, most likely in collaboration with other business partners.

Finally, the alliance will make efforts to foster social acceptance of flying car services.

The alliance hopes that the first air taxi services might begin in Japan in 2024 or 2025.

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Demon Slayer: New Mission

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — In the twenty-sixth and final episode of the first season of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Muzan Kibutsuji dismantles the lower rankings of the Twelve Kizukis, while Tanjiro, Inosuke, and Zenitsu are assigned another mission.

The episode begins with the Tanjiro, Inosuke, and Zenitsu continuing their training while maintaining Total Concentration Breathing Constant.

The remaining five lower rank kizukis, are summoned to a strange dimension that is controlled by a demoness with a biwa (short-necked wooden lute) using Blood Demon Art. The kizukis wonder why they have been gathered and why Rui (lower five) has not arrived, indicating that they were not aware that he had been killed.

Muzan Kibutsuji shows up under the guise of a female demon and the kizukis bow in his presence. He reveals that Rui was killed and admonishes the lower rank for being so weak. When one of the demons talks back, he kills him immediately.

One of the kizukis tries running when he realizes Kibutsuji is about to kill all of them, and is immediately killed. Kibutsuji announces that he is dismantling the lower rank kizukis and proceeds to kill all but one.

Kibutsuji gives the remaining kizuki more of his blood and demands him to kill the Hashiras, and specifically asks him to bring back the demon slayer with the hanafuda earrings, referring to Tanjiro.

Meanwhile, the Kasugai Crow assigns Tanjiro, Inosuke, and Zenitsu to the Mugen Train, which Rengoku the flame Hashira was assigned to a few weeks ago. The crow notifies them that the demon is still at large and more people are dying, therefore, they were being summoned as back up for Rengoku.

It is revealed that Shinobu Kocho had recommended Tanjiro to the Master for the Mugen Train mission as he had exceeded all her expectations.

Tanjiro says his goodbyes to Kanao Tsuyuri and she flips a coin to decide if she should answer him. For the first time, she talks to Tanjiro. She explains that she makes all her decisions based on the side the coin lands. She explains that nothing matters enough to her that she can make a decision, but Tanjiro does not accept that.

He grabs her coin and flips it, if it lands on tails she continues using the coin to make decisions, and if its head she listens to her heart. It lands on head. Kanao is left speechless, and Tanjiro leaves her with a smile.

The Kocho triplets pack them food for the journey. Tanjiro manages to catch Giyu Tomioka, the water Hashira, before he leaves and thanks him for all his help and support.

The boys reach the Mugen Train station, and Inosuke is baffled by the vehicle as he has never seen one before. The train leaves the station and boys climb aboard.

The episode ends with them headed into the night, with Nezuko strapped securely on Tanjiro’s back.

All First Season Episodes

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

Demon Slayer: Master a Single Thing

Demon Slayer: A Forged Bond

Demon Slayer: Hinokami

Demon Slayer: Pretend Family

Demon Slayer: Against Corps Rules

Demon Slayer: Master of the Mansion

Demon Slayer: Hashira Meeting

Demon Slayer: Rehabilitation Training

Demon Slayer: Tsuguko, Kanao Tsuyuri

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Small is Beautiful for SkyDrive Flying Car

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — In a press conference for the foreign media held this week in Tokyo, SkyDrive CEO Tomohiro Fukuzawa explained that his firm is aiming to build the world’s smallest eVTOLs (flying cars).

“As our product is very small, it can land on almost any building in the Tokyo area, or gasoline stations or convenience store parking lots,” Fukuzawa asserted. “Especially in Japan and Asian countries, the SkyDrive type will be more affordable.”

Fukuzawa later suggested a comparison to the automotive industry in the past century. Before the 1973 oil shock, large gas-guzzling American cars dominated the global market, but when gas prices rose sharply, Japanese automakers with their smaller sizes gained global popularity.

