NASA and SpaceX set November 14 target date for first operational Crew Dragon launch

The first mission to officially carry astronauts to the International Space Station for a standard crew rotation is now tentatively set for November 14. NASA provided an updated date for the mission this week, after it shifted from an original planned timeframe of sometime in October. This is the first time that Crew Dragon, SpaceX’s human-rated capsule, will be flown in for an operational ‘shift-change’ mission at the ISS, after its historic Demo-2 mission earlier this year officially concluded its testing phase and certified it for NASA use.

This launch will carry three NASA astronauts, including Shannon Walker, Victor Glover and Mike Hopkins, as well as JAXA astronaut Soichi Noguchi of Japan to the ISS, where they’ll join the crew and carry out regular station operations, including upkeep and upgrades, as well as conducting experiments in partnership with researchers on Earth.

They’ll join the existing ISS crew, including Russian cosmonauts Sergey Ryzhikov and Sergey Kud-Sverchkov and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins. Once they arrive, the full crew size will be seven astronauts, which is up from the usual six, but this will help ensure that more time is spent on research and experimentation vs. the regular duties that the crew takes on just to ensure continued smooth operation of the station.

Crew-1 is set to launch aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, and is targeting a 7:49 PM EST liftoff. That’s subject to change, of course, but for now, mark your calendars.

#aerospace, #astronaut, #astronauts, #falcon, #international-space-station, #japan, #mike-hopkins, #space, #spaceflight, #spacex, #tc

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The Freewrite Traveler is an outstanding, but expensive, dedicated portable writing laptop

As a hardware startup, Astrohaus stands apart because of its unique offerings focused specifically on writers and writing. Its debut product, the Freewrite, looked like an old-school travel typewriter with an e-ink screen. Now, it’s back with a new device it’s been working on for the past couple of years: The Freewrite Traveler. This more portable e-ink typewriter has a clamshell design and isn’t much larger than a Nintendo Switch, making it a flexible, go-anwyhere writing companion.

The basics

Astrohaus began teasing the Traveler a few years ago, before eventually launching an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign in November 2018 to get it made. The crowdfunding was very successful, raising over $600,000 on the platform before the campaign ended, and then another $200,000+ in pre-orders after that. Like many hardware efforts, it encountered a few delays relative to its original delivery timeline, but now the Freewrite Traveler is shipping out to pre-order customers.

Image Credits: Darrell Etherington

In terms of specs, it has up to four weeks of battery life with regular usage, and weighs under two pounds, with a folding design that’s roughly half the surface area of most laptops. The screen on the top half is an e-ink display, and there’s a sub-screen for providing info like network status. The bottom half houses the keyboard, which boasts over 2mm of travel for a great keypress feel.

The case is plastic, as are most of the components, and the exterior is a glossy black. The Traveler connects via wifi, like the original Freewrite, and allows you to register an account to sync to up to three separate folders of documents. When out of wifi range, your work is stored locally, and it can sync to the cloud service of your choice via Freewrite’s integrations whenever you’re connected.

Design and features

The Traveler’s design is all about portability and convenience, while retaining the core usability features that make the original Freewrite such an ideal device for focused writing. The clamshell design is intentionally large enough to fit that full-sized keyboard comfortably, but keeps the screen small like with the original, which makes it more portable and ensures that distractions are kept to a minimum – aided by the fact that all you can do on it is type text, since there are no apps, browser or other functions.

Astrohaus has stayed very close to their original vision for the Traveler, with some minor tweaks including the hinge design. The end result is a light and durable-feeling portable digital typewriter, with a keyboard that feels excellent to type on – better than any laptop in my experience. The keyboard is really the star of the show here, since this is a purpose-built device created for typing. The travel feels ample, especially for a notebook-style device, and the raised, rounded keycap wells make it easy to touch type comfortably all day if you want.

Image Credits: Darrell Etherington

The display, while small, provides excellent legibility and contrast, though it’s worth noting that you’ll have to supply your own light source, because as with the original Freewrite, there’s no backlight or frontlight built in, and e-ink doesn’t provide its own light like LED.

E-ink is incredibly power efficient, however, which is why you’ll get so much useful life out of the Traveler. In my testing, it’s been operating on its original charge for nearly two weeks now, which is in line with the Astrohaus estimates.

The Traveler’s case features a piano black glossy exterior, which looks great, but quickly picks up fingerprints. And existing Freewrite users might notice that the display has a slightly glossy sheen as well, where the original was fully matte. That’s because of a thin piece of optically transparent plastic that goes across the entire width of the clamshell to protect the e-ink display against the keyboard, according to Astrohaus. To me, it hasn’t been an issue in terms of usability or quality, just something to note in terms of differences.

Image Credits: Darrell Etherington

Astrohaus has created a design that stands out, regardless of what you think of the piano black finish. The contrast of the black with the white interior gives it a unique, quirky and attractive design that helps ensure you’ll never confuse the Traveler with any other gadget. And the materials keep it lightweight and durable for easily taking it with you anywhere you might want to go.

The Traveler’s hinge allows it it to open up to roughly 135 degrees, which is a good position for laptop typing. It can also be positioned at any angle less than that for when you have it elevated at a table or desk.

Bottom line

The Freewrite Traveler is a unique device, with a special appeal for people who are hyper-focused on a writing tool that offers all the benefits of cloud-connectivity with none of the downsides of a multipurpose tool like a laptop or computer. It can sync to Dropbox, Evernote or Google Drive so that you can easily create a cross-device workflow for finishing up manuscripts and drafts, but on its own, the Traveler will ensure you remain focused on the task at hand – and enjoy yourself while doing so.

A portable, digital writing device like this one isn’t unique in the world – many distraction-free writing enthusiasts use the Pomera line of products from Japan for this purpose. But Astrohaus is unique in providing hardware tailor-made for North American and European markets, and they’ve done an amazing job at delivering on the potential of this device even in a field of relatively few competitors.

The Traveler is fairly expensive at $599, but there’s truly nothing else like it, if what you want is a laser-focused writing device that combines portability with great ergonomics, long-lasting battery and cloud storage convenience.

