Issue 18

January 2017

In the early stages of climbing the development ladder, Asia’s emerging economies have made great leaps by absorbing and adapting global knowledge. But there comes a point, especially for economies like Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia, India and Singapore, where innovation and knowledge creation becomes increasingly important.

Which are Asia’s most competitive innovative countries?

Are you ready?—Moving on to Society 5.0

In collaboration with Japanese companies and stakeholders, Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe is presiding the Council for Science, Technology and Innovation (CSTI), which strongly promotes and supports the economic and societal policies for the economy otherwise known as the “Super Smart Society” or Society 5.0 and has put forward a series of policies including Internet of Things (IOT), Big Data and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to become one of the pillars of the growth strategy for Japan, which are projected to go a long way in ameliorating relations with other nations as well as provide solutions to the increase ageing societal problems.

COVER STORY | Innovation


New Year Around the World

New Year’s Eve is the busiest time of the year worldwide, for many an opportunity for considerable change and for others, a chance for things to get better. The usual desire to grasp on to time flies through the window and everyone seems anxious to count down the seconds to the New Year in order to start afresh, get the celebrations started or for the lucky few, get a kiss from that one special person.

Well wherever it is you find yourself on this special day, some people have a more than peculiar way of “jumping” into the New Year.


New Year in Japan

It feels like barely days ago we counted down seconds into the New Year 2017 and already, here we are beckoning on the month of February. Japan was one of the first countries to enter the New Year alongside New Zealand, Australia, and South Korea.



Innovation—The Genius behind today’s World

In the early stages of climbing the development ladder, Asia’s emerging economies have made great leaps by simply absorbing and adapting global knowledge. But there comes a point, especially for economies like Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong, Malaysia, India and Singapore, where innovation and knowledge creation becomes increasingly important.


Seeing is believing—If you can dream it, VR can make it

Virtual reality is the new trend and has shown the ability to create new business opportunities through new technological innovations. It is no wonder prominent companies such as Apple, Google, Sony and many others enter and compete in the growing market. VR promises the unimaginable – almost like one trying to envision what cellphones would be capable of doing ten years ago. Or literally, go nowhere and be transported anywhere.


Artificial intelligence—The frontier of something new in intelligence

Prof. Takao Terano received a B.A degree in Mathematical Engineering, M.A degree in Information Engineering from the University of Tokyo and a Doctor of Engineering Degree from Tokyo Institute of Technology and is currently a professor at the Department of Computer Science, School of Computing there. His ongoing research interests include Agent-based modeling, Knowledge systems, Evolutionary computation and Service Science.

This month, he tells us more about his thoughts on AI and its current and potential impact on the Japanese society.


The Supercomputer—AI’s role in bettering Japan

You most probably have heard of it or at least read about it: Japan’s goal to acquire high performance computing (HPC)technology by developing the fastest supercomputer for AI in an effort to arm the country’s manufacturers with a platform for research that will help develop and improve the general well being and advancement of the Japanese population.


Are you ready?—Moving on to Society 5.0

Dr. Yuko Harayama is an executive member of the CSTI, which has 8 members from academia and business. She is a well-known scientist who served as Deputy Director of the Directorate for Science, Technology and Industry at the OECD. She agreed to an interview with JAPAN and the WORLD.


Asia—The Innovation Hub

The history of innovation in Asia started centuries ago and although it may have a couple of hurdles to overcome in order to carry the innovative sector to the next level, the region, as a whole seems to be emerging as a global innovation powerhouse.


Singapore—A Living Lab

Imagine a nation of people empowered by technology to lead fulfilled and meaningful lives. One where data, info communication technology and the power of network is utilized to improve living, build closer community and create economic opportunity. That is what Singapore aims at through the Smart Nation initiative, revealed by its Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong in November 2014.


Malaysia—Innovating its development

Interview with Dato’ Azman Mahmud, Chief Executive Officer of Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA) to find about the most recent investment opportunities and how innovation is helping to achieve that.


Malaysia and Japan—A Win-win-win relationship

When then Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone visited Malaysia in May 1983, he held top-level talks with then Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in which they agreed on the establishment of the Japanese Chamber of Trade & Industry, Malaysia. At that time, JACTIM was the first foreign chamber of trade and industry to receive certification in Malaysia. In addition to the fact that Japan and Malaysia had long enjoyed a firm relationship of trust, the creation of JACTIM paved the way for the further strengthening of relations from then on.


