Showing posts from 2014

Japan, China Officials Unite on Environmental Measures?

I always knew this was possible, thus Kurashi, for 10 years and counting. Hoping 2015 can bring some more sense into affairs between the great countries in this region. Small planet, huge population issues, got to start caring about more important concerns.  Says NHK World: Japan, China discuss environment in Beijing Asia Dec. 28, 2014 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 tie

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.

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 モニカ・ゼタールンドを演じた映画が話題、スウェーデンの 人気シンガーとニルス・ラン・ドーキーの豪華顔合わせ EDDA MAGNASON with NIELS LAN DOKY TRIO "Homage to MONICA ZETTERLUND" エッダ・マグナソン with ニルス・ラン・ドーキー・トリオ “オマージュ・トゥ・モニカ・ゼタールンド” DATE & SHOWTIMES 2014 12.20 sat. - 12.21 sun. [1st]Open4:00pm Start5:00pm [2nd]Open7:00pm Start8:00pm MEMBER Edda Magnason(vo) エッダ・マグナソン(ヴォーカル) Niels Lan Doky(p) ニルス・ラン・ドーキー(ピアノ) Ira Coleman(b) アイラ・コールマン(ベース) Niclas Bardeleben(ds) ニクラス・バーデレーベン(ドラムス) 後援:スウェーデン大使館 後援:デンマーク王国大使館 後援:J-WAVE 協力:ブロードメディア・スタジオ Category Music Licence Standard YouTube Licence

UNESCO: Education for Sustainable Development in Nagoya

Another large international conference in Japan, this time about education . How do we teach kids about environmental issues, health, energy, biodiversity, sustainable development? Are you a teacher reading Kurashi? How do you teach these issues to your students? The conference will take place from 10-12 November 2014 in Aichi-Nagoya, Japan. Under the banner of “Learning Today for a Sustainable Future”, the Conference will celebrate the achievements of the Decade, identify lessons learnt while setting the stage for the future of ESD. It will also showcase initiatives, key players, networks and ideas that the Decade has stimulated. Such examples from all over the world will help to generate future action under the Global Action Programme. ESD describes the teaching of key related issues — including climate change, disaster risk reduction, biodiversity, poverty reduction and sustainable consumption — in forms of education. Crown Prince Naruhito, who attended the me

If You Like Soy Milk And Tofu...

...You will be glad to hear that there will be a new international standard for these "non-fermented" soybean foods, agreed today in Tokyo by the Codex Alimentarius, at the 19th CC Asia meeting held this week. Final words on Friday, then the text will be sent to the global food standards body that will put it in the rules books sometime next year. Important both for protecting consumers from fraudulent products and for companies that want to make the stuff. Of course, we want such products to be supplied in a pure form, without unnecessary chemicals! It's like watching paint dry, but the past couple of years provided results. For example, "plain" soy milk will not be allowed to contain any artificial food additives or colourings at all. That's progress as some countries initially tried to water down the standard and delayed the work. Also today, Indonesia almost put a spanner in the works for tofu, by insisting that turmeric or annatto, i e yellow colo

Eco Links For October 2014

Inspired by this and more , tongue firmly in cheek... Tokyo, Japan -- Power was restored in most of Japan on Sunday, a day after the impoverished, energy-starved nation was plunged into a nationwide blackout when a transmission line from well, nowhere, failed, officials said. The blackout was the country's worst since a 2007 cyclone knocked out the national grid for several hours, and again exposed inefficient and dated infrastructure that has held back development in the North East Asian nation. Electricity was cut across Japan at around noon Saturday after the transmission line experienced a "technical glitch" that led to a cascade of failures throughout the national power grid, with power plants and substations shutting down. After an evening spent in the dark, most of the residents of Tokyo, the capital of more than 10 million people, got electricity back on by 1 a.m. Sunda

Another IKEA Opens In Japan...

...and I was not invited, again. LOL, I went to visit the new one in Tachikawa, western Tokyo, that just blew me away. What a culture shock. The best and the worst, of two worlds! First, it is HUGE unlike anything I have seen in Japan. Yes, there are other Home Centers and some are rather big, but IKEA is humongous and like a maze, once you get inside. You will get lost among the Älmhult designs with names like Tönt or Skvallerkärring and Kullerbytta. Well, not the first two, but maybe the last one, say for a cozy armchair made in Malaysia. Funny thing, at IKEA, next to nothing sold is actually Made in Sweden. Dazed amongst all the blue and yellow, I walked and walked, lost among plastic window cleaners at 200 Yen or pretty classy paper lamps at 2000 Yen. Oh, they have expensive items too, but I wasn't in the mood. Weird plastic Christmas decorations and mass produced Almoge curtains. Not an Organic cotton cushion in sight, but that might change, I suppose, if people here sta

Amari: "[TPP] Agreement Is Not Yet In Sight"

Score another failed round of negotiations, the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) continues to let down big business that wants less regulations and more secrecy. And meanwhile, Japan's newly appointed Trade Minister Miyazawa is in hot water for taking illegal donations from a foreign company, a story that I'm sure will have more importance than the fact that some on his staff joined a S&M club and paid for it from his pocket (although he says he did not attend). But back to TPP. Today, another non-round of negotiations (the last proper one was held in Brunei, which I attended as a "stakeholder" for Consumers Union of Japan) has failed to get results. This time in Sydney, the amicable host, Australian Trade Minister Robb (how is that for irony, a politician actually called exactly was they do best, rob paul to pay peter, etc. etc.) criticized NGOs and other experts who are trying to bring information about this deal to the public: Mr Robb lashed