#articles, #astrohaus, #computing, #dropbox, #e-ink, #e-book, #evernote, #freewrite, #gadgets, #google, #hardware, #hardware-startup, #indiegogo, #industrial-design, #japan, #laptop, #laser, #microsoft-surface, #nintendo, #reviews, #tc, #typewriter, #writing

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Japan’s New Leader Sets Ambitious Goal of Carbon Neutrality by 2050

The announcement, coming weeks after a similar pledge by China, will require a major overhaul of the infrastructure in Japan, which remains heavily dependent on fossil fuels.

#carbon-dioxide, #coal, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #japan, #nuclear-energy, #suga-yoshihide

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Japan’s New Leader Sets Goal of Being Carbon Neutral by 2050

The announcement, coming weeks after a similar pledge by China, will require a major overhaul of the infrastructure in Japan, which remains heavily dependent on fossil fuels.

#carbon-dioxide, #coal, #global-warming, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #japan, #nuclear-energy, #suga-yoshihide

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What Pandemic? Japanese Film Draws a Record Flood of Moviegoers

The huge haul for “Demon Slayer” showed how audiences can quickly return in countries where they feel safe to head to theaters.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #japan, #movies, #quarantine-life-and-culture

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After a 7-Month Wait, This Tourist Got Machu Picchu All to Himself

Jesse Katayama, a Japanese tourist, didn’t let Peru’s pandemic lockdown keep him from completing the journey of a lifetime.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #historic-buildings-and-sites, #japan, #machu-picchu-peru, #peru, #travel-and-vacations

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When the U.S. and China Fight, It Is the Environment That Suffers

The Trump administration’s moves to decouple the two economies means less leverage over Beijing’s green policies.

#air-pollution, #carbon-dioxide, #chengdu-china, #coal, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #economic-conditions-and-trends, #environment, #gansu-province-china, #general-assembly-un, #global-warming, #green-climate-fund, #greenhouse-gas-emissions, #hazardous-and-toxic-substances, #hong-kong, #india, #international-trade-and-world-market, #japan, #liu-he-1952, #obama-barack, #outsourcing, #pacific-ocean, #paris-agreement, #pew-research-center, #pollution, #steel-and-iron, #united-states, #united-states-economy, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government

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A Famed Horror Director Mines Japan’s Real-Life Atrocities

Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s latest movie, which recently won him the award for best director at the Venice Film Festival, is a thriller animated by the ghosts of Japan’s ghastly wartime experiments.

#biological-and-chemical-warfare, #china, #culture-arts, #defense-and-military-forces, #japan, #kurosawa-kiyoshi, #movies, #unit-731-japanese-imperial-army, #venice-international-film-festival, #world-war-ii-1939-45

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Pompeo’s Message in Japan: Countering China Is Worth Meeting Face to Face

The American diplomat’s willingness to meet with allies in Asia, despite the crisis embroiling the White House, speaks to fears of China’s rise.

#australia, #china, #india, #jaishankar-subrahmanyam, #japan, #motegi-toshimitsu, #pompeo-mike, #suga-yoshihide, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government, #white-house-coronavirus-outbreak-2020

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Distrust of China Jumps to New Highs in Democratic Nations

The sharpest rise in negative views was in Australia, while unfavorable opinions jumped in the United States and Europe, a Pew survey found.

#australia, #china, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #europe, #international-relations, #japan, #pew-research-center, #politics-and-government, #polls-and-public-opinion, #united-states, #united-states-international-relations, #xi-jinping

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Tokyo-based virtual reality game developer Thirdverse gets $8.5 million Series A

Thirdverse, the virtual reality game developer behind “Swords of Gargantua,” has raised $8.5 million in Series A funding. The round was led by JAFCO, with participation from Presence Capital, Sisu Ventures, Incubate Fund and KDDI.

Based in Tokyo, Thirdverse was started four years ago as Yomuneco, but relaunched as Thirdverse in June to align with its corporate mission of creating a “Third Place inside the Metaverse,” where “each person has choices in his or her own hands and can live whatever life he or she wants to.” The company is currently focused on multiplayer virtual reality games, but its ultimate goal is to combine virtual reality with blockchain technology to create “VR worlds” where people can create online communities.

The concept has taken on a new relevancy, as COVID-19 related stay-at-home orders prompted organizations to bring gatherings, including conferences, concerts and even their offices, online.

Users have also spent more time playing online games during the pandemic, with titles that have a social element, like “Animal Crossing: New Horizons,” proving especially popular.

Thirdverse is currently preparing to release other virtual reality games, including “Frostpoint VR: Proving Grounds,” a multi-player shooter game that will be available later this year for Oculus Rift, HTC Vive VR and Valve Index headsets.

In a statement, Sisu Ventures and Presence Capital founding partner Paul Bragiel said, “In the rapidly growing VR gaming landscape, Thirdverse stands out as having strong leadership, deep relationships and a big vision to become the category leader in this market.”

#asia, #fundings-exits, #gaming, #japan, #tc, #thirdverse, #virtual-reality

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The Pressure to Be Perfect Turns Deadly for Celebrities in Japan

A succession of suicides has shown the burdens of a society where many feel that they must conceal their personal struggles.

#actors-and-actresses, #celebrities, #japan, #kimura-hana-1997-2020, #suicides-and-suicide-attempts

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A Countercultural Dreamland From Tokyo Flickers at MoMA

In 1969, Shuzo Azuchi Gulliver created a moving-image environment with 18 projectors. Now his and other expanded cinema works from Japanese pioneers are in New York.

#art, #gulliver-shuzo-azuchi, #japan, #jonouchi-motoharu, #movies, #museum-of-modern-art, #new-york-city, #nineteen-hundred-sixties, #pioneer-works-center-for-art-and-innovation-brooklyn-ny, #tanaami-keiichi

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Tokyo Stock Exchange Glitch Brings Trading to a Halt

The exchange’s operator said the problem stemmed from a system that reports market data, but it did not say when buying and selling would resume.

#japan, #stocks-and-bonds, #tokyo-stock-exchange

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Global Reaction to the Presidential Debate

The chaos of the event has left allies and rivals alike questioning the state of American democracy and the country’s place on the global stage.

#biden-joseph-r-jr, #china, #debates-political, #europe, #japan, #presidential-election-of-2020, #singapore, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-international-relations

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Japanese Government Is Ordered to Pay Damages Over Fukushima Disaster

The Sendai High Court said the state and the plant’s operator must pay $9.5 million to survivors of the 2011 nuclear accident. They have until mid-October to appeal to the country’s Supreme Court.

