Initiative by sdfgsg234


									                         February 2010   Vol.3   No.10

                        through images


          Cover Story

the Environment,
    the Economy
                                                  through images                                          contents

                                       C O V E R S T O RY                      TOPICS
                                                                4       20
                                                                              Prime Minister


                                                                        HATOYAMA VISITS INDIA
          Saving                                                                                       Prime Minister Yukio

the Environment,                                                                                       Hatoyama visited India
                                                                                                       from December 27 to
       Powering                                                                                        29 and held talks with

    the Economy                                                                                        Indian Prime Minister
                                                                                                       Manmohan Singh on
                                       Initiative                                                      December 29 in Delhi.

Demonstrating a strong commitment to realize a
low-carbon society, Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s
Cabinet has set a target of slashing greenhouse gas
emissions by 25% from 1990 levels by 2020. The
ambitious target is premised on the creation of a fair                  22
and effective international framework covering all                            Geoparks
major economies. The Cabinet has dubbed this bold
action plan the “Challenge 25” initiative. Japan is                     PROTECTING
looking to be a global superpower in the realm of                       JAPAN’S GEOLOGICAL HERITAGE
energy and green technologies.                                          Three areas in Japan—the Lake Toya/Mt. Usu region in
                                                                        Hokkaido, the Itoigawa area in Niigata Prefecture, and
                                                                                                          the       Shimabara
                                                                                                          Peninsula in Naga-
                                                                                                          saki Prefecture—
                                                                                                          were selected as
                                                                                                          Japan’s first interna-
                                                                                                          tionally recognized
                                                                                                          geological parks.

                                                                              Commemorative Events

                                                                        ANCIENT CAPITAL FETES
                                                                        1,300th ANNIVERSARY
                                                                        This year marks the 1,300th anniversary of the reloca-
                                                                        tion of an ancient capital to Heijo-kyo (today’s Nara). A
                                                                                                             series of events are
                                                                                                             to be held under a
ON THE COVER: Akita International University’s library is made                                               local government
from Akita sugi (cedar), a tree highly regarded for its beauty.                                              program to com-
The 4,055-sq.-meter library, in northern Japan’s Akita Prefec-                                               memorate         the
ture, features a parasol-shaped roof, which was made using
                                                                                                             1,300th anniver-
traditional building techniques, and showcases the stunning
grain that is characteristic of cedar trees.                                                                 sary of the capital
                                Photo: Akita International University                                        transfer.

002                   through images
                                                                      EDITED AND PUBLISHED BY THE CABINET OFFICE, GOVERNMENT OF JAPAN
                                                                   The views expressed in this magazine by interviewees or contributors do not necessarily represent the views of
                                                                the cabinet office or the government.
                                                              No article or any part thereof may be reproduced without the express permission of the Cabinet Office.
                                                           Copyright inquiries should be made through a form available at

                                      TOPICS                                      TOURISM
                                                26                    30
                     Icebreaker Shirase                                           Yo k o s o ! J a p a n

           BREAKING THE ICE ON                                     ARTFULLY REVITALIZING
   MAIDEN VOYAGE TO ANTARCTIC                                      REMOTE ISLAND
The Antarctic observation ship Shirase, a 12,500-ton               “Yokoso! Japan” Ambassador Soichiro Fukutake,
state-of-the-art icebreaker, successfully reached                  chairman and chief executive officer of Benesse
Showa Station, Japan’s Antarctic observation post,                 Holdings Inc., has used contemporary art to trans-
on January 10.                                                     form Naoshima, a remote island in the Seto Inland
                                                                   Sea, into one of Japan’s top tourist spots.

          Art Enc ouragement Award

                         SCULPTING TO
                   CAPTIVATE & CONVEY
Katsura Funakoshi’s eye-catching wood sculpture has                               NATURE
won fans at home and overseas, not least of them the                  32
Cultural Affairs Agency which recently recognized him                             Ise-Shima National Park
with its Art Encouragement Award.                                  COEXISTING WITH NATURE
                                                                   Located in central Japan, the Shima Peninsula
                                                                   extends deep into the Pacific and is known for its ria
                                                                   shoreline. Inland on the peninsula stands the com-
                                                                   plex of structures that is Ise Grand Shrine.

                                                              February 2010                Vol.3        No.10                                       through images

                                                          Cover Story

the Environment,
    the Economy

      The Tokai Challenger speeds along on its way to victory in the Global Green
      Challenge solar car race in Australia in October 2009. The Tokai University
      team's entry in the competition recorded a top speed of 95 kph to become
      a runaway winner among 31 vehicles from 13 countries, including the U.S.,
      Canada and the Netherlands. The race spanned a distance of some 3,000
      kilometers between Darwin in the north and Adelaide in the south.
                                                           Photo: Tokai University

                    On the Internet

004                          through images
Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama’s Cabinet has dem-
onstrated a strong commitment to realizing a low-
carbon society in a bid to curb global warming and
protect the planet’s environment. Toward this end, it
has set a target of slashing Japan’s greenhouse gas
emissions by 25% from 1990 levels by 2020. The
ambitious target is premised on the creation of a fair
and effective international framework covering all
major economies. The Hatoyama Cabinet has
dubbed Japan’s unprecedented and incredibly bold
action plan the “Challenge 25” initiative.
  Japan possesses some of the world’s most
advanced environmental technologies, the fruits of
past efforts to surmount serious environmental pollu-
tion problems that arose during its period of blister-
ing economic growth as well as efforts to overcome
the daunting challenges posed by two oil crises.
Japan is looking to be a global superpower in the
realm of energy and green technologies through the
pursuit of its “green innovation” initiative.
  Specifically, under a new economic growth strategy
adopted by the Hatoyama administration late last year,
Japan plans to create a market exceeding 50 trillion
yen (about $540 billion) for environment-related goods
and some 1.4 million new jobs in the environment
field by 2020. Japan is aiming to leverage private-
sector technologies to eliminate more than 1.3 billion
tons of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide.
  Japan’s private sector is striving for a low-carbon
society. Automakers are competing neck and neck in
developing the next generation of environmentally
friendly vehicles, while property developers will soon
be completing the construction of “eco-towns.”
From small-scale programs to large, industrial-scale
development initiatives, Japan’s private sector is
eager to tackle environmental problems, seeking to
set up a successful and sustainable “green business
model” that will fuel economic growth into the

