News in June

    Nine japan private companies are now working on the smart city plan which will build solar systems and battery storage technology inside all houses and town facilities on Tokyo outskirts.
    The plan "Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town", or "Fujisawa SST", organized by Japanese electronics giant Panasonic cooperation, for example, unveiled last May and catered for 1,000 households or a population of 3,000, and is based on a collection of sustainability solutions, such as energy-saving technology, solar power systems, and Ene-Farm fuel cells (a household fuel cell jointly developed by Panasonic and Tokyo gas. This fuel cell is powered by oxygen from the atmosphere combined with hydrogen from a small amount of natural gas and product heat.), called Eco-idea.
   Japan has experienced multiple energy crises, in addition to physical damage to its infrastructure, as a result of the disasters. An aftershock last April also halted 5 of the region's fuel power plants, leaving more than 4 million families without electricity. Nuclear plants has been ever closed since initial earthquake and opened recently.
   To address the issue of energy safety and security, Japanese Prime minister committed to increase the country's renewable energy supply by a minimum of 20 per cent.

[S. Korea]
  The best economic indicator South Korea produces is on the street of Seoul. Whether you're navigating the throngs of young hipsters in Myeongdong, the glitzy boutiques in Apgujeong or the nightclubs full of foreign tourists in Itaewon.
  The economic of S. Korea is now growing about 3 per cent a year, even as Europe crashes. The nation is a world power in cars, shipbuilding and steel; and its soft-power is being advanced by 'K-pop' band, movies and TV dramas.
  However, surveys by Korean research institutes find that happiness among teenagers is at its lowest in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. The nation is also at the top of global league table for suicides.
  This disconnect is worth exploring because of South Korea's role-model status. Its post-Asian-crisis reforms increased living standards and raised competitiveness to an extent that has Japan looking over its shoulder. South Korea also serves as a template for countries trying to avoid the middle-income trap that afflicts too many developing nations. Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand are examples of nations that had impressive income gains, only to stall.
  The country's achievements are largely a consequence of investing in human capital. Achieving a high-quality education has become a national obsession and curriculum encourage creativity, science and technology. South Korea is also working to transform Seoul into an international financial centre and a model for eco-friendly growth.
  But one cannot help wondering if these changes were unleashed too quickly, without the shock absorbers to buffer a society subject to such dramatic change. Also, Koreans are now too focused on competing with each other, always seeking to be best and make them too tired and stressed.


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