#fukushima-japan, #fukushima-daiichi-nuclear-power-plant-japan, #japan, #japan-earthquake-and-tsunami-2011, #nuclear-energy, #politics-and-government, #suits-and-litigation-civil, #tokyo-electric-power-co

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No More ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’ on Japan Airlines

The carrier pledged to use inclusive language in a country where gender roles are entrenched.

#airlines-and-airplanes, #gender, #japan, #japan-airlines, #women-and-girls

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Japan Is Paying Firms to Make Things at Home. But China’s Pull Is Still Strong.

Japan is attempting a delicate balancing act as the pandemic has underlined the risks of the world’s economic reliance on Beijing.

#china, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #economic-conditions-and-trends, #factories-and-manufacturing, #international-relations, #international-trade-and-world-market, #iris-ohyama-inc, #japan, #masks, #politics-and-government, #united-states-international-relations

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Japanese startup Nature launches Remo 3, its home appliance smart remote, in the U.S. and Canada

Nature, a Japanese hardware startup that focuses on IoT home devices, announced the launch Remo 3, its home appliance smart remote, in the United States and Canada today. Priced at $129, the Bluetooth-enabled Remo 3 allows people to control multiple appliances that uses an infrared remote, including air conditioners, TVs, robot vacuum cleaners and fans, with their smartphones or smart speakers.

Nature claims that its Remo series is Japan’s top smart remote, with over 200,000 units sold so far. The Remo 3, designed to be mounted on a wall, also has sensors for temperature, humidity, lighting and movement, allowing users to create customized settings for when they want devices to turn on or shut off. Remo 3’s app also has a GPS location feature, so appliances can turn on automatically as users get closer to their homes.

As COVID-19 forces people to spend more time at home than usual, many are embarking on home improvement projects.

Even though people may be reluctant to purchase new appliances because of the economic downturn, relatively inexpensive products like the Remo 3 may still attract buyers because it can help reduce energy consumed by devices they already own. The Remo 3 also adds another layer of functionality to smart speakers and before the pandemic, global smart speaker sales hit a record high last year with 146.9 million units shipped. The Remo 3 is compatible with Amazon smart speakers like the Echo Dot, as well as Google Home and Apple HomePod speakers.

Nature founder and chief executive Haruumi Shiode told TechCrunch that Nature conducted a pilot with Kansai Electric, one of the largest utility providers in Japan, to prove that it can lower the amount of electricity used by air conditioners. He added that the pandemic actually accelerated sales of Nature Remo devices in Japan and prompted the company’s decision to launch in the U.S.

The COVID-19 pandemic made mass-producing the Remo 3 more challenging because Nature’s team was no longer able to make monthly trips to Shenzhen, Shiode said. But the Remo 3 is the sixth product Nature has launched so far, so it was able to figure out how to work with factories remotely on production and quality assurance.

“I read that since the pandemic started, 70% of Americans are tackling home improvement projects,” Shiode added. “Similarly, people around the world have been looking for ways to make their shelter-in-place less mundane and more convenient. With the Nature Remo 3, we hope to offer the same convenience and efficiencies to the American market as we have in Japan.”

#asia, #gadgets, #japan, #nature, #nature-remo-3, #smart-home, #startups, #tc

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CDC removes updated guidelines around COVID-19 aerosol transmission, but this expert explains why it should reverse the reversal

Last week at TechCrunch Disrupt 2020, I got the chance to speak to Dr. Eric Feigl-Ding, an epidemiologist and health economists who is a Senior Fellow of the Federation of American Scientists. Dr. Feigl-Ding has been a frequent and vocal critic of some of the most profound missteps of regulators, public health organizations and the current White House administration, and we discussed specifically the topic of aerosol transmission and its notable absence from existing guidance in the U.S.

At the time, neither of us knew that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) would publish updated guidance on its website over this past weekend that provided descriptions of aerosol transmission, and a concession that it’s likely a primary vector for passing on the virus that leads to COVID-19 – or that the CDC would subsequently revert said guidance, removing this updated information about aerosol transmission that’s more in line with the current state of widely accepted COVID research. The CDC cited essentially an issue where someone at the organization pushed a draft version of guidelines to production – but the facts it had shared in the update lined up very closely with what Dr. Feigl-Ding had been calling for.

“The fact that we haven’t highlighted aerosol transmission as much, up until recently, is woefully, woefully frustrating,” he said during our interview last Wednesday. “Other countries who’ve been much more technologically savvy about the engineering aspects of aerosols have been ahead of the curve – like Japan, they assume that this virus is aerosol and airborne. And aerosol means that the droplets are these micro droplets that can float in the air, they don’t get pulled down by gravity […] now we know that the aerosols may actually be the main drivers. And that means that if someone coughs, sings, even breathes, it can in the air, the micro droplets can stay in the air from anywhere from, for stagnant air for up to16 hours, but normally with ventilation, between 20 minutes to four hours. And that air, if you enter it into a room after someone was there, you can still get infected, and that is what makes indoor dining and bars and restaurants so frustrating.”

Dr. Feigl-Ding points to a number of recent contact tracing studies as providing strong evidence that these indoor activities, and the opportunity they provide for aerosol transmission, are leading to a large number of infections. Such studies were featured in a report the CDC prepared on reopening advice, which was buried by the Trump administration according to an AP report from May.

“The latest report shows that indoor dining bars restaurants are the leading leading factors for transmission, once you do contact tracing,” he said, noting that this leads naturally to the big issues around schools reopening, including that many have “very poor ventilation,” while simultaneously they’re not able to open their windows or doors due to gun safety protocols in place. Even before this recent CDC guideline take-back, Dr. Feigl-Ding was clearly frustrated with the way the organization appears to be succumbing to politicization of what is clearly an issue of a large and growing body of scientific evidence and fact.

“The CDC has long been the most respected agency in the world for public health, but now it’s been politically muzzled,” he said. “Previously, for example, the guidelines around church attendance – the CDC advised against church gatherings, but then it was overruled. And it was clearly overruled, because we actually saw it changed in live time. […] In terms of schools, gatherings, it’s clear [that] keeping kids in a pod is not enough, given what we know about ventilation.”