    February 2010   Vol.3   No.10         through images
  Poised to
      Lead Eco-friendly

                                                      A recharging cable is about to be plugged into Mitsubishi
                                                      Motors’ i-MiEV electric vehicle at a recharging station. The
                                                      i-MiEV can be recharged using a household power outlet,
                                                      reaching full capacity in 14 hours on a 100V power source
                                                      or 7 hours on a 200V source. With a fast charge system at
                                                      an EV station, the vehicle can be recharged in around 30

Japanese carmakers are engaged in fierce com-      model and Fuji Heavy Industries’ Stella. These EVs
petition developing the next generation of         are listed as having a per-charge driving distance
automobiles emitting no CO2 such as electric       of 160 km and 80 km, respectively, which may
vehicles (EVs), and vehicles powered by fuel       sound short, but is sufficient for city driving.
batteries and hydrogen.                              Nissan Motor is to introduce its EV, the Leaf,
 Leading the race are EVs, already in commercial   in the second half of 2010 in Japan, Europe
mass production and making their debut on the      and the U.S. Meanwhile, Honda Motor is slated
road. They include Mitsubishi Motors’ i-MiEV       to begin selling an EV in the U.S. in the first

006           through images

                                the Environment,
                                    the Economy

                                                         In November 2009, the Japan Electric Vehicle Club, a
                                                         nongovernmental civic group of EV enthusiasts, successfully
                                                         extended the world record for the longest trip on one
                                                         change, traveling 555.6 kilometers from Tokyo to Osaka.
                                                         The group is awaiting official recognition of the achieve-
                                                         ment by Guinness World Records. The machine behind the
                                                         record was a Daihatsu subcompact converted to be
                                                         powered by 8,320 lithium-ion batteries from SANYO
                                                         Electric. The vehicle carried two passengers, the driver and
                                                         a mechanic, and used both public roads and expressways.

half of 2010, with Toyota Motor, the world’s         expected to generate a major increase in world
largest carmaker, following suit in 2012. The        EV demand by 2020—by which year Prime
world’s car markets will soon become a battle-       Minister Yukio Hatoyama has pledged to
field with competitors fighting to gain a bigger     reduce Japan’s greenhouse gas emissions 25%
slice of the EV pie. This can only help to spur a    from 1990 levels.
great leap in technology development, includ-
                                                                  On the Internet
ing shortened recharge times and improved
facilities for recharging, which in turn is

                                                    February 2010        Vol.3    No.10                       through images
      The central section of an experimental “eco-office” on the
      fifth floor of Kokuyo, a leading manufacturer of office equip-
      ment, in Tokyo’s Shinagawa district. Employees can sit around
      the verdant centerpiece, with their workspace illuminated by
      the natural light from the skylight overhead. In spring and fall,
      when the weather is pleasant, the windows are programmed
      to open and close automatically to facilitate ventilation.

                   On the Internet

008                        through images
  for an Eco-friendly
Companies are taking measures to reduce CO2              natural ventilation and lighting systems are
emissions in factories and in transport, but             adopted. A large skylight, which opens and
emissions stemming from office activities are            closes automatically to adjust the room tem-
one source that tends to be forgotten.                   perature, makes it possible to harness natural
  According to Ministry of Environment data,             light. It is effective and useful especially for the
the amount of CO2 emitted from offices has               workplace where human comings and goings
risen more than 40% since 1990. This rate of             are so busy.
increase exceeds even that for factories. The               Moreover sensors attached to the ceiling are
reason for this jump? Increased use of comput-           designed to detect human presence. When no
ers and other information technology equip-              human is detected for more than six minutes,
ment, and the pursuit of comfort, namely,                the lighting is automatically reduced to 200 lux
involving air conditioning, heating and lighting.        and the air conditioning ceases
  To tackle this problem, office equipment                  On clear days, one can head out to the garden
manufacturer Kokuyo has opened an “experi-               to do some work with the help of tables that are
mental eco-office” in Tokyo to achieve a work-           equipped with outlets to power a personal
ing environment that maintains comfort while             computer—a true example of “working green”
drastically slashing CO2 emissions. The experi-          requiring no air conditioning or lighting, helping
ment space is packed full of ideas and innova-           to develop consciousness for ecology.
tion that push the envelope in establishing an              The results of the eco-office experiment after
eco-friendly office environment.                         being conducted for a year were promising,
  For lighting, the project uses light-emitting          with CO2 emissions pared by a whopping
diodes (LEDs), which reduce electricity con-             43.6%, well in excess of the target.
sumption to a mere one-eighth to
one-fifth of what it would other-
wise be as part of its so-called             Employees that really want to commune with
                                             nature can slip out to the adjacent rooftop
intelligent illumination system. The         space, a model marriage of nature and
                                             business. Here employees sit at tables equipped
system allows lighting levels to be          with power outlets, enjoying the fresh air as
                                             they work. A covered area for escaping the sun
adjusted freely as work dictates—            and an area for socializing are also available.
brighter   lighting    levels   when
higher levels of concentration are
called for and dimmer levels for
more relaxing times.
  In addition to heat insulation,

