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Fukuoka news

July 27, 2011
2011 Robotics Industry Development Council Annual General Meeting
July 25, 2012
Fukuoka Motor Show 2012 Executive Committee
July 25, 2011
141st Big Market
July 22, 2011
Fukuoka Strategy Conference for Hydrogen Energy General Meeting and Commemorative Lecture
July 21, 2011
Fukuoka Ruby Business Hub Promotion Committee 2011 General Meeting
July 9, 2011
Keichiku Kagura Performance at Kitakyushu Airport
June 30 - July 6, 2011
Bangkok Youth Exchange Group Comes to Fukuoka
June 19, 2011
Kyushu Shinkansen Celebrates First 100 Days
June 16, 2011
Hakata Gion Yamakasa 770 Year Commemorative Ceremony
June 5, 2011
2011 Fukuoka Prefecture Comprehensive Disaster Drill
June 3, 2011
Fukuoka Contents Industry Hub Promotion Committee 2011 General Meeting

2011 Robotics Industry Development Council Annual General Meeting (July 27, 2011)

Promoting the Robot Industry to Vitalize Japan

The robot industry is expected to grow in a variety of fields including medical, caregiving, and living support. In order to promote the commercialization and practical application of robots through coordinating R&D and pilot experiments, Fukuoka Prefecture established the Robotics Industry Development Council--a coalition between corporations, academic institutions, and government.

On July 27, the Council held its annual general meeting, where it announced it would hold the China-Japan-Korea Robot Forum this fall, and featured a lecture by an organization working on the joint development of caregiving robots. In the opening remarks Governor Ogawa said that, "After the Great East Japan Earthquake, people have become keenly aware of effectiveness of using robots for work in dangerous areas. It is my hope that this Council becomes a driving force to contribute to the economic development of the region and the creation of new jobs, as well as vitalize not only Fukuoka Prefecture but all of Japan.


Governor Ogawa watching a demonstration of a walking training robot
Toshiharu Mukai of RIKEN-TRI Collaboration Center for Human-Interactive Robot Research giving a lecture
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Fukuoka Motor Show 2012 Executive Committee (July 25, 2012)

Fukuoka Motor Show 2012 is On!

Northern Kyushu is a major center for automobile production, producing 1.54 million automobiles per year.

The Fukuoka Motor Show 2012 Executive Committee had their first meeting on July 25. The Committee is comprised of forty-eight organizations representing industry, academia, and government. In order to communicate Northern Kyushu's capacity as a production center and future prospects within and outside of the region, and further develop the auto industry, the committee has decided to hold the 3rd Fukuoka Motor Show in January.

Governor Ogawa said in his opening remarks that, "The automotive industry is a diverse industry, a driving force for job creation and economic vitalization. I hope that all of Fukuoka and Kyushu rallies together to put on a lively Motor Show."


Governor Ogawa giving the opening remarks

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141st Big Market (July 25, 2011)

Japanese and International Venture Companies Announce New Products!

In order to assist venture companies procure funds and expand their markets, Fukuoka Prefecture holds Fukuoka Venture Market (FVM) every month, where venture companies can hold business meetings and make presentations to venture capitalists, trading companies, and potential clients.

Big Market is a larger-scale event which also offers venture companies a chance to exhibit their latest products, give lectures, and network amongst each other. The 141st Big Market was held at Acros Fukuoka on July 25.

Twenty-six next generation companies from Korea and China as well as Japan exhibited new products, engaged in business talks, presented business plans, and promoted energy efficient products and new technologies in hopes of concluding a deal.


Crowds at new product exhibitions and business talks.


Governor Ogawa listening eagerly to an exhibitor.

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Fukuoka Strategy Conference for Hydrogen Energy General Meeting and Commemorative Lecture (July 22, 2011)

Striving for a Hydrogen Energy Society

Fukuoka Prefecture, in conjunction with Fukuoka Strategy Conference for Hydrogen Energy (an organization comprised of 637 corporations, government agencies, and academic institutions), has implemented Fukuoka Hydrogen Strategy (Hy-Life Project) which aims to promote the realization of an environmentally-friendly hydrogen energy society. Their general meeting was held in Fukuoka City on July 22, at which it was announced that for the second phase of the Strategy they will strive to create a new hydrogen energy market and industry based on the results of their previous pilot experiments. At the meeting Governor Ogawa told attendees that, "By leveraging the best testing and research centers in the world, such as the Hydrogen Energy Test and Research Center, we will be able to develop new products and technology as well as grow and increase the number of companies in the field."


Governor Ogawa giving opening remarks at the meeting

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Fukuoka Ruby Business Hub Promotion Committee 2011 General Meeting (July 21, 2011)

Expanding Ruby Business!

Ruby is a popular programming language that allows for the fast, low-cost development of software. In order to leverage this language and further expand Fukuoka Prefecture's software industry, a general meeting of the Fukuoka Ruby Business Hub Promotion Committee--a coalition of corporations, academic institutions, and government agencies--was held on July 21 in Fukuoka City. Over 230 people representing member organizations were in attendance.

In his opening remarks Governor Ogawa said that, "Member universities and corporations of the Fukuoka Ruby Business Hub Promotion Committee (established in December of last year) are working together to accelerate the expansion of businesses utilizing Ruby and making progress in the development of Lightweight Ruby--which will greatly improve the productivity of embedded software development."