#chemistry, #coronavirus, #covid-19, #health, #japan, #occupational-safety-and-health, #tc, #transmission, #trump-administration, #united-states, #white-house

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SmartNews’ Kaisei Hamamoto on how the app deals with media polarization

Six years ago, SmartNews took on a major challenge. After launching in Japan in 2012, the news discovery app decided that its first international market would be the United States. During Disrupt, co-founder Kaisei Hamamoto talked about how SmartNews adapts its app for two very different markets (the video is embedded below). Hamamoto, who is also chief operating officer and chief engineer of the startup, which hit unicorn status last year, also dove into how the company deals with media polarization, especially in the United States.

At Disrupt, SmartNews announced a roster of major new features for the U.S. version of the app, including sections dedicated to voting information and articles related to local and national elections. Hamamoto said the SmartNews’ goal is to make the app a “one-stop solution for users’ participation in the election process.”

The media landscape has changed a lot since SmartNews was founded in 2012. In the U.S., SmartNews is tackling the same issues as many journalists are: increasing polarization, especially along political lines, and monetization (SmartNews currently has more than 3,000 publishing partners around the world and splits ad revenue with them). And, of course, it’s up against a host of new competitors, including Apple News and Google News.

While many Japanese startups focus on other Asian markets when expanding internationally, SmartNews decided to enter the United States because it is home to some of the most influential media companies in the world. On the engineering side, Hamamoto said the company also wanted to tap into the country’s AI and machine learning talent pool.

“The U.S. is not only an attractive market, but also an important development center for SmartNews,” he said.

The Japanese and American versions of SmartNews share the same code base and its offices in both countries work closely together. While the company’s machine learning-based algorithms drive the bulk of news discovery and personalized recommendations, publishers are first screened by SmartNews’ content team before being added to its platform. The company’s vice president of content is Rich Jaroslovsky, a veteran journalist who wrote for publications like Bloomberg News and the Wall Street Journal.

While AI-based algorithms can perform tasks like filtering out obscene images, “it does not have the ability to evaluate how each publisher meets certain standards,” Hamamoto said. “We are doing everything we can to ensure that our users can read the news with trust every day thanks to efforts led by our team of journalism experts.”

Breaking readers out of information bubbles

In addition to their code base, the two versions of the app share some of the same features. For example, each has SmartNews’ COVID-19 channel, with continuous updates about the pandemic. In the States, this includes visualizations of confirmed cases by county or state, and information about local closing or reopening orders.

In terms of adapting the apps’ user experience, Hamamoto said Japanese readers prefer to have a lot of news displayed on one screen, so it uses a layout algorithm that deliberately increases the density of information presented in its Japanese app. But testing showed Americans prefer a simpler, cleaner layout with more white space.

But the differences go beyond the apps’ user interface. In 2016, members of the U.S. and Japanese team spent three weeks traveling across 13 states, including Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas, to talk to people they met through Craiglist postings or in diners and cafes. SmartNews’ leaders decided to do this after the Japan team realized that most of their U.S. trips were to their offices in New York and the Bay Area.

“We knew we couldn’t get a get a true sense of America by only visiting the East Coast and West Coast,” he said.

Hamamato said one of his biggest takeaways from the 2016 trip was that “we tend to categorize people into just two segments, our side or the other side, and we tend to think of the other side as the enemy, but in reality the world is not that simple.”

In a bid to tackle political polarization in American media, the company launched a “News from All Sides” feature last year, that displays articles about one topic from publications displayed on a slider from “most conservative” to “most liberal.” The U.S. app also has a stronger emphasis on local news. Based on users’ locations, this can be as specific as information from county or even city news outlets.

Hamamoto added that one of SmartNews’ guiding principles is a belief that “having a willingness to listen to other people and not easily label them will help solve the division of our society.”

#apps, #asia, #disrupt-2020, #japan, #media, #news-discovery, #smartnews, #startups, #tc, #techcrunch-disrupt

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After lockdowns lead to an e-bike boom, VanMoof raises $40M Series B to expand globally

E-bike startup VanMoof, has raised a $40 million investment from Norwest Venture Partners, Felix Capital and Balderton Capital. The Series B financing comes after a $13.5 million investment in May. The funding brings VanMoof’s total raised to $73 million and furthers the e-bike brand’s ultimate mission of getting the next billion on bikes.

The Series B funding will be used to meet the increased demand, shorten delivery times and build a suite of rider service solutions. It also aims to boost its share of the e-bike market in North America, Europe and Japan.

Partly driven by the switch of commuters away from public transport because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the e-bike craze is taking off.

Governments are now investing in cycling infrastructure and the e-bike market is set to surpass $46 billion in the next six years, according to reports.

Ties Carlier, co-founder VanMoof commented: “E-bike adoption was an inevitable global shift that was already taking place for many years now but COVID-19 put an absolute turbo on it to the point that we’re approaching a critical mass to transform cities for the better.”

VanMoof says it realized a 220% global revenue growth during the worldwide lockdown and sold more bikes in the first four months of 2020 than the previous two years combined.

Stew Campbell, Principal at Norwest said: “Taco, Ties and the VanMoof team have not only built an unparalleled brand and best-selling product, but they’re reshaping city mobility all over the world.”

Colin Hanna, Principal at Balderton: “As the COVID-19 crisis hit supply chains worldwide, VanMoof’s unique control over design and production was a key advantage that allowed the company to react nimbly and effectively. Moreover, VanMoof’s direct to consumer approach allows the company to build a close relationship to their riders, one that will be strengthened by new products and services in the years to come.”

VanMoof launched the new VanMoof S3 and X3 in April of this year. I reviewed the S3 here and checked out the earlier X2 version here.

#balderton-capital, #bicycles, #co-founder, #colin-hanna, #cycling, #e-bike, #e-bikes, #electric-bicycle, #europe, #felix-capital, #japan, #micromobility, #north-america, #norwest-venture-partners, #supply-chains, #tc, #transport, #vanmoof, #vanmoof-s3

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With Nissan’s Carlos Ghosn Gone, Greg Kelly Faces Trial Alone

Japanese prosecutors say the former car executive helped Ghosn conceal his pay. For the world, the country’s court system itself could face judgment.

#automobiles, #ghosn-carlos, #japan, #kelly-greg-nissan-executive, #nissan-motor-co, #tokyo-japan

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Homage announces strategic partnership with Infocom, one of Japan’s largest healthcare IT providers

Homage, a Singapore-based caregiving and telehealth company, has taken a major step in its global expansion plan. The startup announced today that it has received strategic investment from Infocom, the Japanese information and communications technology company that runs one of the largest healthcare IT businesses in the country. Infocom’s solutions are used by more than 13,000 healthcare facilities in Japan.