                                                        February 2010    Vol.3   No.10         through images
  an Industry

Forests cover about 70% of the area of Japan.
This figure is an incredibly high ratio unparal-
leled among advanced countries. In general,
Japan is plagued by a dearth of natural
resources, but forests are one exception and a          A gymnasium of Hita High School in Hita City, Oita
                                                        Prefecture. Its huge roof is supported by some 300
precious resource which the country must use            poles of local cedar timber structured in an arch form.
                                                        The prefectur’s education board is promoting the use
well. As Japan is required to cut back on CO2           of timber for high school buildings and gym interiors to
emissions to help mitigate climate change,              spur local forestry.        Photo: Oita Godo Shimbun

forests take on added importance. For Japan to
reach its emission reduction target, much is
expected of forests and their ability to absorb
  However, as things stand now and if left as
they are, Japan’s forests will not absorb the
necessary amount of CO2. It is only healthy
forests that absorb CO2 and Japan’s forests are
not as robust as they might be or once were.
Over time, Japan’s forestry business has traced
a steady decline and forests have been ravaged
by a lack of attention. Held down by the con-
stant pressure of cheap imports, Japan’s self-
sufficiency rate, when it comes to timber,         taken the initiative in launching nationwide
remains at about 20%. These forests will have      campaigns promoting activities that encour-
to be revitalized by thinning, which the govern-   age the use of domestic lumber by, for
ment is actively promoting.                        example, holding woodworking classes and
  However, lumber left lying about in forests      promoting the use of domestic lumber for
after thinning would be a tremendous waste of      toys and furniture.
resources and would not constitute a means of       An area for which the agency has especially
revitalizing forests.                              high hopes is wooden buildings. In Japan, with
  Aware of this, the Forestry Agency has           its high humidity, buildings made of wood have

010              through images
been shown to be a good match for the envi-
ronment. A wood interior has the added ben-
efit of being highly relaxing. The government
policy of promoting domestic timber is fueling
moves to build houses, libraries and gymnasi-
ums with domestic lumber.

                                                            A machine is used to thin a man-made forest of cedar trees.
               On the Internet
                                                             Photo: Hiyoshicho Forest Owners’ Co-operative Association

                                                       February 2010   Vol.3   No.10                    through images
  A Greener                 T
                            Transporting foods can be a major strain on the
                            earth’s environment. As trucks and cargo

  Sandwich                  airplanes move foods from the place of produc-
                            tion to the place of consumption, much fuel is
                            burned, and massive amounts of CO2 are
  The Ultimate              belched into the atmosphere. To help quantify
  in Local Production/      and control such emissions, “food mileage” has

  Consumption               been introduced to digitally measure the envi-
                            ronmental burden of food transport. Food mile-
                            age is calculated by multiplying the amount of
                            food by the distance of transportation. A high
                            food mileage means that getting the food to


the Environment,
    the Economy
       through images
the ultimate consumer is exacting a heavy load             restaurant equipped with a rack to cultivate the
on the environment.                                        “Frillice” variety of lettuce for its sandwiches.
 The phrase “local production for local con-               The lettuce will be harvested in the restaurant
sumption” refers to food in season being                   for immediate preparation in what one might
produced and eaten locally, resulting in greatly           call point-of-sale (POS) production. The cultiva-
reduced mileage. If one were to truly push the             tion rack is a glass-paneled, three-shelf fixture.
envelope, the ultimate in “local production for            While LED lighting is used, moisture and water
local consumption” would be eating food right              quality are controlled automatically. With 16
where it is produced. It is exactly what is being          heads of lettuce cultivated on each shelf, each
planned by Subway Japan, which operates                    plant can supply enough lettuce for five sand-
about 180 sandwich restaurants in Japan.                   wiches. The lettuce can be harvested more than
 In 2010, the sandwich chain is to open a new              a dozen times every year.
                                                             However, the merit of the POS lettuce goes
                                                           beyond reducing food mileage. The company is
                                                           betting that customers will immediately under-
                                                           stand that the lettuce is safe and fresh when
                                                           they see the vegetable being cultivated in-shop
                                                           right in front of their very eyes. Fresh Lettuce
                                                           Frillice has a crisp texture and tastes good.
                                                           Moreover, the lettuce will incur no transport
                                                           costs and its supply will be stable, not hinging
                                                           on uncontrollable factors such as the vagaries
                                                           of the weather.

   An employee checks the status of lettuce being grown
   on shelves in the sandwich shop. Heightened concen-
   trations of CO2 are maintained inside the case to
   promote the growth of the lettuce that is high in
   vitamin and mineral content.

                                                              An employee of the Subway Japan sandwich franchise uses
                                                              fresh, shop-grown lettuce to prepare a sandwich for a

