2008年1月30日 星期三

日本決定全面禁止垃圾郵件

2008.01.31
日本總務省決定全面禁止垃圾郵件,將向惡意企業下達改善命令

  日本總務省決定全面禁止在未經接收者同意下發送廣告及宣傳內容等垃圾郵件的行為。將要求NTT等通信系統業者提交惡意發送垃圾郵件的企業資訊,對於違 反禁令的企業,總務省將向其下達改善命令。同時還將加重處罰規定,提高處罰金額。日本總務省在向今年國會提出的特定電子郵件法修訂案中增加必要的條目,強 化杜絕垃圾郵件的對策。

  通過此次的法規修訂,總務省將能夠要求通信公司提供惡意企業的資訊。今後將首先向該企業發出警告,在不聽警告時再下達改善命令。另外還將增加的條項還包括:當家用個人電腦感染病毒後發送垃圾郵件時,通信公司可以拒絕為其提供郵件服務。

  不僅僅是日本國內,日本總務省今後還將聯手海外當局對來自海外的郵件進行監控。日本垃圾郵件受理中心的數據顯示,個人電腦垃圾郵件的報告件數在07年度上半年有大約3萬2000件,來自海外的郵件超過了9成。(1月30日 《日本經濟新聞》晨報)

朝日・読売・日経--日本報業三巨頭合設網站

朝日・読売・日経--日本報業三巨頭合設網站

日本報業三巨頭合設網站 這是Deming 喜歡談的合作哲學
http://allatanys.jp/

最新ニュース....

2008年1月21日 星期一

吉兆料理: 園児20人が茶席体験

佐賀

園児20人が茶席体験 卒園前に礼儀作法学ぶ 嬉野保育所

 嬉野市嬉野町の嬉野保育所(宮崎繁利所長)の園児20人が21日、近くのみゆき公園の茶室で茶席を体験し、特産の嬉野茶を味わった。

 体験したのは5‐6歳児で、卒園前の子どもたちに嬉野茶に親しんでもらうとともに、基本的な礼儀作法を学ばせようと、同保育所が約10年前から毎年行っ ている。茶室では、裏千家佐賀支部メンバーの安永宗豊さん(嬉野市在住)と門下生の計3人が指導。園児たちは茶を運ぶ役ともてなされる客役に分かれ、あい さつのほか、お茶やお茶菓子のいただき方などの作法を学んだ。

 茶室に入るのは初めてという園児が大半で、緊張のためか、丸いお茶菓子を畳に転がしてしまう場面なども見られたが、最後は「泡のお茶はおいしい」「お菓子のようかんをまた食べたい」など元気な声が聞かれた。

=2008/01/22付 西日本新聞朝刊=


總,総作;女将


赤福偽装に「うちは大丈夫」 船場吉兆料理人ら内幕語る

2008年01月22日08時22分

 総菜や牛肉などの表示偽装が相次いだ高級料亭「船場吉兆」が22日、大阪市の本店の営業を再開させる。創業者の三女で女将(おかみ)の湯木佐知子・新社 長(70)は21日に本店で記者会見を開き、「同じ失敗を繰り返さない」と約束した。不正発覚から3カ月。「吉兆ブランド」を支えてきた料理人らが、うそ を重ねて不正を隠そうとした経営の内幕について重い口を開いた。

 「このままのラベルではだめです」。本店で13年間料理人を務める遠藤亮一さん(33)は昨年、前社長の湯木正徳氏の長男で、当時取締 役だった喜久郎氏に直談判した。贈答用商品として販売していた「但馬牛こがねみそ漬け」の肉の仕入れ先が九州に変わった後も、ラベルが「但馬牛」のまま だったからだ。

 だが、正徳氏とともに牛肉の仕入れを担当していた喜久郎氏は「ラベルは10万枚単位で発注している。古いラベルの処分はどうするつもりだ」と拒否。料理人たちに元のラベルを張り続けるよう指示したという。

 10月に和菓子メーカー「赤福」の偽装問題が発覚すると、板場には危機感が募った。料理長を通じて喜久郎氏に偽装をやめるよう再度頼んだ が、「うちは大丈夫や」という答えが返ってきただけ。福岡市の百貨店内にある店舗で菓子の表示偽装が表面化したのはそれから約2週間後だった。