During an interview with TechCrunch that will air as part of Disrupt tomorrow, Homage co-founder and chief executive Gillian Tee said “Japan has one of the most ageing populations in the world, and the problem is that we need to start building infrastructure to enable people to be able to access the kind of care services that they need.” She added that Homage and Infocom’s missions align because the latter is also building a platform for caregivers in Japan, in a bid to help solve the shortage of carers in the country.

Homage raised a Series B earlier this year with the goal of entering new Asian markets. The company, which currently operates in Singapore and Malaysia, focuses on patients who need long-term rehabilitation or care services, especially elderly people. This makes it a good match for Japan, where more than one in five of its population is currently aged 65 or over. In the next decade, that number is expected to increase to about one in three, making the need for caregiving services especially acute.

The deal includes a regional partnership that will enable Homage to launch its services into Japan, and Infocom to expand its reach in Southeast Asia. Homage’s services include a caregiver-client matching platform and a home medical service that includes online consultations and house calls, while Infocom’s technology covers a wide range of verticals, including digital healthcare, radiology, pharmaceuticals, medical imaging and hospital information management.

In a statement about the strategic investment, Mototaka Kuboi, Infocom’s managing executive officer and head of its healthcare business division, said, “We see Homage as an ideal partner given the company’s unique cutting-edge technology and market leadership in the long-term care segment, and we aim to drive business growth not only in Homage’s core and rapidly growing market in Southeast Asia, but also regionally.”

#asia, #caregiving, #digital-health, #elderly, #fundings-exits, #healthcare, #homage, #infocom, #japan, #malaysia, #seniors, #singapore, #southeast-asia, #startups, #tc, #telehealth

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Yoshide Suga Set to Become Japan’s Next Prime Minister

Mr. Suga’s years as a shadow power in Japanese politics have made him a bit of a cipher. But his decisive victory in a party election demonstrated his formidable political skills.

#abe-shinzo, #japan, #liberal-democratic-party-japan, #politics-and-government, #suga-yoshihide

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Yoshihide Suga, Right-Hand Man of Shinzo Abe, Is Set to Be Japan’s Prime Minister

The governing party, in an emergency vote restricted to insiders, overwhelmingly backed the leading symbol of continuity from Mr. Abe’s long premiership.

#abe-shinzo, #elections, #japan, #liberal-democratic-party-japan, #politics-and-government, #suga-yoshihide

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Shinzo Abe Vowed Japan Would Help Women ‘Shine.’ They’re Still Waiting.

Female workers remain largely shut out of management jobs, and many take part-time work because of overwhelming family responsibilities, despite policies that Mr. Abe said would elevate their standing in society.

#abe-shinzo, #japan, #labor-and-jobs, #part-time-employment, #women-and-girls

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SoftBank could make, gasp, a profit on its expected sale of Arm for $40B

While the big deal we have been tracking the past few weeks has been TikTok, there was another massive deal under negotiation that mirrors some of the international tech dynamics that have plagued the consumer social app’s sale.

Arm Holdings, which is the most important designer of processor chips in smartphones and increasingly other areas, has been quietly shopped around as SoftBank works to shed its investments and raise additional capital to placate activist investors like Elliott Management. The Japanese telco conglomerate bought Arm outright back in 2016 for $32 billion.

Now, those talks look like they are coming toward a conclusion. The Wall Street Journal first reported that SoftBank is close to locking in a sale to Nvidia for cash and stock that would value Arm at $40 billion. The Financial Times this afternoon further confirmed the outlines of the deal, which could be announced as early as Monday.

A couple of thoughts while we wait for official confirmation from Nvidia, Arm, and SoftBank.

First, Arm has struggled to turn its wildly successful chip designs — which today power billions of new chips a year — into a fast-growth company. As we discussed back in May, the company has ploddingly entered new growth markets, and while it has had some notable brand successes including Apple announcing that Arm-powered processor designs would be coming to the company’s iconic Macintosh lineup, those wins haven’t translated into significant profits.

SoftBank took a wild swing back in 2016 buying the company. If $40 billion is indeed the price, it’s a 25% gain in roughly four years. Given SoftBank’s recent notorious investing track record, that actually looks stellar, but of course, there was a huge opportunity cost for the company to buy such a pricy asset. Nvidia, which SoftBank’s Vision Fund bought a public stake in, has seen its stock price zoom more than 16x in that time frame, driven by AI and blockchain applications.

Second, assuming a deal is consummated, it’s a somewhat quiet denouement for one of the truly category-defining companies that has emanated out of the United Kingdom. The chip designer, which is based in Cambridge and has deep ties to the leading British university, has been seen as a symbol of Britain’s long legacy at the frontiers of computer science, in which Alan Turing played a key role in the development of computability.

Arm’s sale comes just as the UK government gears up for a fight with the European Union over its industrial policy, and specifically deeper funding for precisely the kinds of technologies that Arm was developing. Arm of course isn’t likely to migrate its workforce, but its ownership by an American semiconductor giant versus a Japanese holding company will likely end its relatively independent operations.

Third and finally, the deal would give Nvidia a dominant position in the semiconductor market, bringing together the company’s strength in graphics and AI processing workflows along with Arm’s underlying chip designs. While the company would not be fully vertically integrated, the combination would intensify Nvidia’s place as one of the major centers of gravity in chips.

It’s also a symbol of how far Intel has fallen behind its once diminutive peer. Intel’s market cap is about $210 billion, compared to Nvidia’s $300 billion. Intel’s stock is practically a straight line compared to Nvidia’s rapid growth the past few years, and this news isn’t likely to be well-received in Intel HQ.

Given the international politics involved and the sensitivity about the company, any deal would have to go through customary antitrust reviews in multiple countries, as well as potential national security reviews in the UK.

For SoftBank, it’s another sign of the company’s retrenchment in the face of extreme losses. But at least for now, it has a likely win on its hands.