In a similar fashion, Fukuzawa believes that a SkyDrive two-seater, launched in 2025, will be able to carve out its own niche in the global market, perhaps especially in Asia and developing nations where public spaces are constrained.

Fukuzawa cited Southeast Asia in particular as a global region where his Japanese startup might begin its overseas expansion.

The current SD-03 model which is undergoing testing is a single-seat eVTOL, but the firm’s plans call for the development of the SD-XX which can carry either two people or one person and a considerable amount of baggage.

Fukuzawa says that in the early days of industry, there will be a human pilot conducting taxi services between fixed vertiports in Japan, but later, perhaps after a decade or so, the eVTOL will become autonomous and the vehicles will be sold directly to private individuals.

Fukuzawa himself and many core engineering members of SkyDrive’s one hundred member team previously worked for Toyota Motor. When SkyDrive launched in 2018, it had backing from the famous Japanese automaker, though the precise relationship at the moment is unclear.

Overall, SkyDrive has received about US$48 million in three rounds of funding from various sources, including the Development Bank of Japan.

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TEPCO Green Hydrogen in Yamanashi

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) and six other utility firms have been granted a state subsidy by New Energy and Industrial Technology Development (NEDO) for the production of hydrogen utilizing electricity from TEPCO’s 10 megawatt Komekurayama Solar Power Plant in Yamanashi Prefecture.

The business scale is about ¥14 billion (US$127 million).

The project will construct large-sized equipment in an effort to reduce the costs for domestic green hydrogen production.

TEPCO will operate hydrogen production equipment, and partners Toray Industries, Hitachi Zosen, and the Japanese subsidiary of Germany’s Siemens Energy will develop a huge water electrolyzer.

The precise location for the green hydrogen facility has yet to be decided.

With Japan’s goal to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, hydrogen production has been on the rise.

The project is scheduled to be fully operational by March 2026.

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Marubeni Pre-Orders 200 Flying Cars

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — Marubeni Corporation has put in a conditional pre-order for up to 200 eVTOL (flying cars) under development by UK-based Vertical Aerospace with an eye to have them put into service in Japan in 2025.

The pre-order is for the VA-X4, Vertical’s flagship aircraft, which the manufacturer claims will be certified to the same standards as commercial airliners, and will be significantly safer and quieter than a helicopter.

Toru Okazaki, senior operating officer of Marubeni’s Aerospace & Ship Division, stated, “Through this strong partnership with Vertical, we are confident that we will successfully develop the advanced aerial mobility market in Japan. By seeking to popularize eVTOL technology, we will not only be enriching people’s lives but making meaningful inroads into the reduction of greenhouse gases and our path to net-zero.”

Stephen Fitzpatrick, founder and CEO of Vertical, added, “Marubeni is one of the most respected companies in Japan, and we are proud to be partnering with them as we look at ways to bring our VA-X4 to the Japanese market.”

Marubeni has stated its belief that eVTOLs have a number of use cases in Japan, such as inter-city, intra-city, airport shuttle, and life support operations. Marubeni is expecting eVTOL operations in Japan to commence in 2025, and appears to be seeking partners within the country to help make that happen.

The four passenger, one pilot VA-X4 is projected to have speeds up to 320 kilometers per hour, a range over 160 kilometers, be near silent when in flight, and possess zero operating emissions.

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Notable Japan Femtech Startups

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — In June, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) selected twenty “femtech” companies for a combined subsidy of US$1.4 million to support endeavors at the intersection of technology and female health.

Femtech, a portmanteau of female and technology, addresses women’s health issues via revolutionary products and services, consequently confronting the taboo surrounding things like menstruation, pregnancy, infertility treatment, and menopause.

Some emerging femtech startups in Japan are Hi to Bito, fermata, Nagi, Comfits, Neith Incorporated, Ashlyn, Herbio, FamiOne, Laundry Box, and bonyu.