Governor Ogawa giving opening remarks at the meeting

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Keichiku Kagura Performance at Kitakyushu Airport (July 9, 2011)

Dancing for the Kami of the Sky

There are 32 kagura (Shinto sacred dance and music) groups in the Keichiku region. That is more active groups than any other region in Japan--a point of pride for Keichiku. In order to promote Keichiku as the mecca of kagura culture, a performance was held at Kitakyushu Airport on July 9.

Four kagura groups conducted six performances, which was met with thunderous applause by travelers and visitors at the airport.

Regional specialties such as fresh and miso-pickled vegetables, and konnyaku were sold at the performance venue--also a big hit with passers-by.


Kagura performers performing a soul-stirring dance.


Keichiku specialty products were a big hit with travelers, too.

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Bangkok Youth Exchange Group Comes to Fukuoka (June 30 - July 6, 2011)

Aiming to Further Promote Friendship and Exchange

Fukuoka Prefecture has signed a friendship agreement with Bangkok, Thailand to strengthen cooperation and exchange in various fields including economy, environment, culture, and tourism. This year marks the fifth year of the agreement, and in order to promote exchange between the youth of Japan and Thailand, the Bangkok Youth Exchange Group (comprised of 20 high school students) visited Fukuoka.

The group visited Kokura High School and Genkai High School, where they deepened friendships by introducing Japanese students to traditional Thai arts and joining in on lessons. And through homestay, the children experienced Japanese daily life and toured cutting-edge centers of industry such as Eco-Town in Kitakyushu and the Toyota Motor Kyushu plant.


Vice Governor Etsuko Ebii welcoming the visiting youth group

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Kyushu Shinkansen Celebrates First 100 Days (June 19, 2011)

Sending Get-Up-And-Go from the West

June 19 marked the first 100 days since JR Kyushu began full operation of all lines of the Kyushu Shinkansen, and a momoka-iwai ceremony (a traditional ceremony celebrating the first 100 days of a child's birth) was held at JR Hakata Station in honor of the occasion. In his opening remarks Governor Ogawa told attendees that, "Forty years ago when the Sanyo Shinkansen line and Hikari express opened, the slogan was 'Hikari express, aspiring to the West'. But now that the East is faced with the hardships from the recent earthquake, it is time for Kyushu Shinkansen to 'send get-up-and-go from the West.'"


Tateki Ide, the first stationmaster when Hakata Station moved to its present location in 1963, served as stationmaster for the day.


Praying for safety at Tetsudo ("railway") Shrine on the rooftop of JR Hakata City.

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Hakata Gion Yamakasa 770 Year Commemorative Ceremony (June 16, 2011)

Promoting the Continued Expansion of the World-Famous Traditional Hakata Gion Yamakasa festival

Hakata Gion Yamakasa is Fukuoka Prefecture's most well-known festival, attracting millions of spectators every year. Its origins can be traced back to 1241 in the Kamakura Period. This year marks 770 years of the festival, and in honor of the occasion the Hakata Gion Yamakasa 770 Year Commemorative Ceremony was held in Fukuoka City on June 16.

Governor Ogawa gave the opening remarks to an excited crowd of men wearing happi saying, "Yamakasa is a synonym for vitality in Fukuoka. Let's put on a great festival and send all of that energy to help Japan recover."


The governor telling a story from his childhood when he participated in the festival as a member of the Chiyonagare group.


Taiko drum performer livens up the ceremony by performing the song used during the oiyama race from Kushida Shrine that occurs at the end of the festival.

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2011 Fukuoka Prefecture Comprehensive Disaster Drill (June 5, 2011)

Reinforcing Tsunami Countermeasures

The annual Fukuoka Prefecture Comprehensive Disaster Drill to prepare for disasters such as earthquakes, tsunami, storms, and floods was held in Ashiyamachi on June 5.

Around 1,300 people, including firefighters, police, Self Defense Force soldiers, coast guard, medical professionals, and locals participated. This was the first Comprehensive Disaster Drill since the Great East Japan Earthquake. New exercises including evacuation as well as search and rescue of people adrift at sea were added to prepare for the event of a 3.3 meter tsunami.

Drills for the evacuation of handicapped individuals during a disaster, such as moving them from a social welfare facility to a welfare evacuation center, were conducted in order to verify methods for their safe evacuation.

Governor Ogawa, who also serves as the disaster drill director told participants that, "A disaster can happen to any of us, at any time, at any place. In order to be able to respond quickly and appropriately, under any conditions, we need to intensify our study of proper countermeasures.


Rescuing a local from a rooftop drifting on the sea after a tsunami.


Local residents and fishermen on the seaside evacuating to higher ground after a tsunami warning has been issued.

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Fukuoka Contents Industry Hub Promotion Committee 2011 General Meeting (June 3, 2011)

Striving to Become a Major Hub in the Digital Contents Industry

The Fukuoka Contents Industry Hub Promotion Committee--a coalition of corporations, academic institutions, and government agencies--works to expand business and train human resources in order further expand the digital contents industry of Fukuoka Prefecture.

The Committee held its general meeting on June 3, and Governor Ogawa gave the opening remarks saying, "It is my hope for Fukuoka to deploy engaging digital contents into the world, and help Japan along its path to recovery." At the meeting, attendees listened attentively to a special lecture given by Ryuta Shiiki, CEO of animation production company DLE Inc., and to presentations on the latest developments in the digital contents field of Fukuoka Prefecture.


Governor Ogawa giving opening remarks at the meeting.


Ryuta Shiiki talking about enhancing Fukuoka's ability to dispatch information.

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