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Want an impressive opening ceremony? 2020 Olympics may include man-made meteor shower

The Olympics may be all about athletic prowess, but its opening ceremonies have always been about showmanship. And what could be more spectacular than a man-made meteor shower?

Japan has its own answer to Airbnb

The latest player to enter the hospitality game and give Airbnb a run for its money is a Japanese startup named Hyakusenrenma, which recently secured $13 million to help fund its vacation rental services.
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Watch this dazzling ‘drone ballet’ in front of Japan’s Mount Fuji

Twenty-one drones and 16,500 LED lights recently combined for a dazzling "drone ballet" in front of Japan's iconic Mount Fuji, and the results, we're sure you'll agree, are truly stunning.

Mitsubishi overstated fuel economy on 620,000 cars in Japan

Mitsubishi admitted to overstating fuel economy on 620,000 cars sold in Japan over the past three years, including 468,000 supplied to Nissan. The company likely faces hefty fines for its actions.

Google and Verizon connecting Japan and Ecuador earthquake victims with loved ones

Google and Verizon have, with a combination of tools and fee waivers, made it easier to contact victims of the Japan and Ecuador earthquakes. They're also contributing to the relief efforts in both countries.
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Tourists in Japan could soon use their fingerprints as currency

Soon, you may be able to touch to buy -- literally. Capitalizing upon its status as one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world, Japan is planning to test a new system of currency over the summer -- the fingerprint.
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NASA and Japan just released over 2.95 million thermal satellite photos of Earth, for free

Japan's ASTER sensing instrument has been orbiting the Earth for the past 16 years collecting data about the Earth's surface. Now, following an announcement by NASA and Japan, all of ASTER's maps and data products are available to the…
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Japanese scientists have created artificial skin that can grow hair and sweat

Developed at the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Japan, a batch of lab-grown skin implanted in mice showed the ability to sweat and grow hair. Over 14 days, the implants also showed no sign of rejection in the mice.
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No salt, no problem: Electric fork simulates salty flavors with electric currents

Who needs salt when you have electricity? That’s the proposition of the “electric flavoring fork” created by a researcher in Japan to make meals more palatable for people who need to stick to low-salt or no-salt diets.
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Japan's Fukushima ice wall ready to go into service

Japan will activate an ice wall to contain the ongoing contamination from the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant. The refrigeration system will create a frozen underground ice wall to seal in the radioactive waste.

Nintendo denies Nikkei report, claims Wii U hardware production will continue

Nintendo has denied reports from earlier this week indicating that it would end Wii U production in order to focus on its next home console, reaffirming its support for the platform's dedicated player base.
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A Japanese AI program just wrote a short novel, and it almost won a literary prize

A novel written largely by an artificial intelligence passed the first round of screening for a national literary prize in Japan. A team from Future University Hakodate programmed the AI, and then set it loose to "write" the novel that was…
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A Russian billionaire wants to build a cobra-like skyscraper in Japan

Architect Vasiliy Klyukin took to his blog this week to reveal the ambitious details of constructing a snake-like skyscraper in China or Japan. Though just a batch of renderings, the building would resemble a standing cobra.
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Japan starts building the world’s largest floating solar farm

Japanese tech firm Kyocera has been building floating solar farms since 2014, and it's now embarking on its biggest project to date. Scheduled for completion in 2018, this latest facility will use 50,000 solar panels to power around 5,000…

The wearable chair is now a thing 1:31

For all those times you've wished you could just take a seat, it is my duty to inform you that the Archelis (literally, "walkable chair" in Japanese), has now been introduced, and can be purchased within a couple years.
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Toshiba’s robot arms called in to help with hazardous Fukushima clean-up

A variety of robots have so far helped out inside the debris-strewn and radiation-filled reactor buildings of the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant. The latest, from Toshiba, is a giant, remotely operated three-armed crane designed…
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Japanese researchers have created holograms you can touch, poke, and push 3:44

A team of researchers in Japan has created HaptoClone, which allows people to touch objects and other people without being near them. In other words, we now have touchable holograms.
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Japan shows off proposed Olympic stadium designs after scrapping pricey first effort

Following increasing criticism of its outlandish design and spiraling construction costs, the Japanese government in July scrapped the original plan for its 2020 Olympic stadium. This week it unveiled two new proposals by acclaimed Japanese…

Rise of smartwatches prompts top Japanese university to ban ALL watches from exams

Smartwatches are following in the footsteps of handsets, picking up exam room bans at schools and colleges around the world over cheating concerns. Prestigious Kyoto University has just become the first in Japan to ban the wrist-based…
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Japanese security drone detects intruders, then follows them around with a camera

This newest drone from Japanese company Secom is a criminal's worst nightmare -- not only is it designed to autonomously detect intruders, it also will follow them and photograph them as they try to escape.

Square Enix’s The Last Remnant out now for iOS, Android in Japan

Square Enix's Xbox 360-era RPG The Last Remnant is now available as a Japan-exclusive mobile app for iOS and Android devices that renders the game's expansive quest using cloud streaming technology.
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Watch Japanese cops use a net-equipped drone to catch a ‘rogue’ quadcopter 1:14

After a remotely controlled copter carrying a radioactive substance landed on the Japanese prime minister's office in Tokyo earlier this year, cops have been looking for an effective way to take down rogue UAVs. The solution?…
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Japanese police plan to battle drones with even bigger drones, equipped with nets

New laws on drone use came into force in Japan on Thursday, severely restricting where hobbyists can fly their machines. To police the new rules, Tokyo cops are thought to be prepping "a large drone" with a net to take down…
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Robots might take over almost half of Japan within the next 20 years

According to researchers' predictions, up to 49 percent of Japanese jobs could be taken by robots within the next two decades. And with Japan's quickly aging population, this may not even be a bad thing for the country's economy.
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These new Japanese noodles are low-cal, gluten-free, and … made from trees

Omikenshi Co. is the number two rayon manufacturer in Japan, and they're using their textile production process to create flour from inedible tree pulp and the bitter konjac plant. The resulting flour has a better taste and texture than…

Nintendo launches cross-platform user accounts in Japan

Nintendo launched a cross-platform user account system in Japan this week, giving players the ability to track their digital purchases and earn bonus cash back from eShop activity.
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This app lets you design your own accessories with your phone 1:20

With Japan's Monomy, described as an online DIY custom jewelry marketplace, anyone can create their own fashion accessories, cobbling together any combination of the more than 1,500 different parts available on the app.

Out of desperation, Sharp begs its own workers to buy Sharp products

Struggling Sharp has told its workers to buy a load of Sharp stuff this holiday season to help dig it out of its financial mess. The Japanese electronics maker has even offered guidelines suggesting how much money different types of workers…
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Robots can now get into college, surpassing human scores on standardized tests

As it turns out, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) system developed by Japan’s National Institute of Informatics is now smart enough to pass the country's college entrance exam, scoring 511 out of 950 possible points.