Reawakening Innovation in Japan—What needs to be done

Japan has the third largest economy in the world by nominal GDP and is the second largest developed economy in the world. It is after all, the birthplace of life changing innovations like the bullet train in 1964, TOTO’s first hi-tech toilet during the same year, the Walkman that revolutionized the way people listened to music in the 70s and the PlayStation which remains the most popular game console in the world and has sold millions of consoles since its launch in 1994.


DMM.com—Birthing Innovation for the next generation

JAPAN and the WORLD sat down with Mr. Keishi Kameyama, Chairman of DMM.com, whose physical presence is humble and imposing while media representation remains almost a mystery, tells us more about its birth and mission in bringing change in the Japanese innovation sector.


Orange Fab Asia—Building a global startup community

Jean-Michel Serre, the president of Orange Labs Tokyo speaks about the spread of innovation, the role of entrepreneurship and the support from the government in this expansion in Asian countries.



One Hour with Mariela Castro

Aga Charytoniuk sat down with Mariela Castro at her Cenesex office in Havana, Cuba last December, to reflect on challenges faced by humans in the 21st century.



Romanian Wine—From horse-drawn carriage to Ferrari

The country is by far the largest producer in Eastern and Central Europe and has one of the oldest histories of wine on the European continent, dating back 6,000 years.


Leeuwin Estate—Wine made from art

The making of fine wine requires firstly vineyards and weather suited to high quality grape growing, and secondly, vignerons of passion. Australia has always had its fair share of both, and has been producing individual wines of note since the mid 1800s.



Lesotho and Japan—Exploring business opportunities

H.M. Letsie III, King of the Kingdom of Lesotho and H.M. Queen Masenate Mohato Seeiso, paid an eight-day visit to Japan in November. The Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo greeted King Letsie III on November 25, 2016.



Kuriyama Truck Traders—For Another Half Century

Kuriyama Auto has led the truck industry for half a century since it opened in 1966. JAPAN and the WORLD asked Kuriyama Auto’s 2nd generation President, Yoshihiro Kuriyama, to talk about his vision for the future after celebrating the company’s 50th anniversary.



Olympic Protocol—United in working together for successful Tokyo 2020 Games

JAPAN and the WORLD sat down with Mr. Toru Sugio, Director of Protocol and Head of Protocol Team of the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympics and Paralympics Games to find out more about the current stage of preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Games. Mr. Sugio is the focal point for the embassies and foreign governmental institutions.



Argentina and Japan—Long-lasting ties as strong foundation for strategic relationship

Romania and Japan—Romania’s future looks bright with the country’s favorable environment


WAW! 2016—Time to Walk The Talk

Women from all over the world, all walks of life and of different age groups came together over the span of two days for this year’s World Assembly for Women conference, held at the Grand Prince Hotel New Takanawa.


The Quest for Women’s Empowerment—Why Jamaica gets it

At this year’s WAW conference, an unequivocal point was that women’s empowerment and gender equality are universal problems. Inter Media Japan sat down to interview Ms. Kamina Johnson Smith, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade of Jamaica, to find out more on what is being done differently in Jamaica and what the possible key factors to a global change in this area are.


Association of Women Innovation—Women’s Voices Heard

Women’s empowerment is a phrase very often used and reflective of a desired stage yet to be achieved. This term although existent from before, has only become more known of recent around the world.



Ebina City has it all sorted out!

Interview with the Mayor of Ebina City, Mr. Masaru Uchino who talks about his efficient strategy on anticipating upcoming challenges.



Hitsumabushi Nagoya Bincho—Taste the exquisite combination of ingredients with tradition and skills

Rich in vitamins, minerals and protein, eels are a delicacy loved by many Japanese since ancient times and known to impart stamina and help keep a healthy complexion.



Dominican Republic’s great plan to intensify and diversify trade

JAPAN and the WORLD magazine sat down with Mr. Henry Molina, the Director of CEI-RD (El Centro de Exportación e Inversión de la República Dominicana) to find out more about his plan to boost trade of the Dominican Republic.


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