Hi to Bito, founded in August 2017 by Ai Kobayashi, is a production and distribution company for products made from local agriculture. Its organic feminine skin care brand, “Tomorrow I Will Climb a Persimmon Tree,” is one of the endeavors selected by METI for the subsidy. Hi to Bito aims to create options for feminine hygiene that allow busy women to take time out of their day to properly take care of themselves.

fermata, established in 2019 by Amina Sugimoto and Hiroko Nakamura, is an ecommerce platform that facilitates access to technologies designed for female health. Working under the vision of “transforming taboos into triumphs,” fermata pushes for international femtech products to reach a Japanese audience. fermata also facilitates brick-and-mortar shops and services in Japan. Such locations include New Stand Tokyo, a store that sells products listed on the fermata website, as well as Shirokane Takanawa Ebine Women’s Clinic, a clinic that offers obstetrics, gynecology, pediatrics, and more. fermata also operates in Singapore, on a track towards improving the femtech market across Asia.

Nagi, founded by Rina Ishii, is a period underwear brand built on the opinions of 150 Japanese women and hand-sewn Japanese materials. With the mission statement “to be yourself everyday,” Nagi provides women with a comfortable, eco-friendly alternative to single-use pads and tampons. Nagi has three styles to address different fits and flows such as the full style, which sits at the waist. Nagi also runs Nagi Room, a blog that spotlights the women of the company along with features on menstrual health. Ishii was originally known for her media outlet Blast, which featured topics such as female reproductive diseases, sexuality, and LGBT issues, until she established Nagi to narrow her focus on menstrual health.

Comfits is another period underwear product under the lingerie brand Lace Fran de Lingerie. Priced at an accessible US$18-$26 with inclusive sizing that goes from XS to 3XL, Comfits provides women with more options for comfortable reusable menstrual wear. Although only available in black, there are six different styles to choose from depending on an individual’s fit preference and flow. The special + style boasts a high-waisted style. Furthermore, part of the profits from comfit sales are donated to Colabo, a nonprofit organization that shelters teenage girls in Shibuya and Shinjuku.

Neith Incorporated, founded by Eri Nobuchika, launched Rine, another contributor to the market of period underwear. Rine has the highest absorption capacity of the products of the firms listed. They also offer a regular option for lighter flow days with a selection of three different sizes and colors. The fabric utilizes an eco-friendly wood fiber based material dubbed Tencel, making the product biodegradable. Rine has also recently launched a collection of bralettes for nursing with absorbent padding and a v-shaped front for simple and comfortable nursing.

Ashlyn, founded by Miku Kojima in 2016, launched Belle Macron, Japan’s first no-wire bra. Belle Macron was crowdfunded in 2017 to launch a new color and has since also launched a new “24h bra” designed as a bra comfortable enough to wear even while sleeping. The product comes in six colors and covers cup sizes A to G.

Herbio, established by Sayuri Tanaka, developed a wearable device called Picot that measures basal body temperature. The small coin-sized Picot takes deep body temperature every ten minutes while its wearers sleep, and will monitor pulse, body motion, and breathing, as well as detect abnormalities. These features allow women to predict ovulation patterns and menstruation for easy health monitoring and family planning.

FamiOne, founded by Yusuke Ishikawa in 2015, is an app that supports family planning via the messaging app Line. Nurses and counselors certified by the non-profit organization Fine offer tailored advice regarding fertility concerns. Basic functions such as hospital recommendations are free, and a US$36 a month subscription allows users to talk freely with experts via phone or text. FamiOne also stresses the importance of covering all issues for individuals of all walks of life, including menopause, nursing care, cancer, those with disabilities, and LGBT individuals.