 「牛肉の仕入れは中堅社員が1人で担当していた」。農林水産省に改善を指示された11月9日、正徳氏の会見での言葉に遠藤さんは「何 言っているんだ」と耳を疑った。翌日、料理人から抗議を受けた喜久郎氏は「従業員のせいにしていない」と弁解したが、誰も納得しなかったという。

 本店の営業再開を翌日に控えた今月21日朝、板場に十数人の料理人が集められ、取締役になった料理長が「いいものを作っていこう」と声をかけたという。遠藤さんは「吉兆ブランドに頼らず、自分たちの店をゼロから作る気持ちでやる」と話した。

 「最初は同情した常連さんが来てくれるだろうが、それだけでは続かない」。仲居として22年間働き、本店再開後は品質管理担当者として食材の表示を守る役割を担う深田和明(わか)さん(41)は厳しい表情で語った。

 店側が農水省に提出した「改善報告書」の作成に携わり、賞味・消費期限が偽装された菓子や総菜の外販商品をチェックした。

 スイート紅芋、明太子(めんたいこ)コロッケ、抹茶ゼリー……。初めて聞く商品名がずらりと並んでいた。創業者一族による拡大路線のひずみを改めて思い知らされたという。

 184人の社員・パートのうち約110人が退職したが、深田さんは「仲間が好きだから一緒に働きたかった」と店に残る道を選んだ。

 新社長に創業者の三女で女将の佐知子氏が就いたことには「女将はお得意様との付き合いなどの面で再建に必要」と話した。

Lessons of Kobe need to be heeded in Tokyo

Lessons of Kobe need to be heeded in Tokyo

01/18/2008

"Soshite Kobe" (And Kobe), a pop song that made it high up in the hit charts 35 years ago, begins: "Kobe, what good will it be to cry?" The Kobe Port neighborhood, where "ship's lights are reflected in the bay's murky water" in the song, is now undergoing a hotel construction boom. The tourist industry is said to be poised to aggressively promote Kobe as "a safe, new city that has achieved reconstruction."

The Great Hanshin Earthquake struck on Jan. 17 in 1995, killing more than 6,400 people. The city is focusing on how best to pass on to posterity the mourning of victims and lessons learned from the disaster. With the passage of 13 years, Kobe's initial struggle for reconstruction has now become more of a "struggle to keep the memories alive."

Kobe citizens, who are being trained as volunteer citizen lifesavers, are growing steadily in number. Some are said to have become trainers as a way to show their gratitude to strangers who had saved their lives in the immediate aftermath of the quake. This awareness for disaster-preparedness, now taking firm root in the community, is something of great value that has been learned from the quake.

Together with the Great Kanto Earthquake, which hit on Sept. 1, 1923, killing more than 100,000 people, the Great Hanshin Earthquake serves as a reminder of the need for constant quake preparedness.

Tokyo is speeding up its own earthquake preparedness. According to the Central Disaster Management Council, a magnitude 7 temblor striking directly under the Tokyo metropolitan area would leave 6.5 million people stranded as transportation systems broke down. What would happen if all these people started heading home on foot at the same time?

The Tokyo Marathon of last February amply demonstrated how unexpectedly long it takes for a huge crowd to get moving all at once. There were 30,000 people running in this marathon, and it took 20 minutes for the entire throng to cross the starting line, even though this was on a wide, eight-lane road.

Should 6.5 million people spill out onto the streets of Tokyo en masse, fire engines and ambulances will obviously remain stuck in the traffic of teeming humanity while fire and quake damage spread. After the Great Hanshin Earthquake, many drills were held to train people for returning home on foot.

Today, however, emergency management experts recommend that everyone should stay put in a safe place and not try to rush home.

Means of disaster-preparedness are being reviewed constantly. This is one effect of the two reminders in January and September each year.

--The Asahi Shimbun, Jan. 17(IHT/Asahi: January 18,2008)

2008年1月19日 星期六

Japan’s Best Sellers Go Cellular

Best Sellers Go Cellular


Japan’s Best Sellers Go Cellular

Ko Sasaki for The New York Times

Japan’s younger generation came of age with the cellphone, and created its own popular culture by tapping thumbs on keypads.