#arm-holdings, #hardware, #intel, #japan, #ma, #nvidia, #softbank-group, #united-kingdom

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Sitting in Silence With 5,000 Fans: The New Sound of Japanese Sports

The country has welcomed spectators back to stadiums, but the highly orchestrated singing, chanting and drumming for which they are known is now strictly forbidden.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #japan, #quarantine-life-and-culture, #soccer, #stadiums-and-arenas, #tokyo-japan

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DNX Ventures launches $315 million fund for US and Japanese B2B startups

DNX Ventures, an investment firm that focuses on early-stage B2B startups in Japan and the United States, announced today that it has closed a new $315 million fund. This is DNX’s third flagship fund; along with supplementary annexed funds, this brings its total managed so far to $567 million.

Founded in 2011, with offices in San Mateo, California and Tokyo, Japan, DNX has invested in more than 100 startups to date, and has 13 exits under its belt. The firm, a member of the Draper Venture Network, focuses on cloud and enterprise software, cybersecurity, edge computing, sales and marketing automation, finance and retail. The companies it invests in are usually raising “seed plus” or Series A funding and DNX’s typical check size ranges from $1 million to $5 million, depending on the startup’s stage, managing director Q Motiwala told TechCrunch.

DNX isn’t disclosing the names of its third fund’s limited partners, but Motiwala said it includes more than 30 LPs, including financial institutions, banks and large conglomerates. DNX began working on the fund last year, before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Motiwala says DNX is optimistic about the outlook for B2B startups, because past macroeconomic crises, including the 2008 global financial crisis and the 2001 dot-com burst, showed founders continue innovating as they figure out how to make their businesses more efficient while building urgently needed solutions.

For example, DNX has always focused on sectors like cloud computing, cybersecurity, edge computing and robotics, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made those technologies even more relevant. For example, the massive upsurge in remote work means that companies need to adapt their tech infrastructure, while robots like the ones developed by Diligent Robotics, a DNX portfolio company, can help hospitals cope with nursing shortages.

“Our overall theme has always been the digitization of traditional industries like construction, transportation or healthcare, and we’ve always been interested in how to make the reach to the customer much better, so sales and marketing automation, for example,” said Motiwala. “Then the last piece of this is, how do you make society or businesses function better through automation, and those might take things like robotics and other technology.”

The differences and similarities between U.S. and Japanese B2B startups

A graphic featuring DNX Ventures' team members

A graphic featuring DNX Ventures’ team members (Image Credits: DNX Ventures) 

One of the reasons DNX was founded nine years ago was because “Japan has very strong spending on enterprise,” Motiwala said. The firm launched with offices in the U.S. and Japan and has continued to focus on B2B while growing the size of its funds. The firm’s debut fund was $40 million and its second one, announced in 2016, was more than $170 million. Motiwala said the $315 million DNX raised for its third fund was more than the firm expected.

U.S. B2B startups tend to think about global expansion at an earlier stage than their Japanese counterparts, but that has started to change, he said, and many Japanese B2B companies launch with an eye on expanding into different countries. Instead of the U.S. or Europe, however, they tend to focus on Southeast Asian countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, or Taiwan. Another difference is that U.S. startups make heavier initial investments in their technology or IP, while in Japan, companies focus on getting to revenue and breaking even earlier. Motiwala said this might be because the Japanese venture capital ecosystem is smaller than in the U.S., but that attitude is also changing.

Examples of DNX portfolio companies that have successfully entered new countries include Cylance, a U.S. company that develops antivirus software using machine learning and predictive math modeling to protect devices from malware. DNX helped Cylance establish operations in Europe and Japan. On the Japan side, software testing company Shift, an investment from DNX’s first fund, has done “phenomenally well” in Southeast Asia, Motiwala said.

In terms of going global, DNX doesn’t push its portfolio companies, but encourages them to expand when the timing is right, especially if a U.S. startup wants to enter Japan, or vice versa. “We like to use the fact that we have teams in both regions. What we’ve seen more is the U.S. companies entering channel partnerships for Japanese distribution,” Motiwala said. “It has been more difficult to show the same thing to Japanese companies, but at the same time what we’ve realized is that instead of saying they should come into the U.S., they’ve done amazing stuff going into the Philippines or Singapore.”

#asia, #cloud-computing, #cybersecurity, #dnx-ventures, #edge-computing, #enterprise, #fundings-exits, #japan, #tc, #venture-capital

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Committing to a fully zero-emission fleet by 2040, Uber is dedicating $800 million to electrifying its drivers

Ride hailing giant Uber is committing to become a fully zero-emission platform by 2040 and setting aside $800 million to help get its drivers using electric vehicles by 2025.

The company said that it would invest further in its micro-mobility options as well with the goal of having 100 percent of its rides take place on electric vehicles in the US, Canada, and European cities in which the company operates. Uber also said it would commit to reaching net-zero emissions from its own corporate operations by 2030.

If the company can hit its timeline, Uber would achieve necessary milestones in its operations a decade ahead of the Paris Climate Agreement targets set for 2050.

The keys to the company’s efforts are four new and expanding initiatives, according to a statement.

The first is the launch of Uber Green in 15 US and Canadian cities. For customers willing to spend an extra dollar, they can request an EV or hybrid electric vehicle to pick them up. By the end of the year, Uber Green will be available in over 65 cities around the world. Riders who choose the green option will also receive three times the Uber Rewards points they would have received for a typical UberX ride, the company said.

Uber’s second step toward making the world a greener place is to commit $800 million to transition its fleet to electric vehicles. Part of that transition is being subsidized by the $1 surcharge for riders who choose to go green and from fees that the company collects under its London and French Clean Air Plans. Those are 15 cent (or pence) surcharges that Uber has been collecting since January of last year to pay for the electrification of its drivers’ cars in European cities.

Dara Kowsrowshahi, chief executive officer of Uber Technologies Inc., speaks during an event in New Delhi, India, on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. During his Japan trip, Khosrowshahi has made it clear the ride-hailing company isnt scaling back its ambitions in certain Asian markets, despite speculation of a retreat. Photographer: Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

To incentivize drivers to go green, Uber’s doling out an extra 50 cents per trip in the US and Canada for every “Uber Green” trip completed to be paid out by riders. Drivers using EVs will also get another dollar from Uber itself, amounting to $1.50 more per trip for each EV ride completed.

Other enticements include partnerships with GM in the US and Canada and Renault -Nissan in Europe to offer discounts on electric vehicles to Uber drivers. Working with Avis, Uber is planning to offer more electric vehicles for rental to US drivers. Meanwhile, the company said it would also expand electric vehicle charging by working to develop new charging stations in conjunction with companies like BP, EVgo, Enel X, Izivia by EDF, and Power Dot.

