Author: ushio

Cafes evolve in Ontario, Japan

“Shareable plates are a constant across the game cafes, but beverages of choice vary. Each serves up its own drink, whether tea, beer, wine or espresso. But walk into any and you’ll hear the same conviviality: fast talk, laughter and rolling dice. And the one thing you’ll rarely see is the glow of a smartphone screen.” This is how The New York Times international weekly edition (February 21, 2016) described “board-game cafes” that have rapidly increased in number in Toronto especially over the past two years. The news story headlined “In Toronto, the Hot Spots Put Board Games on the Table” went on to say: “There are so many of […]

Large carbon dioxide capture and storage project going on in Canada

When it comes to minimizing global warming, the big, good news was the Paris accord in December 2015 that aims to limit the world’s temperature increase to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius. All 196 countries and territories pledged effort toward that goal. You can imagine easily that no single measure can achieve that ambitious goal. Reducing the consumption of fossil fuels, especially coal, in power plants and other places may be the first thing you can think of. Consumers are being requested to save energy, too. Few people seem to favor nuclear power generation, despite the fact that its advantages include no emission of carbon dioxide. A Japanese government agency […]

Canada’s cyclotron accelerator king of radioisotopes producers

The March 11, 2011 accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co., Inc.’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power generating plant released a huge amount of radiation into the atmosphere, which is measured in terms of becquerels. But nuclear power is used not merely to generate electricity. Scientists and engineers have made it possible to utilize radioisotopes in diversified areas, including radiotherapy for cancer treatment, medical research and materials development. Canada has long been a leading isotope producer. The symbol of its leading position in the field is the 520-mega-electron volt (MeV) Main Cyclotron at the Triumf national laboratory located in the University of British Columbia’s campus near Vancouver. Federal science minister Kirsty Duncan […]

Canada may draw increasing number of foreign students

When the Japanese government liberalized foreign currency exchange rules in 1964 that allowed students planning study abroad to obtain any amount of US dollars, for example, it appeared most students took it for granted that they would return home after graduation. Fast forward to 2016. Many international students, especially those from China and India, study and are increasingly granted permanent residence in Canada, according to The Economist (January 30, 2016). Since many foreign students in four Anglophone countries intend to get a job in a host country after completing higher education there, Canada and Australia are likely to attract more international students while the US and Britain “could lose out”, […]

Is it only the Japanese who are interested in eels?

Eel appears to have been considered a nourishing or medicinal food since ancient times, and the centuries-old custom of eating it at the height of summer survives in modern Japan. The Japanese may also assume that they are the only people who are interested in eating and studying the animal that is thought to have come into being about 100 million years ago probably in the waters near Borneo Island. Wrong. Aristotle (384-322 BC) mused that eels were “sexless creatures spontaneously emerging from the earth’s guts,” according to The New York Times (NYT) international weekly edition (December 27, 2015). We know better than the Greek philosopher/scientist that eels spend time […]

Once dubbed ‘black diamond,’ coal loses ground in major energy markets

Ontario Province intends to gradually phases out coal-fired power generation, the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan (FEPC) said on December 22, 2015. According to FEPC, as part of that policy, a bill was introduced to the provincial parliament on November 25, 2015, which calls for banning the restart of coal-consuming power plants that had been shut by the end of 2014. Coal used to be called “black diamond” decades ago in Miike on Kyushu Island, where Japanese are believed to have discovered it in 1469. Coal had turned some colliery owners into billionaires, while it also had been a prime mover that helped the nation to realize its […]

Bombardier plane arrives at Okinawa; Mitsubishi delays delivery start

Bombardier Commercial Aircraft (BCA), headquartered in Toronto, Canada, made two announcements on December 31, 2015. The first news release stated that BCA delivered to Ryukyu Air Commuter Co. (RAC) that day “the very first Q400 cargo-combi aircraft,” one of five ordered by the Naha-based carrier, which is the launch customer for the new variant of the Q400 series. This “modern, 21st-century turboprop” offers up to 4,082 kilograms of cargo capacity, up to 32 cubic meters cargo volume, while it can accommodate 50 passengers, according to BCA. The company said it has recorded firm orders for a total of 547 Q400 aircraft. The second press release on the New Year’s Eve […]

Canada moves ahead of Japan in finding nuclear fuel repository site

Selecting a site for a repository of “used” nuclear fuel, that is, highly radioactive nuclear waste generated after reprocessing “spent” fuel, is a formidable task for any government to grapple with. Even the US government has yet to resolve its repository site issue after a lost decade over a candidate site of Yucca Mountain, Nevada. However, the Finnish government became the world’s first to issue a license for such a project on November 12, 2015. The government granted a construction license to waste management specialist Posiva for a used nuclear fuel encapsulation plant and final disposal facility at Olkiluoto Island. Posiva has eclipsed Canadian efforts toward finding such a site, […]

University of Tsukuba launches specialist world ranking program

Ranking appears to be a booming enterprise or game. Fortune 500 is among those that are best known among businesspeople in many countries. This classic survey, of course, lists the most successful financial results of the world’s 500 top companies. You may wonder who the richest people are. Subscribe to Forbes, another American magazine which somehow finds those people out and publishes detailed data. In addition to those and other well-known surveys, a cosmetics company conducts a survey to show which prefecture in Japan produces women with the most beautiful skins. Contrary to the conventional wisdom that it is northern Akita prefecture, Pola says the winners are the women in […]

LNG shipments from British Columbia to Japan approaching

Idemitsu Kosan Co., Japan’s second-largest oil refiner, is likely to begin importing liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the country in 2018, an official of the government-run Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) said in an open seminar in Tokyo on November 19. Takashi Yamada, general manager of JOGMEC’s Vancouver office, said that there are about 20 LNG projects in Canada’s West Coast, adding that the country’s natural gas reserves amount to an estimated 600 trillion cubic feet. Idemitsu has a one-third stake in the Douglas Channel LNG Consortium. Other members are Calgary, Alberta-based AltaGas Ltd., EDF Trading Ltd. (a subsidiary of Electricite de France) and Belgium-based LNG shipper […]

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