                                                          February 2010   Vol.3   No.10                through images
  Taking the Bicycle-Parking
  Problem Underground
With climate change in the news, bicycles have          A computer system automatically handles
recently been portrayed in a green light. Without     bicycles as they are received and delivered.
a doubt, they offer an ecological means of trans-     When a user inputs his or her data into the
port that does not rely on fossil fuels and emit      system using an IC card, the user’s bicycle is
no noxious exhaust fumes. This, combined with         checked in or out in a matter of approx.10
the health benefits of cycling, has driven more       seconds. The Eco-cycle was developed under the
people to hit the roads on two wheels in the last     concept of "Culture Aboveground, Function
few years. However, the flip side of this surge in    Underground". Thus the only visible part is a
cyclists has been a sharp increase in illegally       small booth where users deposit or pick up their
parked bicycles so much so that it has become a       bicycles on the ground.
social problem. Countless numbers of bicycles           Eco-cycle parking facilities have been installed
abandoned in front of railway stations and other      at ten locations around Japan, and are under
highly congested areas can be a major safety          construction at two other locations. Response
hazard for children and elderly people.               from local governments around Japan has been
  The ideal solution to the illegal parking prob-     strong, with many expressing interest. “In the
lem would be the construction of parking lots.        last few years, we have been receiving more and
However, securing such spaces is difficult in big     more inquiries from local governments which
cities where land prices are prohibitively high. To   consider the Eco-cycle an elegant ecological
eke the maximum parking space out of the              solution,” said one Giken Seisakusho official.
limited area available, underground bicycle parks
with multi-story parking mechanisms have been
developed. The “Eco-cycle” developed by Giken
Seisakusho Co.,Ltd. in Kochi City, Kochi Prefec-
ture, is one notable example.
                                                         Giken Seisakusho Co.
  The Eco-cycle is easy to construct. First, steel
sheet piles are installed in a circle of approx. 8
meters diameter and soil is removed down to
approx. 12 meters depth to create an under-
ground space. Then a mechanism is fitted inside
the cylindrical steel structure and automatically
holds bicycles so that they radiate out from the
center, thus optimizing the space. A single Eco-
cycle has 17 stories of this structure and is           A cut-away image of the underground parking facility.
                                                        Bicycles that are checked in are stored automatically, result-
capable of housing an amazing 204 bicycles in           ing in an incredibly efficient use of space.
one unit, offering extreme efficiency in land use.

014             through images
     An Eco-cycle underground parking facility as seen from
     above. This bird’s-eye view shows the rear tires of bicycles,
     which are stored in a an ultra-efficient manner fanning out
     from the center.

                  On the Internet

February 2010      Vol.3     No.10                 through images
                            Houses on the grounds of the Azabu-no-oka town—the
                            first instance of an entire community incorporating outdoor
                            LED lighting—are bathed in gentle light.


016   through images
                           Photo: TOYOTA Smile Life
  : Going Green for Good

As the sun sets on a small town, outdoor lights     eyesores that scar the scenery across Japan—
begin to flicker to life along streets, around      and offering much less cluttered and more
houses and at gates. What sets this town apart      scenic views of the town. Individual homes are
from anywhere else is the warm, soft light ema-     similarly equipped to be green, with an outlet
nating from these lights: this is an “eco-town”     to recharge an electric vehicle as well as a rain-
marking a global first in which the exterior        water storage tank. The houses are also
lighting has been entirely shifted to that using    designed to take advantage of natural lighting
light-emitting diodes (LEDs).                       and ventilation so as to minimize the need for
  Toyota Smile Life Inc. has developed “Azabu-      air conditioning.
no-oka,” an 8-hectare satellite suburb of Toyota      Clearly, the developer is in for a long haul,
City, Aichi Prefecture. Touting a slogan of “co-    with one official working on the project saying,
existence with the environment,” the company        “We want to develop a town where the value
designed the town in a way that left untouched      goes up for residents the longer they live here.”
the original landscape and vegetation as much
as possible. With the environment as a guiding
principle, deciduous trees were selected to line
the town’s roads to maximize shade in summer-
time and sunlight in winter.
  The LED exterior lights automatically switch
on as it gets dark. LED lamps consume a mere
10th of the power required by their incandes-
cent counterparts, yet lasting as an astonishing
10 times longer. With LED lighting adopted for
the new town from the outset, the annual
amount of CO2 discharged is reported to be as
much as 80% less than what would be emitted
under traditional outdoor lighting.
  Green is also the operative word in the town’s
two parks, featuring solar panels and wind
power    generation    systems   which   supply
between a half and a third of the power for the
                                                        Solar cells and wind-powered generators play key roles in
  Power lines for the town were taken under-            keeping the town’s parks lit.
ground, eliminating the need for power poles—

                                                   February 2010   Vol.3   No.10                   through images
  New Light,
  Old Treasures

The Nezu Museum in Tokyo, known for its large      them are extremely old. In the past, the Nezu
collection of East Asian art, has revamped its     Museum minimized lighting to reduce the
exhibition buildings, winning popularity from      attendant heat to prevent sensitive works on
art lovers anew. The museum has introduced         display from deteriorating.
state-of-the art lighting technologies and          Today, however, the museum has introduced
achieved an unprecedented level of success in      newly developed light-emitting diode (LED) and
emphasizing the profound beauty lurking            fiber-optic spotlight technologies for lighting
within its collection of antiquities.              inside its refurbished exhibition cases. LEDs
  Many antiquities are made of extremely deli-     generate next to little heat and their lighting
cate materials, such as urushi Japanese lacquer,   levels can be adjusted according to the specific
washi Japanese paper, silk fibers and sumi solid   works on display. These innovations in lighting
ink. Such works are often fragile as many of       technology have also sharply improved the
018             through images

                                                                   Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, professor at
                                                                 the University of Tokyo, designed the museum’s
                                                                 new exhibition buildings. Kuma is known for
                                                                 advocating a new approach to architecture,
                                                                 one that helps to pioneer new relationships
                                                                 between nature, technology and humans. The
                                                                 Nezu Museum’s renovated exhibition hall
                                                                 boasts 60% more exhibition space than its
   To determine the light that is most effective for each        predecessor, situated in a tranquil environment
   object on display, LED lighting tests are held repeatedly.
   For hanging scrolls and Japanese paintings, compara-
                                                                 featuring a Japanese garden complete with a
   tively softer light is used, and the use of LED lighting      pond and a spectacular tea-ceremony house.
   has eliminated any fear of lighting damaging the works
   of art.