Published: January 20, 2008

TOKYO — Until recently, cellphone novels — composed on phone keypads by young women wielding dexterous thumbs and read by fans on their tiny screens — had been dismissed in Japan as a subgenre unworthy of the country that gave the world its first novel, “The Tale of Genji,” a millennium ago. Then last month, the year-end best-seller tally showed that cellphone novels, republished in book form, have not only infiltrated the mainstream but have come to dominate it.

Skip to next paragraph
Ko Sasaki for The New York Times

Rin, 21, tapped out a novel on her cellphone that sold 400,000 copies in hardcover.

Of last year’s 10 best-selling novels, five were originally cellphone novels, mostly love stories written in the short sentences characteristic of text messaging but containing little of the plotting or character development found in traditional novels. What is more, the top three spots were occupied by first-time cellphone novelists, touching off debates in the news media and blogosphere.

“Will cellphone novels kill ‘the author’?” a famous literary journal, Bungaku-kai, asked on the cover of its January issue. Fans praised the novels as a new literary genre created and consumed by a generation whose reading habits had consisted mostly of manga, or comic books. Critics said the dominance of cellphone novels, with their poor literary quality, would hasten the decline of Japanese literature.

Whatever their literary talents, cellphone novelists are racking up the kind of sales that most more experienced, traditional novelists can only dream of.


rack sth up phrasal verb [M]
1 MAINLY US INFORMAL to gradually get more points, profits, etc.; to accumulate:
He has racked up 450 points in three months.
Astronomical profits/losses were racked up by airlines last year.

2 to increase something such as a rent or price, especially by an amount that is considered to be too much:
Our landlord racked up the rent by 15% this year.

(from Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)



One such star, a 21-year-old woman named Rin, wrote “If You” over a six-month stretch during her senior year in high school. While commuting to her part-time job or whenever she found a free moment, she tapped out passages on her cellphone and uploaded them on a popular Web site for would-be authors.

After cellphone readers voted her novel No. 1 in one ranking, her story of the tragic love between two childhood friends was turned into a 142-page hardcover book last year. It sold 400,000 copies and became the No. 5 best-selling novel of 2007, according to a closely watched list by Tohan, a major book distributor.

“My mother didn’t even know that I was writing a novel,” said Ms. Rin, who, like many cellphone novelists, goes by only one name. “So at first when I told her, well, I’m coming out with a novel, she was like, what?

“She didn’t believe it until it came out and appeared in book stores.”

The cellphone novel was born in 2000 after a home-page-making Web site, Maho no i-rando, realized that many users were writing novels on their blogs; it tinkered with its software to allow users to upload works in progress and readers to comment, creating the serialized cellphone novel. But the number of users uploading novels began booming only two to three years ago, and the number of novels listed on the site reached one million last month, according to Maho no i-rando.

The boom appeared to have been fueled by a development having nothing to do with culture or novels but by mobile-phone companies’ decision to offer unlimited transmission of packet data, like text-messaging, as part of flat monthly rates. The largest provider, Docomo, began offering this service in mid-2004.

“Their cellphone bills were easily reaching $1,000, so many people experienced what they called ‘packet death,’ and you wouldn’t hear from them for a while,” said Shigeru Matsushima, an editor who oversees the book uploading site at Starts Publishing, a leader in republishing cellphone novels.

The affordability of cellphones coincided with the coming of age of a generation of Japanese for whom cellphones, more than personal computers, had been an integral part of their lives since junior high school. So they read the novels on their cellphones, even though the same Web sites were also accessible by computer. They punched out text messages with their thumbs with blinding speed, and used expressions and emoticons, like smilies and musical notes, whose nuances were lost on anyone over the age of 25.

“It’s not that they had a desire to write and that the cellphone happened to be there,” said Chiaki Ishihara, an expert in Japanese literature at Waseda University who has studied cellphone novels. “Instead, in the course of exchanging e-mail, this tool called the cellphone instilled in them a desire to write.”

Indeed, many cellphone novelists had never written fiction before, and many of their readers had never read novels before, according to publishers.

Cellphone writers are not paid for their work, no matter how many millions of times their novels might be read online. The payoff, if any, comes when the novels are reproduced and sold as traditional books. Readers have free access to the Web sites that carry the novels, or pay at most $1 to $2 a month, but the sites make most of their money from advertising.

Critics say the novels owe a lot to a genre devoured by the young: comic books. In cellphone novels, characters tend to remain undeveloped and descriptions thin, while paragraphs are often fragments and consist mostly of dialogue.

