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Funeral discounts deployed rein in to elderly drivers

The Japan Times

NAGOYA – With traffic accidents involving elderly drivers a growing problem, more incentives are emerging to entice seniors to give up their driver's licenses. Heiankaku Co., a funeral provider in Aichi Prefecture, has been offering 15 percent discounts at its 89 funeral homes there since March for customers who turn in their driver's licenses. Those who want the discount must provide proof from police that their licenses were surrendered. The discount is only available to family members and close relatives. According to the company, people outside Aichi are also eligible.


Aichi city hires non-Japanese assistants to support foreign children at elementary schools

The Japan Times

During a recent math class in an elementary school in Aichi Prefecture, Kamila Tamy Tida Miyamoto, 31, a Brazilian school assistant, pointed to the textbooks of Aika and Ayumi, second-grade Brazilian students who enrolled this year, as she explained concepts to them in Portuguese. Currently, 35 non-Japanese students are enrolled at Nisshin Elementary School in Hekinan, Aichi Prefecture, comprising 10 percent of all students. The class to which Aika and Ayumi belong has four other foreign students. Amid an increase in the number of non-Japanese children living in the Chubu region -- a manufacturing hub where many foreign workers are hired -- the Hekinan Municipal Government in October started dispatching a non-Japanese school assistant to each of the seven elementary schools in the city. The assistants help the children communicate smoothly with others and feel comfortable studying at school.


Aichi farm machinery firm taps foreign talent in the region to drive overseas sales

The Japan Times

Kohshin Engineering Co., which produces and sells agricultural equipment for poultry farming, has successfully expanded its overseas sales by hiring foreign employees. Based in Ama, Aichi Prefecture, Kohshin Engineering is a small company with 35 employees. Its annual gross sales are approximately ¥700 million, and in some years sales from abroad have constituted up to 80 percent of the total. "Everybody, regardless of nationality, likes to work by utilizing their unique skills. I simply made the management decision that I thought was appropriate," said Hiroki Sumiya, 65, the president of the company.


Traffic deaths fall below 4,000 in Japan for first time in 67 years

The Japan Times

In 2016, the number of people who died in traffic accidents dropped by 213, or 5.2 percent, from a year earlier to 3,904. The figure was the third-lowest since 1948, the first year for which comparable data became available. It was last below 4,000 in 1949. The 2016 figure was less than a quarter of the record 16,765 logged in 1970, according to the agency. An agency official attributed the decline to traffic safety education; improved vehicle performance, like automatic brakes; and better road conditions, such as more intersections with clearer lines of sight and easier-to-see traffic lights.


Elderly Aichi Prefecture drivers who relinquish licenses to get ramen discount

The Japan Times

NAGOYA – Elderly drivers in Aichi Prefecture will receive a discount at local ramen restaurants if they surrender their licenses under a new police-business partnership. The Aichi Prefectural Police Department has concluded an agreement on the discount program with Sugakico Systems Co., a Nagoya-based company that operates the Sugakiya ramen chain mainly in central Japan. Beginning Friday, the discount will apply to all 176 Sugakiya ramen restaurants in the prefecture. In urging elderly drivers to voluntarily relinquish their driver's licenses by offering discounts on the popular ramen, the Aichi police aim to prevent traffic accidents. The number of accidents caused by elderly drivers, including some that have been fatal, has been on the rise in Japan.