Japanese vending machine maker Sanden revealed its new eco-friendly, hand cranked vending machine this month. Ostensibly designed to work during blackouts, particularly in the wake of earthquakes and aftershocks, the new machine has the potential to be an extremely useful emergency aid.
Japan has thousands of vending machines, and you've no doubt heard of some of the stranger variations that you would never find anywhere else. Banana dispensers, underwear dispensers and vending machines that scan your face.
At the end of 2010 there was an estimated 5 million vending machines all over Japan, and with companies like Asashi planning to roll out new Wi-Fi hotspot vending machines, that number is only getting bigger.
Within a minute's walk of my apartment, for example, there are 5 vending machines alone. As a result I am in no danger of running out of quick, convenient soft drinks or cans of coffee.
A collection of materials related to a 17th century mission sent by a Japanese feudal lord to Europe and the world's oldest autographic diary left 10 centuries ago by a Japanese regent have been selected for the UNESCO Memory of the World registry, the Japanese education ministry said Wednesday. (Global Post )
Almost 1,500 people were transported to hospitals by ambulance due to heatstroke last week, up sharply from 942 in the preceding week, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said Tuesday. (Japan Times )
Among about 200,000 traffic signals nationwide, 16 percent are being used beyond the end of the expected lifetime of their electrical systems and some have even toppled over due to age, according to the National Police Agency. (Yomiuri )
In May, Akira Ikoma, the editor of a guide to men's entertainment called Ore no Tabi (My Journey), said that "Abenomics" had caused a spike in prices at high-end soapland bathhouses in Tokyo. However, the same editor tells Shukan Post (June 28) that the initiative is not impacting the low-end market in the same way. (Tokyo Reporter )
Tokyo District Court decided on Monday to open planned examinations of three witnesses who are former senior members of the Aum Shinrikyo doomsday cult and now death-row inmates, during an upcoming trial of another former senior Aum member. (Jiji Press )