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巻頭特集一覧 2008年

On October 1, the ODA (official development assistance) division of the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) was merged with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to create New JICA. With an annual budget of 1 trillion yen (9.8 billion dollars), it will be one of the world's largest aid agencies, on a par with the World Bank. Out of this opportunity, New JICA is aiming to provide higher quality, more effective aid to developing countries. We take a look at some of the projects involving tie-ups between JICA and JBIC dating from before this merger, to show how New JICA will operate.
Japan has one of the fastest aging societies in the world, with one in five Japanese now sixty-five or older. Average life expectancy—currently 79.19 years for men and 85.99 years for women—continues to lengthen, producing an ever-growing population of sprightly elderly folk. Fewer and fewer of them are choosing to stay quietly at home, as was common in the past. Instead they want to remain active, by either continuing to work or interacting in some other way with society at large. So what is it that drives this energetic older generation? The Japan Journal met some hale and hearty seniors keeping themselves busy in Japan and overseas.
In January 2008 Prime Minister Fukuda Yasuo announced a government initiative which, if successful, would more than double the number of foreign students in Japan by around 2020. To better understand the nature of the challenge ahead, we asked five current and former foreign students what motivated them to study—and in some cases, settle—in Japan.
Armed with environmental technology honed through the experience of environmental pollution and past oil shocks, Japan adds considerable strength to the international community's battle with global warming. The Japan Journal zooms in on some of the corporations, governmental bodies and private organizations currently pursuing business and providing aid to other nations in, respectively, the fields of energy conservation, environmental education, emissions reduction and renewable energy.
The last few years have seen a rapid rise in the number of foreign visitors coming to Japan. They come for all sorts of reasons: to see the famous cultural sights, to access pop culture, or perhaps just to go shopping, and now a wide range of services has sprung up to meet their specific needs. This month we introduce several services in different areas designed for overseas visitors.
In a book published in 1938, the Dutch historian Johan Huizinga coins the term homo ludens (people who play) to describe the human race. According to his view, people have been inseparable from play since the dawn of humanity itself. Forty years after his book was published, in 1978, the arcade game Space Invaders ignited a boom in Japan that firmly established video games as a well-accepted form of entertainment. The advent of video games has added a new page to the history of human gaming, and Japan has been a key player in the development of the genre. Today, video games are in fact transcending the sphere of games and making inroads in other fields. The Japan Journal reports.
Urban development in Japan is reaching a mature phase in terms of the building of hard infrastructure such as housing, public facilities and roads. Now community development is the order of the day, and in this field citizens themselves are taking the lead. The Japan Journal investigates.
Recycling, energy-efficient housing, eco-tourism...
The Japan Journal looks at some of the myriad ways in which ordinary Japanese are contributing to environmental conservation and reaping the benefits themselves.
The members of the so-called baby boom generation born immediately after World War II have long since propped up Japan's economic development with their manufacturing skills. With baby boomers reaching retirement age en masse however, the future of manufacturing skills on the shop floor in Japan has started to come under threat in recent years. Efforts are therefore being increasingly focused on human resource development at production bases both at home and overseas in an effort to keep manufacturing skills alive. In this feature we take a look at a handful of corporate initiatives geared towards passing on manufacturing skills to future generations.
"Heart-to-heart." That's how then-Prime Minister Fukuda Takeo said Japan-ASEAN relations should be, speaking in Manila back in August, 1977. In the forty years since Fukuda made that speech, heart-to-heart exchanges have indeed been the order of the day, and the Japan-ASEAN relationship is now both much closer and more far-reaching than ever before. The Japan Journal reports.
At this summer's G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit, measures to combat global warming are likely to figure prominently on the agenda to be set by Japan. In this article we highlight some of the environmental initiatives pursued by Japan to date —at individual, private and public levels—to fight pollution both at home and overseas and to counter global warming.