Laundry Box, established by Misa Nishimoto in 2019, is a lifestyle platform concerned with the development and sale of sanitary products. Nishimoto also launched Laundry Girl, a blog focused around women’s bodies and sexuality, covering themes of sex education, LGBT issues, and sex culture. With the informational blog working in tandem with offering more sophisticated options for sanitary products, Nishimoto aims to give women more options and more authority over their health.

bonyu, founded in 2018 by Midori Ogino, is a breast milk analysis service for mothers wishing to monitor their lactation. By analyzing the contents of breast milk, bonyu advises mothers on their lifestyle and their child’s condition to identify any correlation or causation, and suggests what kinds of foods mothers should eat more or less of. bonyu will also be using the research to further study breast milk and its capabilities regarding what it does for a child’s natural immunity and development.

Some companies mentioned above as well as other femtech startups will be at Femtech Tokyo, a specialized exhibition for femtech companies taking place on October 20-22, 2022.

According to Emergen Research, the global market for technology geared towards women is projected to reach US$60 billion in 2027.

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Yamaha’s Robot Agriculture Investments

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — Yamaha Motor continues to make strategic investments in robotic solutions for agriculture, with the latest move related to strawberry harvesting.

In the most recent announcement, Yamaha together with Kubota Corporation have upped their investment in the California-based startup Advanced Farm Technologies.

This startup seeks to raise efficiency by developing and manufacturing robots for strawberry harvesting. Its current robotic strawberry harvester combines an unmanned ground vehicle together with image sensors and artificial intelligence. The image recognition technologies instantly distinguish ripe and ready strawberries, and the grippers at the end of the robot arms gently pick each one.

This is hardly Yamaha’s only initiative of the sort.

Earlier this year, Yamaha partnered with Yield Technology Solutions, Australian agricultural technology startup, and Treasury Wine Estates to optimize yield production in wine grapes and improve autonomous crop spraying using robots.

However, Yamaha’s investments have not always been successful. It had invested several million dollars in the California-based startup Abundant Robotics, which had developed a harvesting robot that initially targeted apples. The company, however, shut down this July explaining that it “was unable to develop the market traction necessary to support its business during the pandemic.”

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JAXA Engine for Deep Space Travel

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) recently announced that it has successfully tested the operation of the world’s first “rotating detonation engine” in space, a technology which could become a key to deep space travel.

The engine uses spinning explosions inside a ring channel, efficiently generating thrust coming from a small engine that uses little fuel.

The system was launched from the Uchinoura Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture on July 27 with a payload of 100 kilograms.

When the rocket was recovered from the ocean after the demonstration, it was discovered that the rotating detonation engine produced around 500 Newtons of thrust.

JAXA engineers believe that the successful in-space test proves that such engines are a step towards improved space navigation using less fuel and weight, as they show promise for extending the propulsion method for deep space travel.

Japan hopes to put the technology into practical use within five years.

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Terra Drone Aerial Survey Tech

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — Terra Drone, a startup established in 2016 specializing in unmanned hardware and surveying methods, has applied its technology to preventing secondary disasters at a landslide site in the Kyushu region.

Utilizing lasers, drones were used to trace contour lines and cross-sectional maps to determine which areas were affected by heavy rains, and to guide people away from treks on unstable land.

Although the area surveyed was covered with heavy vegetation, the technology still allowed for a detailed topographical map to be produced with less than five centimeters of error.

Terra Drone’s surveying technology has previously been applied to the inspection of industrial sites such as construction and mining. It has recently developed a drone mechanism for the ultrasonic inspection of overhead cranes.

Crane inspections are required to ensure workplace safety, but the high altitude of the machines make it a dangerous job. Through this new way of carrying out inspections, Terra Drone cuts the time and cost of crane examinations significantly and safely.

Terra Drone continues to branch out into other dimensions of aerial technology, with a recent alliance with Mitsui Bussan Aerospace to commercialize air mobility with drones, helicopters, and flying cars.

On August 27, Terra Drone was selected by the Osaka government for the Demonstration Experiment for the Realization of a Flying Car.

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Sony Accepts Orders for Its First Drone

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — Sony Marketing has announced that it has started accepting orders for its first drone model, Airpeak S1, and its accessory products, with the first shipments expected to go out at the end of October.

