September 23, 2020: Virtual French-German Dialogue on Japan I: “Autonomous Driving: Perspectives on Japan, France, and Germany”, October 8, 2020, JDZB

The Japanese-German Center Berlin (JDZB) in cooperation with the France-Japan Foundation of the EHES (École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales) in Paris invites to the following event,

Virtual French-German Dialogue on Japan I:

Autonomous Driving: Perspectives on Japan, France, and Germany

on Thursday, October 8, 2020, 11 h (CEST) / 18 h (JST)

Autonomous driving has become a relevant and broadly discussed topic in Japan as well as France and Germany. However, political and corporate strategies on how to implement autonomous driving, regulatory policies in both national, and, in the cases of Germany and France, EU levels, and attitudes towards autonomous driving as well as the perception of risks and chances in each society might differ to a large extent. The French-German Dialogue on Japan will discuss this topic by bringing together trilateral perspectives, research findings, and hands-on experience by panelists from academia and business.

The first session on “Regulating Autonomous Driving” will focus on corporate strategies and the perspective of automobile manufacturers in regard to regulatory issues and policies concerning the development and implementation of autonomous driving.

The second session on “Autonomous Driving and Society” will compare the reception and acceptance of autonomous driving in all three societies: What attitudes and preferences can be found in the Japanese, French and German public? What chances and risks do citizens perceive in regard to autonomous driving?

The event will be held in English.

The virtual symposium will be streamed from the Japanese-German Center Berlin (JDZB).

For your virtual participation via Zoom please register by returning the requested information by E-Mail to Jörg REINOWSKI at by 1 October 2020:
Name, Position, Institution, E-Mail

I consent to the Data Protection Compliance: Please write Yes/No

In case you do not wish to participate actively in this conference, we kindly ask you to watch via the provided livestream on the JDZB YouTube Channel.

You can see the program here.

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September 13, 2020: An example of “Human-Centered” creation; THE TOKYO TOILET Project launched by The Nippon Foundation


Pritzker Prize winners among 16 creators transforming 17 public toilets in Shibuya, Tokyo

The Nippon Foundation is launching THE TOKYO TOILET project to build public toilets that can be used by anyone. The project will build new toilets at 17 locations in Shibuya, Tokyo, as a way of moving toward the realization of a society that embraces diversity.Three of the toilets will be made available for use by the general public from August 5.

Japan is known as one of the cleanest countries in the world. Even public toilets have a higher standard of hygiene than in much of the rest of the world. However, the use of public toilets in Japan is limited because of stereotypes that they are dark, dirty, smelly, and scary. To dispel these misconceptions regarding public toilets, The Nippon Foundation has decided to renovate 17 public toilets located in Shibuya, Tokyo, in cooperation with the Shibuya City government. These public toilets are being designed by 16 leading creators, and will use advanced design to make them accessible for everyone regardless of gender, age, or disability, to demonstrate the possibilities of an inclusive society. In addition to the construction, we have arranged for ongoing maintenance so that people will feel comfortable using these public toilets and to foster a spirit of hospitality for the next person.

The toilets being made available for use from August 5 are in three locations: Ebisu Park (creator – Masamichi Katayama); Yoyogi Fukamachi Mini Park (Shigeru Ban); and Haru-no-Ogawa Community Park (Shigeru Ban). These will be followed by openings on August 7 in Ebisu East Park (Fumihiko Maki), and a location near Ebisu Station (Nao Tamura), August 31 in Nishihara Itchome Park (Takenosuke Sakakura), and on September 7 in Jingu-Dori Park (Tadao Ando), with the remainder scheduled for completion by the spring of 2021. Please refer to the attachment for a full list of locations and creators.

The toilets will be constructed by DAIWA HOUSE INDUSTRY CO., LTD., and TOTO LTD. will advise on toilet equipment and layout. Maintenance of the toilets will be carried out under a three-party agreement concluded by The Nippon Foundation, the Shibuya City government, and the Shibuya City Tourism Association.

*You can see further texts, photos of some toilets with its concepts, a list of toilet names, locations, and creators from here.

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September 12, 2020: “Highlighting JAPAN” August 2020 MOTTAINAI: CREATING A SOUND MATERIAL-CYCLE SOCIETY (in English, Japanese, partly in Chinese)

Monthly online magazine, “Highlighting JAPAN” published by the Japanese government aiming for introducing the country’s cutting-edge solutions to various global issues, rooted in Japan’s traditions and experiences, released the August 2020 edition.

August 2020 edition of Highlighting Japan is now available. This month’s issue covers ’MOTTAINAI: Creating a Sound Material-Cycle Society’: In this month’s issue, we take a look at a variety of public and private initiatives contributing to the realization of a sound material-cycle society. We also reveal how the traditional Japanese trait of treasuring things, captured in the phrase mottainai, is always to the fore.


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September 11, 2020: The EU-Japan Centre released “Japanese Industry and Policy News July-August 2020”

The EU-Japan Centre released “Japanese Industry and Policy News” composed of various Japanese language sources of potential interest, including newly released policy documents, surveys, and official statements, in the context of EU-Japan industrial cooperation.

Topics covered in the July-August issue:

· Japan-UK EPA negotiation is almost concluded
· The Government extends employment adjustment subsidy
· “GoTo Travel” campaign, 4.2 million overnight stays a month
· Export of black pine Bonsai to EU is possible from October 1

· Real GDP from April to June, reduced by 27.8% at annual rate
· About 270,000 small and medium companies will close business?
· January-July trade statistics, exports to China increased for the first time in seven months

· JOGMEC conducts world’s first successful excavation of cobalt-rich in the deep ocean
· MHI successfully launches the Emirates Mars mission, HOPE spacecraft
· Succeeded in the world’s first technical verification test of a dry low NOx hydrogen combustion gas turbine
· JETRO opened the Desk at Foreign Residents Support Center (FRESC)
· Sony released wearable air conditioner
· Toyota and Honda to Begin Demonstration Testing of a Mobile Power Generation
· Demonstration project begins for commercialization of FC vessels
· RIKEN and JAXA collaborate to offer real-time rainfall forecasts
Additional Topics
· 2025 Osaka Expo logo decided
· Government dispatched the third aid team to the Mauritius oil spill accident
· Japan is popular destination from overseas after COVID-19
· Distilled 80,000 cups of excess beer to regenerate into gin
· The Nippon Foundation is setting up the designer’s toilets in Tokyo
· Warner Bros. Studio Tour Tokyo, The Making of Harry Potter Set to open in the first half of 2023

Read more about this issue

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