Uber’s also working to revive the vision of robotic battery swapping to enable customers to forget about their concerns when it comes to charging a new vehicle. It’s working with the San Francisco-based startup, Ample, as the young company develops its battery-swapping tech — and Lithium Urban Technologies, an electric fleet operator out of India.

Building on its existing micro-mobility network, the company is going to integrate bikes and scooters from Lime even closer into its networks and expanding its shared ride programs as soon as its safe to do it. The company is also intent on expanding its Journey Planning feature to enable users to see pricing options, schedules, and directions to and from transit stations. Uber also now offers in-app ticketing in more than ten cities, so people can buy public transit passes in the app itself. As a coup de grace, Uber’s also unveiling a new feature that allows users to plan their trips in Chicago and Sydney using cars and public transit to get where they need to go.

Finally, the company has released its first Climate Assessment and Performance Report analyzing emissions from the company’s operations in the United States and Canada from 2017 through 2019. Unsurprisingly, Uber found that it was more efficient than single-occupant driving, but the company did reveal that its carbon intensity is higher than that of average-occupancy personal cars. Meaning when there’re two people using a personal car, their footprint is lower than that of an Uber driver looking for passengers.

Although arguably, Uber shouldn’t be having its customers foot so much of the bill for its electric transition, these are all positive steps from a company that still has a long road ahead of it if it’s looking to reduce its carbon footprint.

#bp, #canada, #charging-station, #chicago, #chief-executive-officer, #driver, #electric-vehicle, #enel, #europe, #evgo, #garrett-camp, #gett, #getty, #gm, #india, #japan, #london, #new-delhi, #nissan, #paris, #photographer, #renault, #san-francisco, #sydney, #tc, #transport, #uber, #united-states

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Revolut launches its financial app in Japan

Fintech startup Revolut is expanding to Japan. After testing the service with 10,000 users, anybody can now sign up and open an account. The company originally obtained its authorization to operate from Japan’s Finance Service Agency in 2018.

When you open an account, you get an electronic wallet and a Visa debit card. You can top up your account and spend money with your card, a virtual card, Apple Pay, Google Pay, etc. Revolut sends you instant notifications and lets you freeze and unfreeze your card from the app.

You can also send money to other Revolut users or a bank account. Like in other countries, Revolut lets you exchange money in the app and send money in other currencies. Many users have taken advantage of the service to travel and pay less in foreign exchange fees.

Users in Japan will also be able to create vaults and put some money aside by rounding up transactions and creating recurring transactions. And that’s about it for now.

The company has already launched premium plans in Japan, but it doesn’t give you a lot of benefits other than lower fees on foreign exchange, different card designs, better support and the ability to buy airport lounge access with LoungeKey Pass.

Unlike in the U.K. and Europe, you won’t be able to buy cryptocurrencies, trade stocks, buy insurance products, create Revolut Junior accounts for your children, etc. Revolut is really trying to build a super app in its home country and has massively expanded its feature set over the years.

The company promises that some features, such as cryptocurrency and stock trading, will be available globally. But there’s no release date just yet. So let’s see how the product evolves in the coming months.

Revolut is currently available in the U.K., Europe, the U.S., Singapore and Australia. It currently has 13 million customers.

Image Credits: Revolut

#finance, #japan, #revolut, #startups

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Japan Urges Millions to Evacuate as Typhoon Looms

The authorities warned of record-breaking winds and rainfall from Typhoon Haishen, which has already brought down power lines and disrupted travel in the region.

#all-nippon-airways, #evacuations-and-evacuees, #floods, #japan, #kyushu-japan, #miyazaki-japan, #typhoons

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Capsized Cattle Ship: New Zealand Suspends Cow Exports

A second man believed to be a crew member was plucked from the sea, but he later died, the Japanese Coast Guard said. The carcasses of a dozen cows were also spotted at sea.

#animal-abuse-rights-and-welfare, #cattle, #china, #deaths-fatalities, #east-china-sea, #japan, #maritime-accidents-and-safety, #new-zealand, #philippines, #rescues, #ships-and-shipping

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Missing Livestock Ship Prompts Search Off Japan

The livestock carrier, with dozens of crew members and nearly 6,000 cows, left New Zealand for China last month. It sent a distress signal as a typhoon raged in the region.

#australia, #cattle, #east-china-sea, #japan, #livestock, #new-zealand, #philippines, #rescues, #ships-and-shipping, #typhoons

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What’s at Stake for Shinzo Abe’s Successor

Can Japan’s next leader build on his predecessor’s legacy?

#abe-shinzo, #international-trade-and-world-market, #japan, #liberal-democratic-party-japan, #politics-and-government, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-international-relations

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Japan’s Convenience Stores Are Told to Stop Pushing 24-Hour Schedules

The country’s antimonopoly regulator has warned the powerful industry to improve the treatment of franchisees who have been fighting for shorter opening hours.

#7-eleven, #convenience-stores, #franchises, #japan, #matsumoto-mitoshi, #regulation-and-deregulation-of-industry

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Tom Hanks on World War II’s 75th Anniversary

Act III of the war — After the War — is now simply part of our daily reality, in America and globally, writes Tom Hanks.

#germany, #japan, #world-war-ii-1939-45

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America, Don’t Try to Out-China China

Beijing’s nationalism will be self-defeating in the long term. Washington should just let that run its course.

#australia, #biden-joseph-r-jr, #china, #communist-party-of-china, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #embargoes-and-sanctions, #hong-kong, #hong-kong-protests-2019, #immigration-and-emigration, #india, #international-relations, #japan, #ministry-of-state-security-of-the-peoples-republic-of-china, #politics-and-government, #presidential-election-of-2020, #protective-clothing-and-gear, #trump-donald-j, #united-states-international-relations, #united-states-politics-and-government, #wang-yi, #wuhan-china, #xi-jinping, #yang-jiechi

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‘Abenomics’ May Stay, but Japan’s Economic Overhaul Is Incomplete

The departing prime minister’s policies helped shake Japan out of decades of stagnation. But long-term restructuring efforts are needed to keep its economy charging forward.

#abe-shinzo, #economic-conditions-and-trends, #international-trade-and-world-market, #japan, #stimulus-economic

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Shinzo Abe Is Ill. But Is That the Only Reason He’s Quitting?

