hokkaido


Russia deploys surveillance drone to Japan-claimed isles off Hokkaido, report says

The Japan Times

MOSCOW - The Russian Defense Ministry has deployed a surveillance drone to an artillery division stationed on a group of islands controlled by Russia but claimed by Japan, a Russian newspaper reported Monday. The drone will be used for patrolling coastal areas and surrounding waters, as well as for rescue operations, according to the newspaper, Izvestia. The artillery unit is stationed on two of the four Russian-controlled islands off the coast of Hokkaido, known in Japan as Etorofu and Kunashiri. The Orlan-10 drone, the same type as those sent by Russia to Syria, is able to operate within a 120-kilometer radius for up to 14 hours while transmitting images from a mounted camera, the Russian paper said.


Russia deploys surveillance drone to Japan-claimed isles off Hokkaido, report says

The Japan Times

MOSCOW - The Russian Defense Ministry has deployed a surveillance drone with an artillery division to a group of islands controlled by Russia but claimed by Japan, a Russian newspaper reported on Monday. The drone will be used for patrolling coastal areas and surrounding waters, as well as for rescue operations, according to the newspaper, Izvestia. The artillery unit is stationed on two of the four Russian-controlled islands off the coast of Hokkaido, known in Japan as Etorofu and Kunashiri. The Orlan-10 drone, the same type as those sent by Russia to Syria, is able to operate within a 120-kilometer radius for up to 14 hours while transmitting images from a mounted camera, the Russian paper said.


Year of the Dog fails to answer the tough questions

The Japan Times

What an innocent, carefree year it must have been to spawn so bland a word of the year. It has a nice ring to it, especially when spoken with the Hokkaido lilt the women's curling team -- surprise bronze medalists -- gave it during February's Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. So what if all it means is, "That's right"? Let 2018, the Year of the Dog, end as it began -- on a positive note. Speaking of dogs and beginnings: Sony's robot dog Aibo was a big hit at January's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.


Hokkaido daily successfully tests newspaper delivery by drone

The Japan Times

SAPPORO – A Hokkaido newspaper company tested delivery by drone on Friday to determine whether the unmanned aircraft can be relied on to bring news to the public in times of disaster. Two weeks after a level 7 earthquake caused deadly landslides and a prefecture-wide blackout, a group comprising operators of the daily Hokkaido Shimbun's delivery shops successfully flew a drone carrying 10 copies of its newspaper 200 meters across a river in the city of Asahikawa under a hypothetical scenario in which a major quake damages a bridge and severs roads. The magnitude 6.7 quake on Sept. 6 triggered landslides that engulfed homes and shattered roads, while the blackout cut off access to information via TV, computers and mobile devices. "I'm glad we were able to deliver them successfully, as newspapers are an information infrastructure that is necessary when something drastic happens," Takuma Banno, 41-year-old head of the daily's distribution shop in Sapporo, said of the one-minute flight. The idea for the test was hatched in May and planned out before the quake struck.


Hokkaido town tests driverless bus service

The Japan Times

KAMISHIHORO, HOKKAIDO – The town of Kamishihoro, Hokkaido, began testing a driverless bus service on Saturday. The test by the Kamishihoro Municipal Government is designed to study technical issues that may arise on roads that traverse hilly and mountainous terrain in the area. "We hope that driverless bus services will be put to practical use and work to help the mobility of residents," Kamishihoro Mayor Mitsugi Takenaka said during a ceremony to mark the occasion. The test made use of a French-made Navya Arma autonomous bus built by SB Drive Corp., a unit of SoftBank Group Corp. Equipped with eight sensors and GPS, the bus ran at a speed of 10 kph near the municipal government office on a 600-meter road that was closed to traffic for the test. Some 120 residents are expected to try the bus during its three-day test run.


Biggest robot dairy in Asia setting up Japan's milk revival

The Japan Times

Jin Kawaguchiya gave up a career in finance to help revive Japan's ailing dairy industry, one robot at a time. In a country that relies increasingly on imported foods like cheese and butter, Japan's milk output tumbled over two decades, touching a 30-year low in 2014. Costs rose faster than prices as the economy stagnated, eroding profit, and aging farmers quit the business because they could not find enough young people willing to take on the hard labor of tending to cows every day. But technology is altering that dynamic. On Hokkaido, Japan's top dairy-producing region, Kawaguchiya transformed the 20-cow farm he inherited from his father-in-law 16 years ago into Asia's largest automated milking factory.