Japanese Technology from the Future Friday!

Japanese Technology from the Future Friday! - AkihabaraNews.com

This week it's a Japan-led team’s Earthquake-hunting boat setting off to drill into the place where earthquakes come from (AHH, Kaiju!), a rare example of Japanese technology firms making some really intelligent moves, and a Facebook executive thinks J-women need to get all up in Japan’s economy. The JTFF agrees.

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Welcome to Japanese Technology from the Future Friday
It’s already Friday west of the international dateline – here in Japan, it’s totally the future. The weekly JTFF is our somewhat Technosnarky coverage of 2-5 particularly important, specifically Japan-related tech stories. Get yourself hip to the micro & macro that went down while North America was sleeping – check in with Akihabara News every Friday morning and BOOM! Ahead of the game, you win.

:: JTFF – September 13, 2013 ::

• $500 Million Dollar, Super-Deep-Drilling Japanese Boat Goes High-Tech Earthquake Hunting
On a mission to find out more about how, why, and when, the Japanese deep-sea drilling boat “Chikkyu” is headed to the Nankai Trough, a point off southwest Japan where huge pieces of the planet don’t play nice and are expected to cause a really huge earthquake sometime relatively soon - geologically speaking. As the world knows, and was terribly reminded 2.5 years ago, Japan’s earthquake situation is far beyond serious; the motive here is to understand the processes leading up to and more accurately predict a quake with the potential to dwarf the 2011 Tohoku disaster. On a lighter note, and unfortunately, one of the commenters on this piece already mentioned the possibility of the science mission inadvertently opening a portal to another dimension that would allow giant monsters to come through, necessitating, of course, the construction of giant robots to fight them. So jealous right now.

• Screen-Making Conglomerate Japan Display, Inc. to go Public, Maybe Next Year
Japan’s hulking electronics firms haven’t been burdened by an overabundance of good product and/or business ideas in recent years, so it’s very important to point out when something good does happen. Japan Display, Inc., a 2012 mashup of the former Sony, Hitachi, and Toshiba small and medium-sized display-making business units, is actually doing quite well, and expects to make an approximately $2 billion IPO within a few short years, if not within a short year. All the market details and such can be found after the jump - if that’s what you’re into - but basically, the big deal here is that Big J-Electronics doesn’t have to continue floundering and losing ground to competitors in Korea and China; with a bit of creativity and consolidation, there is hope. Because, as one can imagine, these competing subsidiaries, free of their Confucian business bonds and with Wonder Triplet powers combined, could keep and maintain some serious relevance and profitability, not to mention potential for competitive innovation in the gadget screen making business. With customers like Google and Amazon lining up, it bodes well.

• Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg Agrees: Japan Needs to Get Ladies into the Workforce
Here at AkihabaraNews, there’s certainly been no shortage of commentary on the extremely pressing economic implications of Japan’s rapidly aging society (especially vis-a-vis robots), and we've also done a bit of pointing out how women will, no, have to play a vital role in Japan’s economic future - particularly in tech sectors (see: Japanese Science & Engineering: STEM Needs More Women, But Japan Needs More Children). And really, when we’re talking about the Japanese economy, when are we not talking about the tech sectors - and when we’re talking tech, when would commentary directly from the top of Facebook not have gigantic relevance? Japanese women aren’t the powerless, malinged, second-class citizens they’re often portrayed as, but there’s very, very little doubt that more of them are interested and needed in the broader tech economy. Appropos, a supertech woman, not just a snarky technopontificator, is calling for their potential contributions to the techno-economic braintrust STAT. ASAP. Soon, please.

That was the JTFF, and live from the future – that is all.

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Tokyo at Night image via PhotoEverywhere.