                                                                              On the Internet


natural appearance and color tones of art on
display for museum visitors.
  The museum’s 80,000 LED lamps can emit a
wide variety of light types, ranging from a
white light similar to sunlight to a gentle, warm
light akin to that of rosoku Japanese candle-
light. In addition, LED lamps can be used 10
times longer than conventional lighting and
                                                                     Step into the museum compounds through a narrow gate
consume less electricity. The Nezu Museum has                        from the street busy with motor traffic and you will find
also installed a solar power generation facility                     yourself in a completely new atmosphere. The passage
                                                                     sandwiched between a bamboo hedge and a board fence
to cover approximately 10% of its power                              leads you to a world of East Asian art transcending history.

needs, doing its part to be ecological.

                                                                February 2010      Vol.3       No.10              through images
TOPICS        Prime Minister

 Visits India
Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama visited India                         range of issues, such as bilateral security coop-
from December 27 to 29 in 2009 and held                             eration, economy and economic cooperation
talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan                           and disarmament and non-proliferation. After
Singh on December 29 in Delhi.                                      the talks, the Japanese and Indian leaders
  In the talks, the two leaders discussed a wide                    signed a joint statement titled “New Stage of
                                                                                       Japan-India Strategic and
                                                                                       Global Partnership.”
                                                                                         According to the joint
                                                                                       statement, Japan and India
                                                                                       agreed to deepen discussions
                                                                                       through       subcabinet-level
                                                                                       talks for stronger bilateral
                                                                                       security cooperation and to
                                                                                       accelerate negotiations for
                                                                                       conclusion of a bilateral eco-
                                                                                       nomic partnership agree-
                                                                                       ment (EPA) at an early date.
                                                                                          ey also committed to the
                                                                                       early realization of the entire
                                                                                       western corridor of the
                                                                                       Dedicated Freight Corridor
                                                                                       (DFC) Project.
                                                                                         In a joint news confer-
                                                                                       ence,      Prime      Minister
                                                                                       Hatoyama said he was
                                                                                       pleased the two nations
                                                                                       shared the view that the
                                                                                       strategic and global partner-
                                Prime Minister Hatoyama and Indian Prime               ship between Japan and
                                Minister Manmohan Singh wave as they head
                                for their talks in Delhi on Dec.29.
                                                                                       India had reached a new
                                                                                       stage, and that relations
                                                                                       between the two countries
020            through images
                                                                  Prime Minister Hatoyama and Indian Prime Minister
                                                                  Manmohan Singh hold Joint press conference after the
                                                                  Japan-India Summit.

were being strengthened on many levels.                      from businessmen who represent the business
  Ahead of the summit talks, Prime Minister                  community of India, including Mr. Mukesh
Hatoyama visited Munbai, India’s largest city                Dhirubhai Ambani, CMD, Reliance Indus-
on December 27, he signed a book of condo-                   tries Ltd., and Mr. Ratan Tata, Chairman of
lences and laid flowers in the memory of the                  the Tata Sons.
victims of the terrorist attacks that took place
in Mumbai in November 2008. On Decem-                                     On the Internet

ber 28, Prime Minister received courtesy calls     

     Prime Minister Hatoyama and Prime Minister Singh chat
     before their summit meeting in Delhi on Dec.29.

                                                             February 2010       Vol.3     No.10                           through images
SCIENCE           Geoparks

Protecting Japan’s Geological Heritage
Last August, three areas in Japan—the Lake           of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural
Toya/Mt. Usu region in Hokkaido, the Itoigawa        Organization (UNESCO). So far, 63 areas in 19
area in Niigata Prefecture, and the Shimabara        countries have been designated as geoparks.
Peninsula    of       Nagasaki     Prefecture—were    The Hokkaido geopark area is home to Lake
selected as “geoparks.” Geoparks, short for          Toya, a stunning caldera lake formed by a mas-
geological parks, are natural parks officially       sive volcanic eruption that occurred some
recognized as having rare topographical, geo-        100,000 years ago, the Showa Shinzan lava
logical or volcanic attributes.                      dome, which was created between 1944 and
  These marked the first geopark designations        1945, and Mt. Usu, which erupted in 2000. In
anywhere in Japan, and the three sites certainly     July 2008, Japan hosted the G-8 Hokkaido
look poised to become new tourist destinations       Toyako Summit by the side of Lake Toya.
for those who are interested in our planet and        The Itoigawa area boasts the so-called
its natural wonders.                                 Itoigawa-Shizuoka Tectonic Line, a geographical
  World geoparks are evaluated and approved          demarcation and fault line that bisects the
by the Paris-based Global Geoparks Network,          Japanese archipelago into east and west, as
which was established in 2004 with the support       well as a rift known as "Fossa Magna," a fault

022               through images
                                                                                    graphical treasures they possess while breath-
  Mt. Unzen’s Fugendake lava dome rising up from the
  middle of the Shimabara Peninsula. Known as Heisei                                ing new life into the areas themselves.
  Shinzan, this 1483-meter lava dome arose in the early
  1990s as part of major eruptions. Along the mountain-
                                                                                       Other geographical gems in Japan, such as
  side, vestiges of the pyroclastic flows and rock flows                            the Aso area of Kumamoto Prefecture and the
  are still clearly visible today. In the dry riverbed to the
  left of the mountain, a number of dams stretch                                    San’in Coast of Hyogo Prefecture, are also
  upstream like a ladder, designed to hold at bay the
  mudflows that come with heavy rains.                                              aiming to be designated as geoparks in the
                                                                                    not-so-distant future.
                 On the Internet