“Traditionally, Japanese would depict a scene emotionally, like ‘The train came out of the long tunnel into the snow country,’ ” Mika Naito, a novelist, said, referring to the famous opening sentence of Yasunari Kawabata’s “Snow Country.”川端康成 雪鄉

“In cellphone novels, you don’t need that,” said Ms. Naito, 36, who recently began writing cellphone novels at the urging of her publisher. “If you limit it to a certain place, readers won’t be able to feel a sense of familiarity.”

Written in the first person, many cellphone novels read like diaries. Almost all the authors are young women delving into affairs of the heart, spiritual descendants, perhaps, of Shikibu Murasaki, the 11th century royal lady-in-waiting who wrote “The Tale of Genji.”

“Love Sky,” a debut novel by a young woman named Mika, was read by 20 million people on cellphones or on computers, according to Maho no i-rando, where it was first uploaded. A tear-jerker featuring adolescent sex, rape, pregnancy and a fatal disease — the genre’s sine qua non — the novel nevertheless captured the young generation’s attitude, its verbal tics and the cellphone’s omnipresence. Republished in book form, it became the No. 1 selling novel last year and was made into a movie.

Given the cellphone novels’ domination of the mainstream, critics no longer dismiss them, though some say they should be classified with comic books or popular music.

Ms. Rin said ordinary novels left members of her generation cold.

“They don’t read works by professional writers because their sentences are too difficult to understand, their expressions are intentionally wordy, and the stories are not familiar to them,” she said. “On other hand, I understand how older Japanese don’t want to recognize these as novels. The paragraphs and the sentences are too simple, the stories are too predictable. But I’d like cellphone novels to be recognized as a genre.”

As the genre’s popularity leads more people to write cellphone novels, though, an existential question has arisen: can a work be called a cellphone novel if it is not composed on a cellphone, but on a computer or, inconceivably, in longhand?

“When a work is written on a computer, the nuance of the number of lines is different, and the rhythm is different from writing on a cellphone,” said Keiko Kanematsu, an editor at Goma Books, a publisher of cellphone novels. “Some hard-core fans wouldn’t consider that a cellphone novel.”

Still, others say the genre is not defined by the writing tool.

Ms. Naito, the novelist, said she writes on a computer and sends the text to her cellphone, with which she rearranges the content. Unlike the first-time cellphone novelists in their teens or early 20s, Ms. Naito said she felt more comfortable writing on a computer.

But at least one member of the cellphone generation has made the switch to computers. A year ago, one of Starts Publishing’s young stars, Chaco, gave up her phone even though she could compose much faster with it by tapping with her thumb.

“Because of writing on the cellphone, her nail had cut into the flesh and became bloodied,” said Mr. Matsushita of Starts.

“Since she’s switched to a computer,” he added, “her vocabulary’s gotten richer and her sentences have also grown longer.”

2008年1月17日 星期四

Sugar-coated corporate problems

ECONOMIC FORUM / Sugar-coated corporate problems

Company staffers called shuga shain (sugar employees) have become the topic of conversation among those in charge of corporate human resources and labor affairs. But what kind of employees are they?

Sugar is sweet. The Japanese word for sweet is amai and when it is used as an adjective to describe a person, he or she is considered a little problematic for being too optimistic, careless or self-indulgent. Hence the new term to describe childish young employees who are overly optimistic about society.

Yukiko Takita, who runs an office as a certified social insurance labor consultant in Hokkaido, coined the term in her book "Shuga Shain ga Kaisha o Tokasu" (Sugar Employees Dissolve Companies), published by Bookman-sha. In the book she gives many examples of sugar employees.

Takita runs a business specializing in social insurance consultancy. Many corporations seek her counsel over "ways to deal with troubled employees" and to "resolve trouble between a company and employees." Typically, these problems involve "sugar employees," many of them in their 20s and 30s.

She analyzes sugar employees by separating them into five types. The two basic types are:

-- The "one room capacity" type: Employees whose ability to handle work is limited and who back away from hard work.

-- The "overextended private life" type: Employees who prioritize their private life, failing to distinguish between work and private spheres of life during working hours by using company time for private use without hesitation, and conversely, refusing to help out on days off no matter what emergency situation their company is in.

