Softbank’s Son offers robots built for human joy

Japan’s richest man Masayoshi Son loves buying robots. In the past few weeks, he’s invested in a company called I-Robot which makes a vacuum-cleaner which can crawl under the sofa and in Boston Dynamics, which makes a remarkable robot, can perform athletics and run playfully through the snow. Mr Son said this week that: “People who deride robots […]

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Japan’s centurion on how to live a good, long life

One of the world’s longest-serving doctors has died at the age of 105. Shigeaki Hinohara helped revolutionise medicine in Japan and continued to treat patients almost up until his death. His obituaries, including this excellent piece on the BBC, tell the story of his remarkable life. When he was 95 years old, I met Dr […]

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Does Japan’s EU deal mean “Sayonara, UK?”

Will a free trade deal between Japan and the EU prompt Japanese companies to leave Great Britain? That was the question raised in the British media, following the Japan-EU agreement, which was announced in Brussels by the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The Financial Times said Mr Abe hailed the deal as “the birth of […]

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Fujitsu’s future: Magic cars and whales in the forest

A Japanese technology expert has shared his vision of the future with me. He claims that magic is on the way. Yoshikuni Takashige of Fujitsu told me that “significantly advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” He then went on to reveal three ideas which the company is developing which resemble magic and which are likely […]

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Japan’s cheese tax melts before EU deal

Until recently, cheese was a rare treat in Japan. There are not very many cows in the country, so any type of dairy product, including cheese, feels rather foreign. However, since World War Two, Japanese people have been developing a taste for American food, so they have started to eat cheese on the top of […]

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