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Japan to promote green finance with common platform, scenario analyses
1 September 2021 - Japan will ramp up efforts to promote sustainable finance such as by nurturing its green bond market and analyzing financial institutions' resiliency to climate risks, according to the government's new regulatory guideline. (more)

Japan to tackle red tape to boost renewable energy
23 April 2021 - Japan plans to cut approval times for wind projects, open up abandoned farmland, boost grid capacity and other measures to slash red tape that has for decades impeded efforts to bring more renewable energy into the power mix. Actions to reduce bureaucracy are set to accelerate after Japan on Thursday [22 April] nearly doubled its 2030 target for cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as world leaders met for a climate summit hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden. (more)

Japan raises emissions reduction target to 46 percent by 2030
22 April 2021 - Japan's Prime Minister announced on Thursday [22 April] an ambitious new target for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, hours before he was to join a virtual climate summit hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Japan will strive by 2030 to cut its emissions by 46 percent from 2013 levels, up from its earlier goal of 26 percent, to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, a target he announced in October. He said Japan would further try to push the reduction as high as 50 percent. (more)

'I'm pleased it is being used for people's safety': QR code inventor relishes its role in tackling Covid
10 December 2020 - Masahiro Hara came up with black and white pattern to optimize inventory in automotive industry. The eureka moment that helped Masahiro Hara perfect the Quick Response, or QR code, sprang from a lunchtime game of Go more than a quarter of a century ago. Having helped develop a barcode reader in the early 1980s, Hara knew the method had its limitations. (more)

'A decarbonized society': Japan pledges to be carbon neutral by 2050
26 October 2020 - Japan has pledged to be carbon neutral by 2050, joining a growing list of countries aiming to stave off the worst effects of climate change. The country's approach will include new solar cells and carbon recycling, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said Monday, according to Reuters. Further plans are expected to be announced in the future. Suga took office last month. Carbon neutral means balancing carbon emissions by also removing carbon from the atmosphere. Japan joins the European Union, which previously said it aims to be carbon neutral in that same timeline. Japan set its goal a decade sooner than China, which pledged last month to be carbon neutral by 2060. (more)

Japanese man invents 'edible' plastic bag alternative to save Nara's sacred deer
21 October 2020 - A local entrepreneur in the Japanese tourist destination of Nara has developed an alternative to plastic shopping bags, to protect the town's sacred deer. Hidetoshi Matsukawa, who works for Nara-ism, a souvenir wholesale agent, told CNN he heard last year that the deer, which roam the city's park, were dying after ingesting plastic bags. The city is home to around 1,000 sacred deer, which are officially designated as a national natural treasure in Japan ... (more)

Photographer captures magical sight of fireflies dancing in a Japanese forest at night
8 August 2020 - While cherry blossom season marks the beginning of spring in Japan, there's an equally beautiful natural phenomenon that happens in the summer. Beginning in June, Hime-hotaru fireflies illuminate the forests in a breathtaking display that looks just like a star-studded night sky. Japanese photographer and CG artist Yutaka Kagaya (aka KAGAYA) recently captured this otherworldly occasion with a stunning photo of fireflies dancing around a field of hydrangeas at night. (more)

Uncovering the mystery of Japan's 'Stonehenge'
28 April 2020 - The ancient Kanayama Megaliths are extraordinary in their complexity. Across three sites, the solar observatories accurately measure not only solstices and equinoxes but also leap years. But they would have been left hidden in the forest if it weren't for two people who stumbled upon some strange etchings in the stones. (more)

'A reminder that nature is strong': In Japan, a 1,000-year-old cherry tree blooms
15 April 2020 - As winter turned to spring in the town of Miharu, Japan, a small group of workers pounded posts into the ground to lay a grand pathway at the base of a giant cherry tree. It was the same path they've laid every year, wide enough to give thousands of tourists a chance to walk up and marvel at the ancient tree, as its cascading branches fill with delicate pink flowers dipping toward the ground. Taking care of the tree is a job the whole community takes part in. (more)

'Keep a smile on your face': World's oldest man shares secret to longevity at 112
15 February 2020 - Don't get angry and 'keep a smile on your face.' That's the secret to living a long life, according to 112-year-old Chitetsu Watanabe of Niigata, Japan. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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Japan: Applying a Maharishi University of Management education in the political sphere
19 December 2018 - Kenichi Suzuki serves as the assistant general manager of the Communication Department of the Democratic Party for the People in Japan. He recently published an article in The Diplomat, an international current affairs magazine for the Asia-Pacific region, highlighting how South Korea's National Security Advisor played a key role in the recent North Korea summits. An alumnus of Maharishi University of Management in the USA, Kenichi appreciates how practising the Transcendental Meditation technique supports his everyday life. 'TM helps to bring me confidence in my mind,' he says. 'This, in turn, enables me to keep trying new things and yet keeps me calm in the midst of such activity.' (more)