Accessories include Airpeak Plus, a cloud service that supports operational efficiency and safe flights, and the Airpeak Protect Plan, a post-purchase replacement service in the event of an accident.

The Airpeak S1 is equipped with Sony’s proprietary motor, propeller, control system, and sensing technology. It can be equipped with a Sony Alpha series mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera.

The Airpeak S1 can fly at speeds of up to 90 kilometers per hour, and on a single battery charge has a flight time of 12-22 minutes, depending on the weight of the payload.

The price for a single Airpeak S1 is about ¥1.1 million (US$10,000) and the dealers are Kyoto-based WorldLink & Company and Nagasaki-based KMT.

Sony announced its intention to enter the drone market in November 2020, explaining, “Airpeak will support the creativity of video creators to the fullest extent possible, aiming to contribute to the further development of the entertainment industry as well as to improved efficiency and savings in various industries. Airpeak will also promote this project to enable drone use with the highest level of safety and reliability in the environments where this has been difficult in the past.”

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Nagasaki Outlines IR Economic Impact

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — Answering questions before the prefectural assembly, officials of Nagasaki Prefecture revealed the scale of the economic impact expected with the selection of the Casinos Austria-led Integrated Resort (IR) consortium.

According to their estimates, building the IR will lead to an annual visitation of about 8.4 million people to the facility adjoining the Huis Ten Bosch theme park in Sasebo. This is expected to create new jobs for about 30,000 people and have an economic spillover effect to the local region of about ¥320 billion (US$2.9 billion) on an annual basis.

The investment required to build the casino resort is estimated to be about ¥350 billion (US$3.2 billion).

Separately, Casinos Austria International Japan President Akio Hayashi met last week with Takuya Kaneko, chairman of the Sasebo Chamber of Commerce & Industry, to discuss avenues for mutual cooperation.

Hayashi indicated that his company would try to partner with companies in Nagasaki as much as possible during both the construction phase and during operation of the IR.

Kaneko responded, “Given the scale of the IR, the prefecture alone is not sufficient. I want to aim for an all-Kyushu support system. I want related companies to set up sales offices in our area and take root here.”

While Casinos Austria has been selected by Nagasaki Prefecture as its IR consortium partner, there is still one major hurdle left to cross before the project is greenlighted. By next April, the prefecture and the consortium must make a joint application to the central government for licensing.

The government is expected to announce licensing results in mid-2022.

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Demon Slayer: Tsuguko, Kanao Tsuyuri

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — In the twenty-fifth episode of Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Tanjiro completes his training, while Inosuke and Zenitsu try to catch up after missing several sessions.

The episode begins with Tanjiro requesting the Kocho triplets to help keep him in check and gives them permission to hit him if he ever falters his Total Concentration Breathing.

Tanjiro continues his training with full intensity and he finally manages to catch Tsuyuri during the game of tag. which is testament to his intense training.

For a while longer, Inosuke and Zenitsu continue to bail on their training. Shinobu Kocho comes in and tells them that she believes in them and that they should join Tanjiro in his training. She manages to convince them.

Kanao Tsuyuri’s back story is explored. Her parents had sold her to a random man for money and she started feeling numb, so that she would not feel pain. As he takes her home, Shinobu and her older sister take notice of her and purchase her from the man.

Tsuyuri stays silent as the sisters bathe and take her under their care. Shinobu gets frustrated that Tsuyuri is unable to make her own decisions, she even has to be told to eat or else she does not. She thinks the girl is useless. Her sister remains patient. She gives Tsuyuri a coin that she was told to flip every time she faces a decision.

The boys receive their new blades forged by Hotaru Haganezuka. He blames them for breaking their Nichirin Blades and tries to attack them. Inosuke starts smashing his own blades with a rock to give them the ridges like his old sword, and Haganezuka nearly kills him for it.