Maybe he can’t face the Japanese people’s calls for accountability.

#abe-shinzo, #coronavirus-2019-ncov, #japan, #law-and-legislation, #legislatures-and-parliaments, #liberal-democratic-party-japan, #moritomo-gakuen, #politics-and-government, #polls-and-public-opinion, #tokyo-japan

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Humans Take a Step Closer to ‘Flying Cars’

A Japanese company said it had completed a manned flight of its electrical vertical takeoff and landing machine. Experts say the technology needs work and that it will be expensive.

#automobiles, #electrical-vertical-takeoff-and-landing-machine, #evtol, #flying-cars, #innovation, #japan, #skydrive-inc

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In Japan, Shinzo Abe’s Replacement Faces Daunting Challenges

The coronavirus, a tanking economy, an aggressive China, a postponed Olympics, a U.S. election: That’s just the start. And any successor will confront those challenges without the stature of Shinzo Abe.

#abe-shinzo, #elections, #japan, #liberal-democratic-party-japan, #politics-and-government, #women-and-girls

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Shinzo Abe’s Resignation Prompts Speculation About His Successor

Whoever the Liberal Democratic Party elects as its leader, probably within the next week, will almost certainly become Japan’s next prime minister. It isn’t clear who that will be.

#abe-shinzo, #aso-taro, #fumio-kishida, #japan, #law-and-legislation, #legislatures-and-parliaments, #liberal-democratic-party-japan, #shigeru-ishiba, #taro-kono, #yoshihide-suga

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After Shinzo Abe, How Japan Will Pick Its New Prime Minister

Back-room deals and horse trading are likely to determine who will become the next leader of Japan’s governing party and the country’s prime minister.

#abe-shinzo, #japan, #legislatures-and-parliaments, #liberal-democratic-party-japan, #politics-and-government

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Who Is Shinzo Abe, Japan’s Departing Prime Minister?

Mr. Abe, who announced his resignation on Friday, sought to revive Japan’s economy and alter its pacifist Constitution.

#abe-shinzo, #appointments-and-executive-changes, #defense-and-military-forces, #international-relations, #japan, #politics-and-government

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How the U.S. Won the War Against Japan

Ian W. Toll’s “Twilight of the Gods,” the third volume of a trilogy, details the American triumph in the Pacific War.

#books-and-literature, #japan, #roosevelt-franklin-delano, #toll-ian-w, #twilight-of-the-gods-war-in-the-western-pacific-1944-1945-book, #united-states, #united-states-defense-and-military-forces, #united-states-navy, #world-war-ii-1939-45

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Shinzo Abe, Japan’s Longest-Serving Leader, to Resign Because of Illness

Mr. Abe has been prime minister for nearly eight consecutive years, a significant feat in a country accustomed to high turnover in the top job.

#abe-shinzo, #appointments-and-executive-changes, #japan, #liberal-democratic-party-japan, #politics-and-government

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Tokyo-based collaboration platform BeaTrust lands $2.8 million seed round

BeaTrust co-founder Masato Kume, co-founder and chief executive officer Kunio Hara and Ryo Nagaoka, vice president of engineering

Founded just four months ago, Tokyo-based BeaTrust has raised a JPY 300 million (about USD $2.83 million) seed round for its enterprise collaboration platform. The startup’s ambitious goal is to change corporate culture at large Japanese companies before expanding into other countries.

The round came from CyberAgent Capital; DNX Ventures; ITOCHU Technology Ventures; STRIVE; One Capital; Delight Ventures; PKSHA/SPARX Algorithm 1st; and Mizuho Capital, along with undisclosed individual participants.

BeaTrust’s platform allows employees at large companies to discover colleagues in different departments with similar interests and skills, and gives them tools to work together on projects.

The startup’s co-founders, Kunio Hara and Masato Kume, met while working at Google in Japan. Before Google, Hara held positions in Tokyo and Silicon Valley at Sumitomo Corporation, Softbank, Silicon Graphics and Microsoft, while Kume worked at Asatsu-DK. During their time at Google, the two focused on helping Japanese startups scale by using Google’s tools.

Hara told TechCrunch that BeaTrust was inspired by his experience working at companies in the United States and Japan, and by the co-founders’ time at Google, where they found cross-department collaboration was an intrinsic part of the culture. The two began to think about how they could bring the same qualities to large Japanese corporations.

“From the standpoint of employees at Google, working there is like a lifestyle. We work together and think about how to facilitate cross-cultural innovation among employees, and that needs a communication and digital infrastructure to support those ideas,” said Hara.

BeaTrust wants to transform Japanese corporate culture, which Hara described as “very siloed and top-down, with very strict rules,” making it harder for people in different teams or departments to communicate or even get to know one another. “There are a lot of initiatives to hire talented people, but it’s not an environment that helps people connect with one another and ask each other for help, which is what leads to new projects,” he added.

The platform is currently in closed beta stage, testing with three late-stage startups that have about 100 to 200 employees each. Its first feature is employee profiles that list skills and experience. Next, BeaTrust will launch tools for users to visualize how teams at their company are organized and modules to enable collaboration on different kinds of projects, including software development.

BeaTrust’s founders said as the platform grows, its target audience will be large enterprises with thousands of employees. The platform is not meant to be a replacement for Slack, which launched in Japan three years ago, or other enterprise communication tools like Microsoft Teams or ChatWork, but serve as a complement, Kume said. Slack and its competitors are meant to enable individual teams within large companies to collaborate, while BeaTrust is designed to help employees discover and strike up working relationships with colleagues they don’t know yet.

While its initial goal is to reshape corporate culture in Japan, BeaTrust founders are also eyeing expansion into European and Asian countries, and markets where large companies are continuing to mandate or encourage remote work because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“That’s becoming imperative for us because what we hear from a lot of large enterprises is that employees are not used to working remotely, so they need to think about how to shift their lifestyle and continue employee innovation,” Kume said.

#asia, #beatrust, #collaboration-software, #enterprise-collaboration, #fundings-exits, #japan, #startups, #tc

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Japan’s Economy Contracts 7.8 Percent, Worst on Record

The quarterly slide, an annualized decline of 27.8 percent, coincides with a long and uncertain road to recovery.

#coronavirus-2019-ncov, #economic-conditions-and-trends, #international-trade-and-world-market, #japan, #labor-and-jobs, #politics-and-government, #stimulus-economic

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