                                                                                    Mt. Usu looms in the foreground flanked by Lake Toya. An active
                                                                                    volcano, Mt. Usu has erupted four times in the last century. One
                                                                                    advantage of living near a volcano can be hot springs, which exist
                                                                                    along the southern side of Lake Toya, a caldera lake.
                                                                                    Photo: The Joint Committee for the Promotion of Community
                                                                                    Development with the Lake Toya Area Eco Museum

                                                                                                  On the Internet


zone one can view in the central area of the
Honshu main island.
 The Shimabara Peninsula is the site of Mt.
Unzen’s Fugendake lava dome, known as Heisei
Shinzan, which has been designated as a
national monument. Even today the peninsula
retains visceral reminders of the mixed blessings
of living near a volcano, and of the volcanic
activity in 1991 that ravaged the area and
burned to the ground an elementary school
                                                                                    The Itoigawa area is the western edge of the Fossa Magna fault
and other structures with pyroclastic flows, or                                     zone. The 1188-meter Mt. Myojo here is reflected on the surface
                                                                                    of Lake Takanami, which formed as a result of a landslide. The
fast-moving currents of hot gas and rock.                                           craggy cliffs of Mt. Myojo, renowned among rock climbing enthu-
                                                                                    siasts, have been designated a national monument.
 People in each of the newly selected geopa-                                        Photo: Geopark Promotion Office, Planning & Finance Division,
rks are throwing their energies into fostering                                      Itoigawa City

volunteer guides and putting up signposts with                                                    On the Internet

the goal of spreading the word about the geo-                             

                                                                                   February 2010        Vol.3     No.10                            through images
TOP ICS            Commemorative Events

Ancient Capital Fetes
1,300th Anniversary
Japan’s capital was moved to Heijo-kyo, or the                     kicked off January 1 are to be held under a
current city of Nara (today’s capital of Nara                      program called the Commemorative Events of
Prefecture), in the year 710 from Fujiwara-kyo                     the 1,300th Anniversary of Nara Heijo-kyo
(what is currently Kashihara City in the same                      Capital.
prefecture). As such, this year marks the                            In addition to this, a variety of commemora-
1,300th anniversary of the relocation of the                       tive events will be held in Nara Prefecture
ancient capital to Nara. A series of events that                   during 2010. Event organizers expect a total of

  A number of people clad in garb common during the
  8th-century Nara era pose in front of the Suzakumon main
  gate prior to festivities to celebrate the 1,300th anniversary
  of the Japanese capital being relocated to Heijo-kyo,
  current-day Nara. In the center of the front row is the
  official mascot of the anniversary, Sentokun, sporting
  antlers and a boyish image.

024                 through images
12 to 13 million tourists to visit the prefecture
during the year.
  Heijo-kyo, which was modeled after Changan,
the capital of China under the Tang Dynasty, was
Japan’s first full-fledged capital. It prospered over
a period of 74 years until Japan’s capital was
moved to Nagaoka-kyo in modern-day Kyoto
Prefecture in the late eighth century. At the
center of the Heijo-kyo capital was the Heijo
Palace, where the emperor resided and
performed political and ceremonial duties.
  The main site for these commemorative
events is the remains of Heijo Palace, where the
                      Daigokuden (Imperial Audi-
                      ence Hall) is being rebuilt
                      for opening to the public.
                      Among       commemorative
                      events to be held there
                      between April 24 and
                      November        7     are    a
                      ceremony      marking       the
                      completion of the audi-
                      ence hall, the display of an
                      ancient ship—built to its          On January 1, a ceremony was held at Nara’s ancient Muro-ji
                                                         Temple to commemorate the relocation of the capital to Nara
                      original scale—that carried        1,300 years ago. During the event, the temple’s five-story pagoda
                      kentoshi            (Japanese      was brilliantly illuminated, attracting a large crowd of worshippers.

                      missions to China) during
                      the Tang Dynasty, and                 Event organizers plan to host an international
                      demonstration of kemari            conference to further enhance mutual trust
                      football as it was played in       among local governments in the East Asian
                      ancient    Japan.    Suzaku-       region as part of efforts to make the anniver-
                      mon, which was the main            sary an occasion that looks back upon history
                      gate to Heijo Palace, is also      while at the same time looking ahead to the
                      to be rebuilt. Visitors will       future.
                      be able to see palace
                      guards clad in traditional                      On the Internet

                      attire manning the gate. 

                                                        February 2010        Vol.3     No.10               through images
The Antarctic observation ship Shirase, a          line of Antarctic observation ships carrying the
12,500-ton state-of-the-art icebreaker, success-   same name, this was her maiden voyage. Fitted
fully reached Showa Station, Japan’s Antarctic     with an array of advanced equipment, includ-
observation post, on January 10, 2010. At the      ing a feature that allows it to discharge seawa-
tail end of the voyage two months after leaving    ter from the bow onto the ice-covered sea to
Japan, the Shirase had to struggle to forge its    facilitate icebreaking, the ship has world-class
way through thick ice and snow cover in the        icebreaking capabilities allowing it to cruise at
Antarctic Ocean that impeded the ship’s land-      three knots while plowing through 1.5-meter-
ing. After unloading fuel, food and equipment      thick ice.
for the 51st observation party, the Shirase will     However, the Antarctic Ocean was covered
return home with members of the group that it      with ice reaching 3 meters in places this year. It
is replacing.                                      made the going slow as the Shirase had to
  For the Shirase, the fourth generation in a      forge the route to Showa Station by repeating

TOP ICS         Icebreaker Shirase

Maiden Voyage
to Antarctic Station

026              through images
a practice that is called ramming—moving            on global climate change, the observation party
backward, then surging forward with added           will set up an astronomical observatory—com-
speed to slam into the ice cover and break          plete with a radio telescope with a dish 10
open a path through the ice. The ship had to        meters in diameter—at Dome Fuji, an inland
do this more than 2,000 times.                      base at an altitude of 3,810 meters. The party
 Members of the 51st observation party, who         aims to collect more meteorites than any
boarded the Shirase in Fremantle, Australia,        foreign party. They are also mulling a plan to
were flown in advance to Showa Station by           broadcast              lessons           for   elementary       school
helicopter from about 70 kilometers off the         children back in Japan from the Antarctic. Of
coast, waiting on site for the Shirase to unload    the 62-member observation party, 28 members
gear necessary for full-scale observation work.     will stay at Showa Station through the winter
 In addition to continuing to collect Antarctic     and continue with their research activities until
data to add to the growing library of research      March 2011.

