2018年11月30日 星期五

My visit to Tokyo in 2018 (3)

Location of Telecom Square in Narita Airport


For me it is important to have access to the Internet and phone service while visiting foreign lands. The Internet enables me to check e-mails etc. and to read maps handily. The phone enables me to reach for urgent assistance in case of an emergency such as an accident while traveling alone.


When I arrived at the Terminal Two of the Narita airport, I immediately went to its basement to buy a SIM card. There were many phone card shops, but I bought the prepaid data SIM card from the Telecom Square. The SIM card was for Data and voice. I chose this company because the price seemed reasonable and that not many companies offered data and voice prepaid SIM cards. This company had seven airport counters at Japan’s 7 main international airport. Once you were outside the airport, it should be difficult to find a similar SIM card.


The lady of this shop had provided me a good service because she helped me to insert the card into my phone at my request, and tested the result for me before leaving.

2018年11月28日 星期三

My visit to Tokyo in 2018 (2)



There were several ways to travel from the Narita Airport (成田空港) to Tokyo downtown (首都圏 the metropolitan area). I chose the railway line, the so-called Keisei Express Railway(京成高速鉄道). It took slightly over 40 minutes to travel from the Narita Airport to Ueno (上野)Station in Tokyo downtown. Ueno Station was a big station for interchange. After getting off from the Keisei Express Railway in Ueno, one could change line and go to all parts of Tokyo downtown and beyond by using the JR lines. The JR line inside Tokyo downtown was called the JR Yamanote Line(山手線). It was a circular line, traveling in one big circle inside the metropolitan area among all big districts for example Ueno, Akihabara(秋葉原), Ikebukuro(池袋), Nippori (日暮里) and many others. Apart from the JR Yamanote Line, there was the Tokyo Metro lines and the Toei Subway, they were useful for traveling around the Metropolitan Area. To put it simply, one can travel to almost all major districts in Tokyo downtown by merely going into a JR Yamanote line station, or a Tokyo Metro line station, or the Toei subway because all lines were inter-connected at certain stations, either about the ground or below.

Metro Lines and Toei Lines Map

JR Lines map





To make my travelling easier, I purchased two kinds of pre-paid IC cards, respectively they were the Suica Card and the Pasmo Card. They were accepted at all stations (the Yamanote line, the Metro lines and the Toei Subway) which could automatically debit the right amount of traveling fee for a trip using their lines.  I bought these two cards at the basement of Terminal Two of the Narita airport when I arrived there, before going into the Tokyo downtown. Apart from traveling, these two cards were accepted for payments in some retailer shops and supermarkets.

2018年11月27日 星期二

My visit to Tokyo in 2018 (1)


My air ticket to Tokyo




Through Airbnb I rented an apartment in this building
Airbnb advertisement


                                                   

Last month I visited Tokyo for about 20 days, from mid-October to early November. I chose to live in a min-paku (民泊=みんぱく) for two reasons. First, it was cheaper than living in a hotel; second there was a kitchen and a washing machine inside, both were important for an overseas stay of over 20 days. My apartment had two beds and it costed me less than HK$12,000 in total. I booked the min-paku through the Airbnb. The online booking was simple and easy. One point to note was that you should pick the one with a proper licence. A new accommodation law was enforced recently in Tokyo so they all min-paku had to register with the authorities. After booking the accommodation, I book the air ticket on line. I picked the Hongkong Express because it was one of the the cheapest, the air ticket was about HK$2600 round trip with one luggage weighted up to 20 kg, and one hand held up to 7 kg (I flied from Hong Kong to Tokyo Narita airport).

This was my first time to fly with a low-cost jet. One thing to note about low-cost jet was that you were not allowed to eat or drink your own stuff in the plane except those which were provided by plane en route.

I had a good impression on Hongkong Express because it opened its airport checking-in counters early and that the staff were efficient in handling the passengers. I did not see a long queue of passengers waiting to get the boarding tickets.

2018年11月25日 星期日

"Antibacterial medicine" did not work for cold - half of the people made mistakes


Recently the NHK News on line reported that following:
かぜに「抗菌薬」は効きません 半数が誤認
20181111 454

かぜで医療機関を受診した際、本来は効果がない抗生物質などの抗菌薬を処方してほしいと考える人は30%余りいるという調査結果がまとまりました。

抗菌薬の不適切な使用は薬が効かない「耐性菌」を増やすことにつながり、専門家は「正しい知識を普及していく必要がある」と話しています。

抗菌薬は、細菌には効果がある一方で、かぜやインフルエンザなど、ウイルスが原因の病気には効かないことが分かっていますが、かぜに処方されるケースがあり、薬が効かない耐性菌を増やすことにつながっていると指摘されています。

国立国際医療研究センター病院は、インターネットを利用して全国の10代から60代までの一般の男女721人に対して、抗菌薬に対するアンケート調査を行いました。

その結果、「抗菌薬がどのような病気に有用か」という質問に対して、「かぜ」と答えた人が49.9%、「インフルエンザ」と答えた人は49.2%と、ほぼ半数の人が誤って認識していることが分かりました。また、「かぜで受診した時に処方してほしい薬」として、30.1%の人が「抗菌薬」と答えました。

調査を行った国立国際医療研究センター病院の具芳明医師は「患者が強く希望すると医師も処方せざるをえない場合があり、一般の人にも正しい知識を普及していく必要がある」と話しています。

Translation

About visiting a medical agency due to suffering a cold, a survey result gathered showed that antibacterial medicine which was in fact ineffective for that had been thought about by 30% of the people and wanted it to be prescribed.