She also refers to three other types:

-- The "respect me" type: Employees who are overconfident in their abilities and do not take their duties seriously. They overrate the results of their work and demand generous remuneration.

-- The "prison break" type: Employees who quit when they find they cannot work as they please, leaving companies at the earliest possible moment like inmates escaping from prison. They repeatedly switch jobs.

-- The "helicopter parent" type: An overly protective parent who interferes in company affairs to cover up the inadequacies of his or her offspring working at that firm.

The five types have a similar background in that they are typically people who have been brought up to be spoiled, self-centered and indifferent to the inconvenience they cause others. They believe their sense of values to be absolutely correct and adhere to their way of thinking no matter how hard others try to persuade them to change. If they find their workplace is not comfortable, they look to escape immediately. In other words, they have all the external appearance of adults, but are quite willful and spoiled on the inside.

Many readers of this column who are corporate managers or in management positions are likely to concur that they have employees like this. Some younger readers, on the other hand, may resent this analysis, saying, "I am different."

Of course, "young employee" is not synonymous with "sugar employee." It may be that the sugary aspect of young people is more conspicuous because many of them state their views so directly these days.

A rather more serious problem for Japan is the sugary sense of values that is proliferating throughout the country.

"Sugar managers" delegate tasks to their subordinates and refrain from making decisions. Then there are "sugar companies" that feel no shame in behaving to the detriment of society. The rise in both sugar managers and sugar companies seems relentless.

In the 1990s, compensation offered to clients by major securities companies for stock investment losses and the illegal payments made to corporate racketeers to prevent them from disrupting shareholder meetings were notable social problems. This decade, meanwhile, has seen the advent of alleged cases of window dressing by Internet firm Livedoor Co., insider trading implicating the so-called Murakami Fund, and the successive false labeling of foodstuffs. They are all "childish" deeds that place significance only on profits and self-interest.

Has any "sugar" coated you or the company you work for? We all need to keep an eye on ourselves. Of course, that includes me, too. I would like to discipline and take another long hard look at myself.

Hayashida is a deputy economic news editor of The Yomiuri Shimbun.

(Jan. 16, 2008)

*古紙配合率偽装

2008.01.22
王子等四大公司承認複印紙也存在再生紙比例造假行為

  關於再生紙中廢紙配合比例不實的問題,王子制紙、大王制紙、三菱制紙、北越制紙四家公司1月18日宣佈,不僅是明信片,複印用紙等多種紙製品也存在配 合比例不實行為。此外,中越漿紙工業也已承認存在不實行為。加上日本制紙,日本國內大型造紙公司長年供貨不合規格產品的不實行為已成為行業慣例的事實被曝 光,停止再生紙交易及銷售等影響正在擴大。當日接受採訪的王子制紙等四家公司的社長均表示不認為該行為不當,因此不準備引咎辭職。

  同日,王子制紙和大王制紙等四家公司的社長分別舉行新聞發佈會,宣佈了調查結果。2007年10~12月期間內,包括日本制紙在內的五家公司 假冒產品月產量合計約達4萬6000噸。這相當於再生紙總產量的23%,佔整個行業普通紙產量的2.9%。(1月19日 《日本經濟新聞》晨報)



王子製紙 コピー紙・封筒も偽装 社長は続投強調

2008年01月18日12時14分

 はがき用再生紙の古紙配合率が契約を下回っていた製紙最大手の王子製紙は18日、コピー用紙や封筒なども配合率が公表値を下回っていたと発表した。古紙 を全く配合していなかったインクジェット用のはがきもあったほか、コピー用再生紙は07年夏の時点で約7割が偽装だった。94年には始まっていた偽装に基 づく生産は既にやめたが、在庫を出荷していたという。篠田和久社長が記者会見し、陳謝した。

写真

古紙配合率の調査結果についての会見で頭を下げる王子製紙の(右から)篠田和久社長、関口裕専務執行役員、枝川知生執行役員=18日午前11時、東京・銀座で

 はがき用の偽装は、王子、日本製紙グループ本社、大王製紙、北越製紙、三菱製紙の大手5社すべてで発覚しているが、はがき以外でも偽装があったことを公 表したのは、業界2位の日本製紙に続く2社目。日本製紙グループ本社の中村雅知社長は引責辞任の意向を表明しているが、王子製紙は篠田社長も担当役員も続 投する考えだ。

