Japanese innovation serves sustainability

Japanese innovation serves sustainability
By Daleen Hassan
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This edition of Spotlight looks at how Japanese innovation serves sustainability


Daleen Hassan, Euronews: _Japan is drawing on its experience and knowhow to try and meet the sustainable development goals set out by the United Nations for 2030.

“This edition of Spotlight looks at how Japanese innovation serves sustainability.

“Faced with an aging, diminishing pool of skilled workers in the construction sector, Komatsu is using artificial intelligence to improve productivity and also to encourage women to join the workforce. Let’s take a look at Smart Construction._

Smart construction

Stereotyped as “dirty, hard work and dangerous,” the construction sector is considered an industry that is undesirable for younger generations.

Smart Construction systems are based on information communication technology.

Laser-scanning drones are used to survey specific job-sites. The data is then used to create 3D surveys and this information is shared with all machines and workers via the control room.

This system achieves high-precision construction and shortens the period of work on site which increases efficiency and makes the process more environmentally friendly.

*Chikashi Shike,
President, Smart Construction Promotion Division:* “Smart Construction links all the process of construction production, from start to the end, with 3D data, the efficiency would increase naturally machine operation time should become more efficient. Then CO2 emissions should reduce accordingly.”

Komatsu is keen to attract more youth to work in the field, especially women, their participation is pivotal because of the labor shortage of more than 1 million workers in the Japanese construction sector.

Yuki Ohnuki, Smart Construction Promotion Division: “By using this system, I hope women would participate actively in the construction industry, not only in our country but also all around the world.”

Daleen Hassan, Euronews:Waste is a big problem in both developed and developing countries. Suhji Yonomura believes objects that have become obsolete can be given a second life. For instance, what do we do with a tram when it’s no longer fit to run?

New life for waste

Shuji Yonemura, Project Manager, Remember Project:
“This is a tram which ends its service, however there are many things here that can be recycled and reused.”

The Remember project, is a new style of Japanese initiative 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) that is creating new products from waste materials that would otherwise be scrapped.

“The project’s idea has developed by Shuji Yonemura who likes to call it a “spiritual recycling” transforming the materials of an old tram into some useful tools that people can keep as souvenirs.

Shuji Yonemura: “We aim to realise a kind of cycle in transferring the profits generated by making products with train components to charitable activities or to the reparation of trams or trains.”

Shuji believes that his project could be adopted in different places like Europe where trains are relied upon heavily.


Mobilising “knowledge”, expertise and the will to make the world a better place to live in are key sustainable development goals.

Daleen Hassan, Euronews: _To learn more about Japan’s implementation of these goals I am joined by Megumi Ishizuka,Deputy Director of Global Cooperation in Japan.

-What is Japan doing to advance sustainable development goals?_

Megumi Ishizuka: “Here in Japan we are working on advancing goals related to women’s empowerment and decent work for example. Internationally Japan has been a strong advocate for the concept of human security which is embedded in in the concept of the 2030 agenda ‘leaving no one behind.’ So based on such human-centered approach we can play a significant role in helping developing countries achieve the SDGs (sustainable development goals) especially in the areas where we have strength like disaster risk reduction and health in Africa.”

Daleen Hassan, Euronews: _This leads us to our next report.
In many countries, people still lack basic sanitation services, causing major health and social problems. A Japanese company has found an innovative and inexpensive solution. Let’s watch._


Sub-Saharan Africa faces a crucial open defecation problem, which is the main cause of diseases spreading, preventing girls from attending schools.
Lixil SATO toilets have been invented for those countries, the toilet designed to prohibit insects from passing into the open toilets and spreading germs.
We met the head of SATO business unit in Tokyo, where he explained the concept.

“This has a simple counterweight door, this scope here gets filled with concrete at the installation site and that is keeps the door in close position.”

has set a goal to improve sanitation for 100 million people by 2020, however sanitation issues are a big challenge with 2.4 billion people still lacking basic sanitation facilities.

Daleen Hassan, Euronews:
Of course, there are a lot of challenges ahead. Do you think that UN sustainable development goals can be realistically achieved by 2030?

Megumi Ishizuka: “I would like to keep my hopes high the main challenge for the international community is to raise public awareness especially educating and engaging the youth is critical because the SDGs are about creating the future that they will live in.”


Daleen Hassan, Euronews:
Ms. Meguimi thanks for being with us. That’s all for now. Thanks for watching.

Lixil's 'safe toilet' to be made in India, Kenya https://t.co/aZUHBFp7dIpic.twitter.com/9vWmX7×1w5

— Nikkei Asian Review (@NAR) February 28, 2017

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