                                                   The Shirase icebreaker approaches the Showa Station Antarctic
                                                   observation base. Its progress impeded by unusually thick ice, the
                                                   ship had to repeatedly ram the ice to arrive at the station.
                                                                                                              Photo: Pool

                                                                  On the Internet


                                                   February 2010         Vol.3       No.10               through images
PEOPLE           Art Encouragement Award

Sculpting to
Captivate and Convey
"I aspire to create art which is not intrusive, but               figurative sculptures.
that is enticing and invites the viewer to take it                  Of his works, usually human figures depicted
in. It is like a comic storyteller relating a story,              from the waist up, he says: "At a glance, it
speaking quietly, almost in a whisper, as he                      looks as if the subject is gazing into the
wins over the crowd, which sinks into silence                     distance. This is the same as the way in which
riveted by his talk."                                             you really look inside yourself—something that
  This is the path that wood sculptor Katsura                     is difficult for other people to understand. The
Funakoshi wishes to tread. Funakoshi—recipi-                      reason why I don’t make my art too realistic
ent of the Cultural Affairs Agency's Art Encour-                  could be that, like Noh theater, I unconsciously
agement Award given                                                                            take a subtle approach,
by the minister of educa-                                                                      expressing myself in a
tion, culture and science                                                                      Japanese way."
—knew at a young age                                                                             He continues: "I am
that he wanted to be a                                                                         not afraid of making
sculptor.                                                                                      mistakes and move my
  By the time he was in                                                                        chisel without hesita-
elementary school he                                                                           tion,     pursuing    the
had made up his mind.                                                                          image I am after at a
He liked art class and                                                                         rapid pace. When I
was influenced by his                                                                          work in this way, at the
father, who was also a                                                                         end I am able to create
sculptor. Even so, he did         Profile: Katsura Funakoshi                                   a sculpture that is fully
                                  Born in Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture in 1951, Funakoshi
not    begin      studying        studied at the postgraduate course of Tokyo National         satisfying."
                                  University of Fine Arts and Music, M.A from 1975 77. He
sketching until he was in         represented Japan in the 1988 Venice Biennale. In 2008, he     His recent work is
high   school.      In      the   was given the Mainichi Art Award, and the Cultural Affairs   distinct, with some of
                                  Agency’s Art Encouragement Award from the minister of
beginning, he was only            education, culture and science.                              his     output   featuring
interested in creating                                                                         long-necked torsos or
sculptures of things that he saw in the real                      depicting half-human and half-animal creations.
world. However, his style was to change                             "I guess that you could say my works portray
tremendously in the future.                                       the many aspects of what it means to be a
  His medium of choice is camphor wood—                           human being—they are the human heart and
which Funakoshi says he likes because it is not                   mind expressed in the figures I sculpt," con-
too hard or too soft—from which he creates                        cludes Funakoshi.

028              through images
                Katsura Funakoshi’s work “The Sphinx as a Watch-
                 tower.” This 2008 work is one of his hermaphroditic
                   sphinx series. The smaller head and two fists
                    raised toward the sky are an image based upon
                      Funakoshi himself, who was inspired to create
                        this work by the mysterious countenances of
                          the wooden sculptures of ancient Egypt
                            which he says seem to speak to himself
                             across time.  Photo: Nishimura Gallery

                                               On the Internet


February 2010     Vol.3   No.10                          through images
Nearly 3,000 islets dot the Seto Inland Sea, a     The man behind the island’s remarkable trans-
scenic body of water that separates Honshu,       formation from a depopulated and remote
Shikoku and Kyushu—three of Japan’s four          island accessible only by ferry to one of Japan’s
main islands. One of these islets is Naoshima,    top tourist spots and a hotbed for contempo-
which falls under the jurisdiction of Kagawa      rary art is Soichiro Fukutake, president of Ben-
Prefecture, on northern Shikoku. Home to          esse Art Site Naoshima.
abundant nature, Naoshima has blossomed into       “I wanted to create a paradise where nature
a center of contemporary art and continues to     and art exist together, a sanctuary divorced
attract tourists from both at home and abroad.    from the hustle and bustle of modern society

TOURISM          Yokoso! Japan

Revitalizing Remote Island
with Contemporary Art
                                                 Yokoso! Japan Ambassador