 篠田社長は18日の会見で、「ユーザーや消費者の皆様に多大なご迷惑をおかけしたことを深くおわび申し上げます」と陳謝した。その一方 で、「大半のものはきちんとしており(公称と配合率の)隔たりは、それほど大きくなかった。私中心の経営体制でがんばりたい」と、続投する考えを強調し た。

 古紙配合率は、公称40%となっている年賀はがきで実際は0~20%。50%のはずの印刷用紙は5~10%。50~30%のはずの封筒 用紙は30~20%だった。100%のはずのコピー用紙にも45%のものがあった。国などに環境配慮製品の購入を促すグリーン購入法の対象品での偽装も、 過去に行われていた模様だ。


郵便はがき全5社、古紙配合率偽装 日本製紙社長辞任へ

2008年01月16日22時34分

 日本製紙の再生紙の年賀はがきが契約で決めた古紙の配合率を大幅に下回っていた問題で、日本郵政は16日、08年用年賀はがきに限らずすべての再生紙は がきについて、全納入メーカーが契約内容より低い配合率で納入していたと発表した。日本製紙の問題をきっかけに調べたところ、北越製紙、三菱製紙、大王製 紙、王子製紙の各社でも同様の「偽装」が判明した。日本郵政は「配合率40%」で発注しているが、高いメーカーでも20%だったという。

写真

記者会見で頭を下げる日本製紙グループ本社の中村社長(中央)ら=16日午後、東京都中央区で

 日本製紙の親会社、日本製紙グループ本社の中村雅知社長(66)は同日記者会見し、他の製品でも配合率を「偽装」していたことを認め、全容を解明し次第、引責辞任する意向を表明した。

 また、公正取引委員会の伊東章二事務総長は同日の記者会見で「実態を把握し、その上で法律上の問題になるかどうかを検討したい」と述べた。

 日本製紙が07年10~12月に再生紙として生産した銘柄を調べたところ、コピー用紙など計10銘柄で公称の配合率と実績に開きがあった。このうち6銘柄は、環境に優しい製品を国などが積極的に調達するよう定めた「グリーン購入法」に基づいて販売されていた。

 08年用年賀はがきのシェアでは日本製紙は54%と圧倒的な首位。中村社長は「(品質を維持するには)当社の現在の技術では配合率1~5%が限度」と認めており、日本郵政は今後、配合率の変更も含め、印刷会社、製紙会社と協議する。

 日本製紙によると、再生紙はがきが一部で使われ始めた92年当時、工場で発生する「損紙」も古紙として使うことで「40%」を実現できると見て受注した が、損紙が古紙として認められないことが判明。「コンプライアンス(法令順守)より、配合率を下げて品質を確保することを優先した」(中村社長)という。 他社もほぼ同様の釈明をしており、いずれも近く社内調査に着手する。

 中村社長は徳島県の小松島工場長を務めていた96~98年当時から、一部製品の古紙の配合率が公称と実績で異なっているのを把握していたことも明らかにした。北越製紙も97年用年賀はがきから偽装していたという。


Not using recycled paper goes against the grain

01/19/2008

Shotaro Ikenami (1923-1990), a popular novelist, was in the habit of cutting up and recycling the pages of his discarded manuscripts into scratch paper. His fascination with paper apparently dated back to his childhood in the early Showa Era (1926-1989).

Whenever he got his allowance, he would run to a paper store to buy cheap, coarse paper. He would cut the sheets into quarters, draw pictures on them in ink and crayon, and create his own picture-story show. This was his favorite hobby.

In his essay "Ichinen no Fukei" (year's landscape) published by The Asahi Shimbun, Ikenami recalled how excited and rich he felt when he bought as many as 20 sheets of high-quality, snow-white drawing paper using his New Year's otoshidama gift money. He then went on to lament "the present-day glut of paper and paper products in the average Japanese home."

Japan Post Holdings Co. announced Wednesday that five paper mills producing Japan Post postcards used significantly less recycled paper than they had promised in their contracts.

For instance, the 2008 New Year's postcards supplied by Nippon Paper Industries Co. contained only 1 percent recycled paper, even though the company's contract with Japan Post called for 40 percent. Similar breaches of contract also occurred with copying paper.

