Monday, December 29, 2014

Japan, China Officials Unite on Environmental Measures?

Japan, China discuss environment in Beijing

Delegates from Japan and China have held their first forum in 2 years to discuss environmental problems.
About 500 economy ministry and industry officials of the 2 countries took part in Sunday's event in Beijing.

The vice chairman of China's National Development and Reform Commission, Xie Zhenhua, said China considers natural-resource and environmental problems as significant and that Japan has advanced technologies and experience in this field.

He said China wants to deepen cooperation with Japan in the energy-conservation and environmental sectors, and that this would lead to improved bilateral ties.

Concrete proposals were introduced for those sectors in which Japanese and Chinese companies could work together. Agreements were signed on 41 projects.

The annual forum, which began in 2006, was suspended last year after relations deteriorated between the 2 countries.

Last month's meeting between Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Chinese President Xi Jinping apparently set the background for the gathering.

But this time, unlike previous meetings, a Chinese vice premier did not attend. And the number of participants was only about half that of the past.

An executive of a Japanese private firm said he believes this forum can encourage the 2 governments to support eco-businesses, which will lead to its expansion.

Another said he expects next year's participation to be back to full strength.

Japan, China officials unite on environmental measures as ties warm

Japanese and Chinese officials agreed Sunday to step up cooperation on energy-conservation and environmental measures during the first high-level governmental meeting since their leaders last month held official talks for the first time.
The one-day forum in Beijing, attended by a total of 500 government and company officials, comes as tensions between Asia’s two biggest economies have eased a little, particularly in nonpolitical fields.
“Through our cooperation in the areas of environment and energy conservation, I believe we will be able to add positive elements to political relations of the two countries,” Xie Zhenhua, vice chairman of China’s National Development and Reform Commission, told the forum in Beijing.
Xie, China’s chief climate negotiator, said the two countries, which shoulder great responsibilities in the international community, should promote technical cooperation and people-to-people exchanges at all levels to deepen mutual trust.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s inaugural meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Nov. 10 on the margins of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit provided impetus for the two sides to resume the forum, which focuses on ways to save energy and overcome environmental problems.

The forum has been held every year since its creation in 2006...

“The leaders’ meeting was the first step to improving relations. This forum taken part in by so many people from Japan and China reflects our strong expectations that this will be the next step to improving relations,” said Yosuke Takagi, senior vice minister at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in Tokyo.
Ahead of the forum, Takagi also held bilateral talks with Xie and agreed that the two countries will facilitate a range of exchanges on environmental and energy issues, according to a Japanese official.
Companies and government entities of the two countries struck 41 agreements on environmental cooperation, such as undertaking joint research programs on ways to combat pollution in China.
Hiroshi Amano, one of three Japan-born scientists to win this year’s Nobel Prize in physics for inventing the blue light-emitting diode, was scheduled to give a speech at the forum.
Pointing out that China is the world’s biggest producer of LEDs, Amano, a Nagoya University professor, said if Japan’s scientific expertise is combined to a greater degree with China’s production capacity, the two countries can further contribute to the world’s efforts to save energy.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

NHK World: The Raw Story

Great to see a story on Japanese TV about attempts to make people more aware of the need for a healthy diet.

Hope you can catch the video:

People in Thailand are dealing with a growing problem...their waistlines. The World Health Organization says one in every four Thais is overweight. NHK WORLD's Dhra Dhirakaosal has the story of one woman who's trying a fresh approach to eating well.
This is a canteen of an electronics plant in the suburbs of Bangkok. It's open 24 hours a day.
Many of the dishes are rich in oil and sugar. One costs only about 50 cents -- half the normal price.
The rice is free. Customers can eat as much as they want.

"If our employees become more obese, it'll create problems for our firm." Sampan Silapanad / Vice president, Western Digital Thailand
Aki Yamato from Japan works for the electronics maker as a diet and nutrition advisor.
Yamato says she used to work too hard at her old job. She didn't think much about what she ate. But after developing a colon disease she realized the importance of a healthy diet.
"It's important for firms to make their employees fit. I wanted to be an expert in the field and set up a company to that end." Aki Yamato / Diet and nutrition advisor
Eating raw vegetables isn't traditional in Thailand. Yamato decides to introduce a salad bar. She sources ingredients from a local organic farm. These beans are rich in fiber and can prevent overeating.

"Thailand has lots of healthy vegetables. If we put them together, they'll make a good salad." Farmer
On the day the salad bar opens, organic vegetables arrive fresh from the farm.
A special dressing is made from fish sauce -- a signature ingredient in Thai food.

"I hope they like it!" Aki Yamato / Diet and nutrition adviso
What do the employees think?
"The vegetables are fresh --- and delicious!" Employee
"This salad tastes great --- and looks healthy. I'll keep eating it." Employee
"I've seen my efforts pay off. I'll work harder so everyone here can eat food that's good for their health." Aki Yamato / Diet and nutrition advisor
Many people in Thailand think food that's low in calories is also low in taste. Yamato hopes she's made a small contribution to convince people that eating healthily is anything but boring.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Edda Magnason in Tokyo

Love music, love all of those who wrote the great music. Homage to Monica Zetterlund in Tokyo this weekend.

Published on 13 Nov 2014



エッダ・マグナソン with ニルス・ラン・ドーキー・トリオ


2014 12.20 sat. - 12.21 sun.
[1st]Open4:00pm Start5:00pm [2nd]Open7:00pm Start8:00pm


Edda Magnason(vo)

Niels Lan Doky(p)

Ira Coleman(b)

Niclas Bardeleben(ds)




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