Tanjiro gets progressively stronger from his training, while Inosuke and Zenitsu rush to catch up.

Shinobu deems Tanjiro fit to graduate from his training during a check up. During the check up Tanjiro inquires about flame breathing, and she says that she has only ever heard of flame breathing from Rengoku the Flame Hashira.

However, Rengoku is away on a mission and Shinobu tells Tanjiro to wait until he gets back to ask him about it.

Tanjiro continues having one-sided conversations with Nezuko as she sleeps. He vows to save her and kill all the demons.

The episode ends with a scene from a train where a large demon is consuming people. It is the mission Rengoku the Flame Hashira was assigned to.

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

Demon Slayer: Master a Single Thing

Demon Slayer: A Forged Bond

Demon Slayer: Hinokami

Demon Slayer: Pretend Family

Demon Slayer: Against Corps Rules

Demon Slayer: Master of the Mansion

Demon Slayer: Hashira Meeting

Demon Slayer: Rehabilitation Training

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Japan and Russia Eye Clean Energy

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) have agreed to work with Russia’s largest independent natural gas producer, PAO Novatek, on developing low-carbon energy projects.

The agreement was announced during the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok on September 2.

The pact specifically outlines collaboration on initiatives concerning blue ammonia, hydrogen, and carbon capture, utilization, and storage.

According to Novatek, the parties will “mutually support projects in producing and marketing of ammonia and hydrogen, as well as implementing technologies for carbon capture and storage in Russia and Japan.”

Novatek CEO Leonid Mikhelson commented, “One of the most important elements of our strategy is to reduce our carbon footprint.”

Novatek plans to do so through increasing gas sales as a “part of the future energy mix” as opposed to a “transition fuel.”

The collaboration will facilitate opportunities for Novatek to market clean fuel products to Japanese consumers with the aim of reducing total carbon emissions, as well as to attract investments from Japanese companies and financial institutions.

In July 2020, Japan received a shipment of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Novatek under a spot contract, part of its Yamal LNG project. The recent collaboration secures future ventures in LNG and other low-carbon initiatives.

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Miwo Japanese Cursive Recognition App

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — Tarin Clanuwat, a research scientist for the Google Brain Tokyo team, has been developing a mobile phone application to recognize cursive classical Japanese (kuzushiji) as modern Japanese text.

Although the technology for computers to read printed and handwritten characters (OCR) has been used since the 1960s, kuzushiji has a lack of clear character breaks and is often intricately laid out around pictures, making it much more difficult to read.

Consequently, only about 0.01% of the Japanese population can read kuzushiji fluently.

Miwo, an AI cursive script recognition app developed by Clanuwat and her team, uses deep learning and datasets to translate Japanese cursive into modern Japanese text, making classical Japanese texts more accessible.

Miwo utilizes the ROIS-DS Center for Open Data in the Humanities’ (CODH) KuroNet kuzushiji recognition system, trained on the kuzushiji dataset created by the National Institute of Japanese Literature.

Users can either upload photos from their mobile phone camera roll or use their camera in the app and the translated cursive text will be overlaid on the original photo.

Specific characters can be highlighted and selected, opening a menu which shows other similar-looking characters, and users can also access a dataset of the selected character as it appears in different classical texts.

The app has some accessibility features, such as text size and colored boxes to separate the cursive characters, making them more discernible from each other.

The user can edit and annotate any of the translated text as they see fit, as well as copy the text and conveniently paste it into another application.

The translated photos can also be saved in the app for easy reference or if the user wishes to continue editing the translation.

Bungaku Report suggests that miwo in its current state can read about 80% of well-organized texts from the Edo period, and around 60% of handwritten manuscripts.

Miwo is free of charge and has surpassed 16,000 downloads as of September 6.

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SoftBank Startup Hub in Aichi

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — SoftBank signed an agreement with Aichi Prefecture to be the representative company for the prefecture’s startup hub: Station Ai.

