Japanese Technology from the Future Friday
This week Japan’s kicking in some cash, tech, and know-how to help modernize a sizeable public waterworks in the Philippines, Nissan’s prepping their shiny new hybrid racing triangle for Le Mans, and Japan’s trying to get cozy with India’s Navy through tech sharing, which, for regional stability and international understanding, actually means almost nothing.
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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 – April 25, 2014 ::
• Japan Grants $11 Million to Cebu Waterworks
This technically non-tied grant, the latest in a legacy of J to P infrastructure investment and economic assistance, is dedicated entirely to improving the water supply system in Cebu, the Philippines’ second-largest metro area (2.5 million Filipinos). In addition to the funding, Japan’s International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will also supply technological know-how, training, and oversight. Pretty difficult to be snarky about this one, so like, yeah - well done, Japan. The JTFF salutes you! You, the most internationalized, outwardly giving yet ferociously isolationist nation in modern history! Ohhhh, turns out there was a nugget of snark available. Nice.
[JAPAN FUNDS BIG WATER PROJECT - MANILLA BULLETIN]
• Nissan’s Racing Triangle Headed Back to Le Mans (with video game drivers!)
Apparently, a partially electric, delta-shaped, three-wheeled racecar actually works. Two years after crashing in their first outing (not their fault), Nissan’s taking their upgraded DeltaWing wedgy back to France. We covered the all-electric concept version last fall, and snapped a few photos at the Tokyo Motor Show, and okay, sure - it’s another cool new car design. BUT, the really badass part of this year’s Nissan Le Mans team is who’ll be driving: in addition to Nissan pro driver Satoshi Motoyama, these two other Boy Scouts who learned how to drive racecars on the PlayStation 3 will also be driving in meatspace. Seriously, they learned to drive in a video game. Just Google Nissan’s GT Academy. It sounds insane. And awesome. And is both. Video after the jump.
[NISSAN’S DELTAWING RACER GOING BACK TO LE MANS - BT.COM]
• Japan’s Naval Namaste, and Guess What: Everything's Fine in East Asia. Don't Believe the Hype.
Continuing a policy of increasingly enthusiastic international economic and military outreach across southeast Asia, all the way over to the Sub-Continent, Japan’s top Navy dude has reiterated hopes of further Naval cooperation with India and, by-proxy, the United States. Japan's rich naval experience could offer India quite an upgrade. Because really, though a nuclear power with an advanced and massive standing army, uhhhh... does India even have a Navy? Japan and the U.S., on the other hand, they’ve got boats. Lots and lots of boats. And India would probably like some boat tech.
Now, we all hear the intermittent reports of sincere & severe tensions among East Asian powers, and if you pay close attention, you’ll start to notice a schedule, and you’ll start to notice these reports are way too conveniently timed to fill slow news cycles, and if you’re at least partially conscious, you’ll start to notice that it’s a farce. Just filler. It's classic divide-to-conquer; distract the little people. See, once a month, maybe every few weeks, maybe every 5-6 weeks if more interesting shit is happening elsewhere in the world, a gaggle of hacktastic jackass pseudo-journalists distribute figurative kerosene and flags to the dumbest brand of right-wing polititards they can find, then stand back and hit the record button. It’s cooked. A distraction. Brain candy for the hard of thinking. I.e., the above naval news is not at all an escalation.
BUT, all that being said, with Japan cozying up to India, keeping tight with the Philippines, and having by-proxy-because-America allies in Taiwan and South Korea, one can kinda understand why China’s getting a tiny bit worried. Any nation being slowly half-circled by military alliances would.
BUT, BUT, let us know when Japan and China stop being each other’s largest trading partners, then there might actually be a real issue. And until then, here in realityland, the biggest conflict in East Asian politics and international affairs will remain between unscrupulous news farms trying to out-dumbass each other.
Ahh crap, the JTFF is supposed to be about technology. Well, we do what we want.
[JAPAN OFFER TECH & KNOW-HOW TO INDIAN NAVY - INDIAN DEFENSE]
That was the JTFF, and live from the future – that is all.
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Tokyo at Night via PhotoEverywhere.