Regarding the situation that, due to improper use of antibacterial medicine, medicine was not effective and led to an increase in "resistant bacteria", a specialist said that "it is necessary to spread the correct knowledge".

While it was known that antibacterial medicine was only effective in bacteria and was not effective against virus sickness such as cold and flu, still there were cases that it was prescribed for a cold. It was pointed out that this was related to an increase of resistant bacteria that made the medicine ineffective.

The National Center for Global Health and Medicine did a questionnaire survey on antibacterial medicine on 721 ordinary men and women aged from teens to sixties in the whole country through the Internet.

In the survey, when people were asked "What kind of sickness was antibacterial medicine useful for?”, 49.9 % said the “cold" while 49.2% answered "the flu”; it was found out that nearly half of people had made a mistake in their understanding. Furthermore, when asked about "the medicine you want to be prescribed when seeing a doctor because of a cold", 30.1 % of the people answered "antibacterial medicine".

Doctor Gu Yoshiaki of the National Center for Global Health and Medicine which conducted the survey said that "facing the strong hope of a patient, there are situations that a doctor can't sometimes help but prescribe; it's necessary to spread what is right for the general public."

              So, to educate members of the public is important in doing away in-correction understanding.

2018年11月22日 星期四

To charge bags given out at the cash register – a plan was accepted by the Ministry of Environment sub-committee


Recently the NHK News on-line reported the following:
レジ袋有料化などの案 環境省小委員会で了承
20181114 416

プラスチックごみの削減のため、レジ袋の有料化を小売店に義務づける方針などを盛り込んだ「プラスチック資源循環戦略」の案が、環境省の小委員会で了承されました。環境省は近く、国民から広く意見を募ることにしています。

政府は海洋汚染が懸念されるプラスチックごみの削減やリサイクルを促進するため、「プラスチック資源循環戦略」の策定を進めています。

戦略の案は、研究者や業界団体の担当者などでつくる環境省の小委員会で議論され、13日の会合で了承されました。

この中では、ペットボトルや弁当の容器など使い捨てのプラスチックの排出量を2030年までに、これまでの実績を踏まえて25%抑制することを目指すとしています。

また、具体策として、レジ袋の有料化を小売店に義務づける方針や、使い捨てのプラスチックの再生可能な資源への代替を進めることなどが盛り込まれています。

13日の会合では、委員からレジ袋の有料化を義務づける場合は、店舗の不公平感をなくすよう、全国一律の制度にするべきだという意見などが出されました。

環境省は戦略の案について、近く、国民から広く意見を募ることにしています。そのうえで、政府は来年6月に大阪で開かれるG20サミット=主要20か国の首脳会議までに、戦略を策定することにしています。


Translation

A plan on "the strategy on plastic resources re-circulation" which had incorporated a policy that required charging the bags issued by the cashier in retail stores in order to reduce plastic trash was accepted by a sub-committee of the Ministry of the Environment. Soon the Ministry of Environment would decide on collecting opinion widely in the country.

In order to promote the reduction and recycling of plastic trash which had caused worries in marine pollution, the government was advancing a decision regarding "the strategy on plastic resources re-circulation".

A plan on the strategy, which was discussed on the 13th by a sub-committee of the Ministry of Environment that was made up of researchers and people in charge of industrial groups was accepted.

Inside the plan, it was supposed to suppress the disposal of containers such as plastic bottles and lunch boxes by 25% in 2030, based on actual record so far.

Also, in concrete plans, it incorporated the requirement of charging bags provided at the cash register in retail stores, and to advance a substitution for used and disposed plastic with renewable resources.

At the meeting held on the 13th, opinions had come out that there should be a system applicable to the whole country in uniformity so that any sense of unfairness among stores could be done away when the committee members requested the imposition of bag charge at the cash register.

Soon the Ministry of Environment would try to collect opinion widely from the country about a plan on strategy. On top of that the government would settle on a strategy by the time when the G20 Summit, the summit meeting of key world leaders, held in Osaka in June next year.

              Compared with Canada and Hong Kong,  it seems that Japan is slow in acting to reduce the use of plastic bags when people shopped in supermarkets etc. To bring your own bag when shopping in the market is already a common practice in many countries.