The automotive industry, which is the leading industry in the prefecture, continues to develop in response to Computer-Aided Software Engineering (CASE) and Mobility as a Service (MaaS). Station Ai’s purpose is to maintain and strengthen local industry through startup innovations.

The project will be led by Station Ai Corporation, established by SoftBank on September 1. Hirotaka Sahashi, the president and CEO of Station Ai, has previously been involved in internal entrepreneurship programs and supported various businesses at SoftBank’s subsidiary for new businesses, SB InnoVenture.

SoftBank will utilize 5G, IoT, and AI in tandem with their know-how in startup support and networks with domestic and overseas companies to develop Station Ai as a core base for innovation, not only in Japan but also globally.

The facility will include offices for startups, offices for partner companies, including overseas startup support organizations and universities, a tech lab for prototype production and evaluation, and more.

Aichi Prefecture is part of the Central Japan Startup Ecosystem Consortium approved by the Cabinet Office in July 2020, an association including the Chubu Economic Federation, Nagoya University, Nagoya City, and Hamamatsu City.

Station Ai is an initiative of the Aichi Startup Strategy, serving as the core for the project.

The design and construction period is slated to be from October 2021 to September 2024, and Station Ai is projected to operate from October 2024 to September 2034.

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Clairvest Opens Wakayama Office

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — On Tuesday, Clairvest Neem Ventures finally opened an office in Wakayama city, weeks after it was selected to lead the local Integrated Resort (IR) consortium.

The office is a modest affair on the second floor of a nondescript office building in the Junibancho district, walking distance from Wakayama Castle in the center of the city. It is quite distant from the Marina City location of the proposed casino resort.

The Clairvest office is quite unlike the flashy Suncity Group office that had been opened in September 2020 to showcase that Macau firm’s IR plans and to widely appeal to the public as a sort of community center. Indeed, Clairvest is asking visitors to send an email and to make advance arrangements before members of the public drop by their new office.

There are a couple of ironies here.

The first is that in an earlier stage of Japan’s IR race, Clairvest was often the first to open a small local office. This was the case in both Sasebo, Nagasaki, and Tomakomai, Hokkaido. However, they have only now opened a local office in Wakayama, the location where they actually won their bid.

The second irony is that among the IR operators that at one time sought to lead IR development in Wakayama—Suncity Group, Bloomberry Resorts, Groupe Barriere—the ultimate winner, Clairvest, was the one which made the weakest effort to build local community relations.

That was also the case for Nagasaki, where the firm that won, Casinos Austria International, was also the most silent and least engaged in public marketing activities.

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Panasonic Sojitz Smart Town

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — A joint venture of Panasonic Homes and Sojitz Corporation called PT PanaHome Deltamas Indonesia (PHDI) has initiated the sale of eighteen smart home units in West Java, Indonesia.

Each housing unit is outfitted with Panasonic’s Home Network System and PureTech air filtration and ventilation system, which is a device that filters out about 90% of any harmful particles that enter the house, according to Panasonic Homes.

The houses are also equipped with security networks and energy-saving functions, with the use of solar and wind power as well as rain water.

The construction method used by Panasonic PowerTech built the houses quickly while still meeting anti-earthquake criteria required for shop and office buildings in Indonesia.

The houses are part of PHDI’s Savasa residential project, an initiative to provide the people of Indonesia with a “smart lifestyle.” This is the beginning of one of four housing clusters in Savasa’s first phase of development, which will eventually consist of 811 houses and 33 shophouses over an area of thirteen hectares.

The smart town is strategically located in the heart of Deltamas city, a convenient distance from main business districts, and only minutes from the Karawang Station of the Jakarta-Bandung High Speed Rail.

Savasa plans to build a total of 2,500 houses by 2030 on a determined area of 37 hectares, slated to accommodate around 10,000 residents.

Panasonic Homes has built a total of approximately 480,000 homes in Japan over the past fifty years.

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