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The EU-Japan Centre is pleased to start a new weekly service by publishing brief summary of the latest information from the Japanese governmental organizations & private companies/organizations. A couple of minutes reading to be informed about what is happening in Japan's policy, economy, EU-Japan relations, and innovation.

*Information is deemed correct at the time of release. 

Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Saito held talks with Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita of the Kingdom of Morocco
Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Saito held talks with Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita of the Kingdom of Morocco, exchanging views on bilateral economic cooperation. They confirmed the importance of further strengthening collaboration in various fields, including promoting green growth, developing industrial human resources, and addressing social issues through innovation by startups. This is in light of Morocco's geographical advantage as a base for targeting the European market and the presence of many Japanese companies in Morocco.
METI (in Japanese): https://www.meti.go.jp/press/2024/05/20240531004/20240531004.html

Japan's First Public-Private Partnership to Promote Environmentally Friendly Mattresses
On May 30, Airweave (Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo) announced that it would begin a collaboration with Tsukuba City, Ibaraki Prefecture, and Kōta Town, Aichi Prefecture, to promote the spread of environmentally friendly mattresses. Spring-type bed mattresses, classified as bulky waste, have complex structures that make them difficult and costly to process, leading many municipalities to designate them as "items difficult to dispose of properly." In collaboration with municipalities, Airweave will use local subsidies to partially cover the cost for citizens to purchase environmentally friendly mattresses and support the collection of used mattresses. This initiative aims to promote a shift to environmentally friendly bedding while reducing the burden on municipalities when disposing of mattresses.
Airweave's mattresses can be disassembled into covers and the inner material "AirFiber" allowing for clean reuse and recycling. The company also plans to provide mattresses for the athlete's village at the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games, which will be reused by French public and private organizations (such as the Paris Opera Ballet School and the Tsuji Culinary Institute France) after the event. Additionally, since 2022, the company has been working on horizontal recycling.
Airweave (in Japanese):https://airweave.jp/up/news/2c6bf810fa480cf190a51522b50e8c9e4dfac17e.pdf

JAL, Nippon Paper Industries, Toyo Seikan Group Achieve Horizontal Recycling of Paper Cups to Paper Cups
Japan Airlines Co., Ltd., Nippon Paper Industries Co., Ltd., and East Can Holdings Co., Ltd., a consolidated subsidiary of Toyo Seikan Group, have achieved horizontal recycling of used beverage paper cups collected onboard to produce new paper cups, known as "paper cup to paper cup" recycling. The recycling of used paper cups to produce new ones is the first initiative of its kind in Japan. (As of May 7, 2024, according to the three companies' research). The newly recycled paper cups (hereinafter referred to as "recycled paper cups") will be provided on JAL domestic flights departing from Haneda Airport in June, which coincides with Environmental Month.
Previously, collected paper cups were recycled into products such as cardboard. However, due to improved accuracy in separating paper cups onboard JAL aircraft, the establishment of new recycling facilities dedicated to food and beverage paper containers at the Nippon Paper Fuji Factory, and advancements in manufacturing technology by East Can Industry, the paper cup horizontal recycling scheme has been established. As a result, the horizontal recycling of paper cups to paper cups, known as "paper cup to paper cup," has been realized.
JAL (in Japanese): https://press.jal.co.jp/ja/release/202405/008087.html

Hitachi and Microsoft Enter Milestone Agreement to Accelerate Business and Social Innovation with Generative AI
Hitachi, Ltd. and Microsoft Corporation announced a projected multi-billion-dollar collaboration over the next three years, that will accelerate social innovation with generative AI. Through this strategic alliance, Hitachi will propel growth of the Lumada business, with a planned revenue of 2.65 trillion yen (18.9 billion USD) in FY2024, and will promote operational efficiency and productivity improvements for Hitachi Group’s 270 thousand employees. Main objectives are as follows: 
• Three-year, projected multi-billion-dollar strategic partnership will focus on creating innovative industry solutions that deliver transformative outcomes for businesses and society. 
• Hitachi Group will embed the Microsoft cloud, Azure Open AI Service, Dynamics 365, Copilot for Microsoft 365 and GitHub Copilot into their Lumada Solutions to accelerate growth of the Lumada business, and improve productivity for their 270 thousand employees. 
• Hitachi will train more than 50 thousand “GenAI Professionals” on advanced AI skills. As part of the partnership, Hitachi will incorporate training provided by Microsoft into Hitachi’s training.
Hitachi: https://www.hitachi.com/New/cnews/month/2024/06/240604c.pdf

Sumitomo Corporation and Japan Airlines Jointly Establish eVTOL Operating Company
- Targeting the Creation of New Air Mobility Value with Flying Cars –

Sumitomo Corporation and Japan Airlines Co., Ltd. announced on June 3, 2024, the establishment of Soracle Corporation, a joint venture to operate electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (“eVTOL”) in Japan, or so-called “flying car”.
Sumitomo Corporation has been pursuing commercialization in air mobility services since 2018 as it seeks to diversify its longstanding aviation business. In 2020, as part of efforts to develop this new market in Japan, it invested in a company developing an air traffic control system for unmanned aircraft that will be critical when integrating these mobility services into society.
JAL aims to create relationships and social connections through the movement of people and goods by leveraging the technology, observations, and operational expertise it has accumulated in the air transportation business to operate air mobility services and further develop its business in Japan.
JAL and Sumitomo Corporation entered into a business alliance in the air mobility sector in 2020 and have been working toward the realization of eVTOL-based mobility services. In addition, the two companies are undertaking studies and making preparations for the development of a next-generation air mobility business, including participation in the "Public-Private Committee for Advanced Air Mobility, Air Mobility Revolution and Social Implementation – The Osaka Roundtable, which positions Expo 2025 Osaka, Kansai, Japan as a milestone toward the social implementation of air mobility services.
Sumitomo Corporation: https://www.sumitomocorp.com/en/jp/news/topics/2024/group/20240603

 

 

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