Recycled paper loses some of its snowy white color, depending on how much recycled material is used. Paper mills gave the excuse of ensuring high quality in their cards for the lapses.

However, government offices are required by law to mainly buy paper products containing high percentages of recycled paper. The scandal suggests the offending paper makers tried to take advantage of the government's resource-protection measures.

Nationwide, 70 percent of all paper produced is returned to paper companies for recycling and 60 percent is reprocessed. But since only paper mills know how much recycled paper they use in their products, they may be deceiving customers.

In the old days when whiteness of sheets was highly valued, paper makers would have been criticized if they had added recycled paper to their products. But now that consumers are more ecologically minded, skimping on recycled paper invites scandal.

In the last century, the custom of exchanging letters grew along with the mass production of paper. According to "Kami no Rekishi" (history of paper) published by Sogensha Inc., the average number of letters sent by Germans grew from less than two a year in the mid-19th century to 58 at the end of the century.

I am sure some letter writers use recycled paper because they want to send messages in an environment-friendly way. The papermakers' betrayal of people's environmental awareness makes me very angry.

--The Asahi Shimbun, Jan. 18(IHT/Asahi: January 19,2008)


2008年1月15日 星期二

日中友好只是“一廂情願”(願者上鉤)

2007.12.25
直言中日:日中友好只是“一廂情願”

  2007年恰逢日中兩國實現邦交正常化35週年。為紀念這一重要的年份並促進與中國的交流,日本政府將2007年定為“日中文化體育交流年”(筆者注:中文名稱為“中日文化體育交流年”),為民間的各項活動提供援助。

  民間以經濟界為中心成立了事務局,負責交流活動的籌劃和實施。其中最大的活動是11月29日在人民大會堂舉行的文藝晚會,日中兩國知名歌手薈萃一堂。 據悉,兩國共有約6000人到場觀賞了這臺文藝晚會,中國中央電視臺還在12月3日播出了近100分鐘的晚會特別節目。對於能夠在中國的政治象徵的人民大 會堂舉辦文藝晚會,日方事務局深受感動,對中方的合作與理解深表謝意。

  除這場音樂會以外,2007年一年間共舉辦了大大小小300多場日中友好活動。這些活動基本上達到了促進與中國交流的目的,日本政府也基本滿 意。但是,實際組織這些友好活動的日本民間人士則未必滿意。某企業負責人吐露道:“向中方提議舉辦某種交流活動,對方會立刻贊同,但條件是‘費用全部由日 方承擔’。”

  開展日中交流活動時,不論是中國人來日本還是日本人去中國,總會有人員的往來。差旅費是必不可缺的,此外還會產生活動經費。參加者越多、活動 規模越大,費用也就越高,因此,由靠利潤生存的日本企業來主辦時,經費的籌措問題便會讓人大傷腦筋。日本政府對幾乎所有的交流活動均不提供資金支援,因此 所有費用全部變為民間負擔。

  “雖不說要求中方與日方對半承擔費用,但中方若能負擔哪怕是一部分的費用,活動規模就能變得更大” 。懷有這種想法的日本人不在少數。與35年前兩國實現邦交正常化時相比,現在的中國也算是一個經濟大國了。“費用全部由日方承擔”的做法,交流活動也就只 能變成日本方面的“一廂情願”了。(作者:北上 重廣)

2008年1月13日 星期日

製品事故報告件数 2倍近くに

製品事故報告件数 2倍近くに

身近な製品による事故情報の収集などを行っている独立行政法人の製品評価技術基盤機構に去年報告された製品事故の件数は、前の年の2倍近くに増えたことがわかり、製品の安全に対する事業者や消費者の意識の高まりが増加の要因とみられています。

みぢか 身近

~な close; familiar.
~に near one; close to one.
~に感じる feel〈a thing〉familiar to one.

2008年1月12日 星期六

日本的「都市鉱山」

Japan has world's biggest 'urban mines'

The total volume of metal resources, including gold and silver, that are used in electrical appliances and electronics in Japan is the world's largest, surpassing natural metal reserves held by each major mineral-producing country, according to a recent research by a national institute studying materials.

The survey by the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, was the first to estimate the total amount of metal resources of various nations, including those contained in electrical products and other goods.

Those metals are often described as "urban mines" and have recently been drawing attention for their usefulness.