Japan: National Transcendental Meditation facility features Maharishi Vastu design
28 March 2015 - The national headquarters of the Transcendental Meditation organization in Japan, the Maharishi Institute of Total Education, is located in Nasu, approximately one and a half hours north of Tokyo. It is not only an organizational headquarters but offers many residential courses to those already practising Transcendental Meditation, as well as the opportunity to learn TM in this serene setting. The largest wood structure in all of Japan, 4,800 sm (51,500 sf), with a striking copper roof, it is a wonderful example of the use of natural materials--a key element in Maharishi Vastu construction, according to a recent newsletter featuring Maharishi Vastu architecture and design in Japan. (more)

Japan: Maharishi Vastu homes designed to connect individual and cosmic life
24 March 2015 - The second of three Vastu buildings in Japan featured in the current Maharishi Vastu newsletter was completed in the autumn of 2014. It is the most recent of several private homes in Ryugasaki, northeast of Tokyo, that have been designed and built according to Maharishi Vastu architecture. Like another Vastu home in the area, it features lovely wood interiors, traditional Japanese features, and an abundance of natural light on both levels. (more)

Japan: Homes combine traditional Japanese elements with benefits of Maharishi Vastu architecture
1 March 2015 - The first of three Vastu buildings in Japan featured in the current Maharishi Vastu newsletter was built in 2008. It is one of several private homes in Ryugasaki, northeast of Tokyo, that have been designed and built according to Maharishi Vastu architecture. (more)

Three examples of Maharishi Vastu architecture in Japan
15 February 2015 - This month's Maharishi Vastu newsletter reports on three 'especially striking buildings' in Japan that have been designed according to Maharishi Vastu architecture. Two are private homes built in Ryugasaki, northeast of Tokyo and the other is the national headquarters for the Transcendental Meditation organization. All are 'excellent examples of how Maharishi Vastu architecture can incorporate any local traditions of design' while creating beneficial effects for their owners. (more)

Japan: Maharishi University of Management hosts large delegation from Tokyo
2 June 2014 - Maharishi University of Management graduates Naoki Mizutani and his wife Yoko, who are directors of the Akasaka Transcendental Meditation Centre near Tokyo, recently brought a delegation of 29 Japanese practitioners of Transcendental Meditation to Fairfield, Iowa, USA for a weeklong tour of the MUM campus. The group visited many departments and heard presentations from faculty members. By the end of the week, the group was transformed. 'Everyone is still talking about what a great time they had in Fairfield and how inspired they all felt to see so many bright and blissful children, students, staff, and faculty, and the whole creative community,' said Mr Mizutani. (more)

Be-Japan: Corporate development with a helping hand
18 July 2013 - Be-Japan is a corporate development company established three years ago in Japan, to bring the Transcendental Meditation programme to business leaders and people in organizations throughout the country. After the devasting earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011, Mr Kawai Yuji, CEO of Be-Japan, traveled to the damaged area and, together with his wife, taught Transcendental Meditation to 250 people. At a recent conference in the Netherlands, Mr Kawai reported that research conducted on a large group of refugees who learned the technique showed a dramatic reduction of all stress factors. (more)

Japan: Maharishi Ayur-Veda health expert gives hundreds of consultations
18 July 2013 - Dr Manohar Palakurthi, a leading Ayurvedic physician from India and now the permanent Maharishi Ayur-Veda expert for Japan, toured the country this year giving courses, seminars, and consultations. About 350 people had Maharishi Ayur-Veda consultations, and 90 attended a one-day seminar in this field of natural health care in Tokyo. (more)

In post-disaster Japan, citizens look for charitable ways to help and heal
14 July 2012 - One of the charitable programmes undertaken by teachers of Transcendental Meditation (TM) in Japan is a relief programme that teaches refugees from last year's nuclear disaster the stress-reducing meditation technique. The programme has been seeing significant results. 'Two hundred and fifty refugees have learned Transcendental Meditation recently with significant results,' said a TM teacher involved in the project. 'A local scientist measuring psychological and physiological response to TM measured a 45% reduction in anxiety after only one week of the refugees practising.' (more)

