February 23, 2018 Vol. 14, No. 3

Toru Yamanaka | AFP | Getty Images

Japan in the News


Prime Minister Abe's Womenomics policies debuted in 2013 and over the past five years, Japan has continued to strengthen efforts to facilitate economic growth. Japan is pushing ahead by increasing female participation in the labor force and by leveraging cutting-edge technology to increase productivity. Learn more in this commentary from CNBC.


First Time for Gold in Women's Speedskating


On February 19, 2018, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a congratulatory phone call to speed skater Nao Kodaira, who won the gold medal in the women’s 500-meter speed skating event at the PyeongChang Olympic Games. Kodaira is captain of the Japanese team, and her gold medal is Japan's first in women's speedskating.

The Prime Minister also congratulated figure skater Yuzuru Hanyu on his second gold. Hanyu was badly injured last year, but has made an incredible comeback. From PM Abe's Twitter message, "Huge congratulations to Mr. Yuzuru Hanyu on capturing a second consecutive Olympic gold, despite overcoming an injury. Your stunning performance on the ice was truly moving. Thank you for touching our hearts!"

As of Friday, February 23, Japan has brought home 11 medals.


REUTERS/Jorge Silva

An Olympic Tour of Asia


While enjoying the Olympic spectacle at PyeongChang, attendees are also getting a chance to look ahead to the Tokyo 2020 Games when they stop by the Tokyo 2020 Japan House. Visitors can try out interactive technology, like creating a life-like digital doll of themselves using advanced 3D scanning equipment.

After PyeongChang, the Tokyo Summer Games will take up the baton for the next leg of the host city relay, to be followed in 2022 by the next Winter Olympics in Beijing. Although the Olympic and Paralympic Games have been hosted in Asia at various times before, this is the first time that three consecutive Olympic Games have been hosted in Asia.


Tachi Laboratory, The University of Tokyo

Teleworking? Time To Think Bigger.


Remember the sci-fi movie Avatar, where humans controlled artificial bodies to interact with an alien species? The futuristic technology imagined in that film is not so far off from reality today. Researchers in Tokyo are developing protoypes of robotic avatars that can be used to interact, touch and move around from a remote location. Mobility issues will be a thing of the past as haptic touch technology and real-time feedback put the entire world literally at your fingertips.