Amid fears over the depletion of metal resources, efficient recycling of such metals could mean having a "mineral lode" for the country, NIMS said.

A research team headed by Komei Harada, chief of the material laboratory of NIMS, calculated the total amount of metals contained in electrical products and other goods in this country by analyzing data on trading of 20 types of metal imported and exported as materials or finished products.

According to the team, of those metals, there are about 6,800 tons of gold in the country, which accounts for 16 percent of total natural reserves in mines around the world and is worth about 20 trillion yen.

There are an estimated 60,000 tons of silver, or 23 percent of the total reserves in the world, and 1,700 tons of iridium, or 61 percent.

Comparing natural mines in each major mineral-producing country with Japan's "urban mine," this country ranks top in terms of the volume of gold, exceeding the volume in South Africa. Japan also has the world largest silver, lead and iridium resources in the urban mines, according to the team.

Japan has been regarded as a country with few natural resources, but the latest finding shows it is actually rich in rare metals. With the aim of recycling such metals, the research team will calculate the amount of the metals that are not currently efficiently used because they are being discarded.

The team said it also would study methods of retrieving the rare metals from discarded electrical appliances and other products at low cost. "I was surprised that the amount of metal resources in urban areas is so much larger than expected," Harada said.

(Jan. 13, 2008)

「都市鉱山」日本は有数 廃棄物の貴重な金属

2008年01月12日03時22分

 「都市鉱山」と呼ばれる電気製品の廃棄物などの中に存在する希少金属の国内での蓄積量が、世界有数の天然資源国の埋蔵量に匹敵することを、物質・材料研 究機構が算出し、11日に発表した。液晶画面の透明電極に使われ世界で獲得競争が激しいインジウムは現有埋蔵量の約61%(1700トン)、銀は約22% (6万トン)、金は約16%(6800トン)に上った。

 都市鉱山の蓄積量は、20種類の金属などについて貿易統計や産業連関表を使って、素材や部品、製品に含まれて輸入される量から、製品の輸出量を引いて求めた。製造中や使用中の製品、海外に放出された廃棄物に含まれる分も含んでいる。

 インジウムや金、銀、鉛の蓄積量は、最大の天然資源埋蔵国より多かった。このほか、ハンダに使われるスズは現有埋蔵量の約11%、人工骨 などに使われるタンタルが同じく約10%。世界の年間消費量と比べると、リチウムは7.4倍、白金は5.7倍、インジウムは3.8倍、金は2.7倍に相当 する量だった。

 希少金属は、使用量を減らす技術や代替材料の開発する研究が進められている。廃棄物からの再利用も資源確保の有力な方法になりそうだ。

 同機構の原田幸明・材料ラボ長は「まだ少ないが、希少金属は製品の廃棄物として価値よりも安価に海外に放出されている。実態把握や有効活用する方策を急ぐ必要がある」と指摘している。

Automatically translated text:

"Mining town" Japan is one of the largest waste precious metal

January 12, 2008 when 03 min 22

"Mining town" and called waste electrical products such as rare metals present in the country for the amount of accumulation of the world's largest reserves of natural resources comparable to the country, that is calculated to Materials Science , announced on the 11th. LCD screen transparent electrode used indium competitive in the world is acquiring existing reserves of about 61 percent (1,700 tons), silver is about 22 percent (60,000 tons) of gold was about 16% (6,800 tons) above Different.

The amount of accumulation of urban mine, about 20 kinds of metal such as trade statistics and industrial relations table using the materials and components of the product will be included in the import content of their product exports pull demanded. Manufacture and use of products in the overseas release of wastes contained in the minutes also included.

Indium, gold, silver, lead the amount of accumulation is the largest reserves of natural resources from many countries. In addition, tin solder used in about 11 percent of existing reserves, such as artificial bone was also used about 10 percent of tantalum. Compared with the world's annual consumption, lithium is 7.4 times and 5.7 times platinum, indium is 3.8 times the money is equivalent to 2.7 times.

Rare metals, technology and the use of alternative materials to reduce the amount of research and development is underway. Reuse of waste from a powerful way to ensure resources are likely.

The mechanism of the material labs Akira Yuki Harada said, "only a small, rare metals as a waste product is cheaper than the value of being released overseas. Reality check and make effective use of measures need to hurry," he said he said.

2008年1月4日 星期五