                                                 Soichiro Fukutake

030            through images
with its stress, competition and flood of infor-                 unused traditional folk dwellings into works of
mation,” says Fukutake.                                          art so that the island’s coastline and streets
 His ties with Naoshima deepened after his                       become host to a veritable village of art.
father died in 1986 and Fukutake inherited his                   Approximately 400,000 tourists, 20% of them
father’s project: a plan to build a campsite for                 foreigners, flock to Naoshima annually to enjoy
children on Naoshima. Over nearly the next two                   the unique works to be found there.
decades, he engineered a transformation of                          Fukutake’s primary title is chairman and chief
Naoshima, which flourished into a unique com-                    executive officer of Benesse Holdings Inc.,
munity where nature, local culture, and con-                     which operates a vast range of businesses that
temporary art and architecture coexist.                          include education, language and nursing care
 Prominent Japanese architect Tadao Ando                         services. However, he also serves as general
designed the Benesse House contemporary art                      producer of the Setouchi International Art Festi-
museum and Chichu Art Museum, the former                         val 2010, which will kick off on July 19 for a
complete       with      accommodation             facilities.   105-day run on Naoshima and six other islands
Another draw on Naoshima is the Art House                        in the Seto Inland Sea.
Project, which has allowed artists to renovate                      Even with Naoshima’s incredible success
                                                                 achieved, Fukutake continues to harbor big
                                                                 dreams, saying: “I would like to make Naoshima
                                                                 a place that can put forth a new set of values
  Soichiro Fukutake standing in front of Benesse House           for the world.”
  Park. The facility with bare concrete walls, designed by
  renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando, features
  accommodations for visitors. Even the pond in front is
                                                                              On the Internet
  adorned with metallic works of contemporary art.

                                                                 Profile of Soichiro Fukutake

                                                                                                 Born in Okayama Prefecture in
                                                                                                 1945, Fukutake graduated from
                                                                                                 Waseda University’s school of
                                                                                                 science and engineering and
                                                                                                 joined Fukutake Shoten publish-
                                                                                                 ing house, the predecessor of
                                                                                                 Benesse Holdings Inc. He
                                                                                                 assumed the presidency of
                                                                                                 Fukutake Shoten upon his
                                                                                                 father’s death. He renamed the
                                                                                                 company Benesse Corp. in 1995
                                                                                                 and expanded its scope of
                                                                                                 businesses,     with   Benesse
                                                                                                 shifting to a holding company
                                                                                                 structure in 2009. Fukutake
                                                                 launched contemporary art-driven regional development activities
                                                                 on Naoshima Island in 1988. He was named a “Yokoso! Japan”
                                                                 ambassador in 2009.

                                                                                                  The Japan Tourism Agency appoints as
                                                                                                  goodwill ambassadors people actively
                                                                                                  working to boost awareness of the allure
                                                                                                  of Japan among people overseas.

                                                                 February 2010        Vol.3      No.10                  through images
NATURE        Ise-Shima National Park

      志   伊
      摩   勢              P e op l e C oe x i s t w i t h N at ur e
                         at I se - Sh i m a N at i on a l Pa r k

032           through images
                                                                Located in central Japan, the Shima Peninsula
                                                                extends deep into the Pacific and is known for its
                                                                typical ria shoreline. e constant battle between
                                                                          the earth and the sea over tens of thou-
                                                                            sands of years has resulted in the
                                                                         numerous small islets and the peninsula’s
                                                                  complex and stunningly beautiful coastline. e
                                                                abundant fruits of the Shima Peninsula and its
                                                                surrounding waters support the residents here on
                                                                the eastern tip of Mie Prefecture.
                                                                                                 Photos: Ise-Shima National Park Association

Ago Bay features an intricate ria shoreline. Floats for cultivation of
pearls and oysters sway gently in geometric patterns among islets
dotting the sea. This scene was photographed by Takamasa Matsu-
moto as he flew on a paraglider.

                                                                         February 2010   Vol.3   No.10                   through images
      志      伊               NATURE   Ise-Shima National Park

      摩      勢              P e op l e C oe x i s t w i t h N at ur e
                            at I se - Sh i m a N at i on a l Pa r k

Inland on the peninsula stands the complex          centuries old, tower overhead. A solemn
of structures that is Ise Grand Shrine which        calmness prevails over the shrine grounds,
has from the ancient times been perched             which are completely clean.
atop the hierarchy of the country’s many              With time, Mother Nature in the form of
Shinto shrines.        e Isuzu River flows           waves has sculpted this majestic area as the
through Ise Grand Shrine and separates the          powerful waters of the Pacific massaged the
shrine’s sacred areas from the real world.          shoreline.      e natural phenomenon of
Visitors reach the sacred and divine place          erosion worked its magic, producing sharp
after crossing the Uji Bridge over the Isuzu        creeks, bays, cliffs and caves along the shore-
River. A line of gigantic cedar trees, clearly      line. Ago Bay, which reaches deep inland

034              through images
                                                                     “Meoto-iwa” (husband-and-wife rocks) loom against the sky at
                                                                     sunset in Futami-ga-ura, Ise City.

                                                                     The inner sanctuary of Ise Grand Shrine, where its guardian deity is
                                                                     said to reside, is rebuilt once in every 20 years.

   Ago Bay is renowned for its majestic, picturesque sunset glow.

into the peninsula, is known as the birth-                           man merging beautifully. Along the bay,
place of pearl cultivation as this is the site                       female divers can be seen collecting abalone.
where a Japanese inventor first successfully                               e Shima Peninsula coastline is distin-
cultivated man-made pearls.                                          guished by its tidal patterns in which seawater
  Another spot—Matoya Bay—is known for                               and freshwater are mixed depending on the
cultivation of the large Matoya oyster. Floats                       time of the day. is also makes for a visual
used in the cultivation of nature’s bounty                           treat as lumps of plants that can withstand the
float gently on the surface of the bay, making                        saline environment, such as hibiscus hamabo
geometrical patterns and representing a                              and false bindweed, produce flowers en masse
peaceful mixture of nature and the work of                           on the shores in early summer.

                                                                    February 2010   Vol.3   No.10                     through images
                                                                 Photo: AFLO

                                             through images
                                              February 2010          Vol.3         No.10

                                                          On the Internet



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