Japan well underway on the path to recovery: Transcendental Meditation contributes to rising coherence
14 July 2012 - Japan is the safest nation in the world, with fewer crimes than any other nation. It's the healthiest nation in the world, with the longest lifespan, and the third most significant nation in innovation and technology. Japan is also the world's third largest economy behind the United States and China, and the fifth most peaceful nation in the world. Although recovery from last year's earthquake is still in progress, these statistics bode well for Japan's future, commented a Transcendental Meditation teacher recently, going on to describe how Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's technologies of consciousness can bring invincible peace, progress, and prosperity to the country, ensuring a strong, disaster-free future. (more)


Flops
Short Summaries of Top Stories


Kyoto's earliest cherry blooms in 1,200 years point to climate change, says scientist
31 March 2021 - The famous pink cherry blossoms of Kyoto reached full bloom this year on March 26, the earliest date in the 12 centuries since records began, according to a Japanese university. The earlier flowering indicates climate change, said Yasuyuki Aono, a professor of environmental science at Osaka Prefectural University, who has compiled a database of records of the full blooms over the centuries. (more)

Japan's famous cherry blossoms see early bloom amid warming
30 March 2021 - Japan's famous cherry blossoms have reached their flowery peak in many places earlier this year than at any time since formal records started being kept nearly 70 years ago, with experts saying climate change is the likely cause. ... Some say it is the earliest peak bloom ever based on records from historic documents, diaries and poetry books from Kyoto. (more)

Japan supercomputer shows humidity affects aerosol spread of coronavirus
14 October 2020 - A Japanese supercomputer showed that humidity can have a large effect on the dispersion of virus particles, pointing to heightened coronavirus contagion risks in dry, indoor conditions during the winter months. The finding suggests that the use of humidifiers may help limit infections during times when window ventilation is not possible, according to a study released on Tuesday [13 October] by research giant Riken and Kobe University. (more)

Japan cruise ship coronavirus cases climb to 175, including quarantine officer
12 February 2020 - Another 39 people have tested positive for the coronavirus on the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined in Japan, with one quarantine officer also infected, bringing the total to 175, the health ministry said on Wednesday [12 February]. ... About 3,700 people are on board the cruise ship, which usually has a crew of 1,100 and a passenger capacity of 2,670. ... The quarantine officer who was infected had been handing out questionnaires checking the health of passengers and crew and had been following rules that require the wearing of a mask and gloves but not a full protective suit, according to the Nikkei business daily, quoting the health ministry. (more)

Mutant rat-human births approved in Japan
31 July 2019 - Japan has become the first country to allow the birthing of human-animal embryos to create human organs. Experts at the Science Ministry approved a proposal by University of Tokyo researcher Hiromitsu Nakauchi to grow human stem cells in mouse, rat, and pig embryos and then transplant those cells into another animal, according to Nature magazine. Nakauchi hopes to eventually create animals with complete human organs that could be transferred into a human body. (more)

Japan to withdraw from International Whaling Commission: Kyodo News
20 December 2018 - Japan will withdraw from the International Whaling Commission (IWC) in a bid to resume commercial whaling, Kyodo News reported on Thursday (20 December), citing government sources. ... Japan halted commercial whaling in 1982 in line with a moratorium adopted by the IWC. Japan has hunted whales in the Southern Ocean since 1987 for what it calls 'scientific research' purposes, but this has been criticized internationally as a cover for commercial purposes. (more)

Japan hit by deadly earthquake and mudslides
6 September 2018 - Japan's northern island of Hokkaido has been hit by a powerful earthquake, triggering landslides that engulfed houses. The magnitude 6.7 quake cut power to around three million homes after a thermal power plant was damaged. The earthquake comes on the heels of a deadly typhoon lashing the west of Japan over the past few days. (more)

Heatwave blankets Japan, kills 14 people over long weekend
17 July 2018 - An intense heatwave killed at least 14 people over a three-day long weekend in Japan, media reported on Tuesday (17 July), and high temperatures hampered the recovery in flood-hit areas where more than 200 people died last week. Thousands more were treated in hospitals for heat-related conditions. (more)

Japan hit by worst weather disaster in decades: Why did so many die?
11 July 2018 - Torrential rains unleashed floods and set off landslides in western Japan last week, killing at least 176 people, forcing millions to evacuate and leaving dozens missing in the country's worst weather disaster in 36 years. [Reuters give] some reasons for the high death toll. (more)

Rescuers search for survivors after Japan floods kill at least 126
10 July 2018 - Rescuers in western Japan dug through mud and rubble early on Tuesday, racing to find survivors after torrential rain that began last week unleashed floods and landslides that killed up to 130 people, with dozens missing. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe canceled an overseas trip to deal with Japan's worst flood disaster since 1982, with several million people forced from their homes. (more)

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