2018年11月18日 星期日

Taiwan: to stop importing pork from Japan due to swine fever


Recently the NHK News on-line reported the following:
豚コレラで日本からの豚肉輸入停止 台湾
20181118 734

台湾当局は、16日に岐阜市で豚とイノシシの伝染病・豚コレラに感染した豚が確認されたことを受けて、日本からの豚肉の輸入を停止したと発表しました。

台湾当局は16日に岐阜市で2頭の豚が豚コレラに感染していることが確認されたことを受けて、豚コレラウイルスが日本から持ち込まれるのを防ぐため、17日、生きている豚や豚肉、それに関連する製品の日本からの輸入を停止したと発表しました。

台湾は、豚肉などを年間およそ40トン日本から輸入していて、停止の措置は当面、続けるとしています。

台湾は、豚コレラの感染が報告されている中国からの豚肉の輸入も停止するなど、警戒を強めています。

Translation

The Taiwanese authority after noting on the 16th that the pork in Gifu-shi was confirmed to have been infected by swine fever, an infectious disease of pig and wild boar, announced the suspension of importing pork from Japan.

The Taiwanese authority after noting the confirmation on the 16th that 2 pigs were infected with swine fever in Gifu-shi, and in order to prevent swine fever virus being brought in from Japan, announced on the 17th that the importation from Japan of live pig, pork and products related to that were to be suspended.

Taiwan was importing approximately 40 tons of pork from Japan each year and for the time being it was supposed that measures would be taken to stop it .

Taiwan also suspended importing pork from China where infection of swine fever was reported, and had strengthened its precaution.

              It seems that swine fever is slowly spreading in Asia, as predicted by the UN a few weeks ago.

2018年11月16日 星期五

Tokyo-to : MRI brain checking would be required for all drivers of metropolitan bus


Recently the NHK News on-line reported the following:
都営バスの全運転手に脳のMRI検査義務づけ 東京都
20181113 539

バスの運転手が病気や体調不良などで運転中に意識を失うケースが全国各地で相次ぐ中、東京都は都営バスのすべての運転手を対象にMRIを使った脳の検査を義務づけることになりました。

東京都は都営バスに勤務する2000人余りのすべての運転手を対象に、今年度からMRIを使った「脳MRI健診」を3年に1度、受けることを義務づけます。

この検査で脳梗塞や脳出血の有無などを調べ、異常が見つかった運転手には医師の診断や精密検査を受けてもらいます。そのうえで、デスクワークへの配置転換などを検討するということです。

これは全国各地でバスの運転手が病気や体調不良で運転中に意識を失うケースが相次いでいるためで、1人当たり2万円程度かかるとされる「脳MRI健診」の費用は都が全額負担します。都によりますと、くも膜下出血の発症率が高まるとされる50歳以上の人は都営バスの運転手の60%近くに上るということで、こうした人たちに優先的に検査を受けてもらうことにしています。

国土交通省によりますと、バス事業を運営する自治体がすべての運転手にMRIを使った脳の検査を義務づけるのは全国的に珍しいということです。

Translation

Due to sickness and worsening of physical condition etc., cases in which bus drivers lost conscious while driving a bus happened in succession in all regions of the country; Tokyo-to was going to require a cerebral check using MRI targeting for all drivers of metropolitan bus.

Tokyo-to targeted its some 2000 drivers who worked at the metropolitan bus to be required to receive "cerebral MRI medical checkup" using MRI once every three 3 years starting from this fiscal year.

The checking aimed at finding out the presence of cerebral infarction and cerebral hemorrhage. When abnormality was found in a driver, he would receive doctor's checking for closer examination. On top of that it was said that consideration would be made to relocate the driver to desk work.

Because there were cases that drivers fainted away due to worsening of sickness and physical condition while driving a bus at every region of the country, the Tokyo Metropolis would pay all expenses for the cost of "cerebral MRI medical checkup” which was supposed to cost about 20,000 yen per person. According to Tokyo Metropolis, it was said that the development rate of the subarachnoid hemorrhage was high among people 50-year-old or more, which was representing nearly 60 % of all drivers of the metropolitan bus, and such people had a priority to receive an examination.

According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, it was unusual for an autonomous body which managed bus service to require a cerebral checkup using MRI on all its drivers nationwide.

So, it is good new for passengers in Japan as far as road safety is concerned. I think it is a good practice that bus companies in  other parts of the world should consider following.

2018年11月13日 星期二

Trump’s top official - "an agreement with China on trade is difficult"


Recently the NHK News on-line reported the following:
米高官「中国と貿易面での合意は困難」
20181110 847

アメリカのトランプ政権の高官は貿易問題で対立を深める中国について、南シナ海やサイバー攻撃の問題でも約束を守らなかったと非難し、中国と貿易面で合意を結ぶことは容易ではないという認識を示しました。

トランプ政権で対中国強硬派として知られる通商政策担当のナバロ大統領補佐官は9日、ワシントン市内で講演しました。

この中でナバロ補佐官は、中国政府がオバマ前政権との間で南シナ海を軍事化しないことや、サイバー攻撃で企業の秘密などを盗まないことを約束しながら、ことごとく破ってきたと非難しました。

そのうえで、貿易問題で対立を深める中国との交渉について「最大の問題は信用だ。日本やヨーロッパとの交渉とは違う」と述べ、中国と貿易面で合意を結ぶのは容易でないという認識を示しました。

さらにナバロ補佐官は、今月下旬にアルゼンチンで開かれる主要20か国首脳会議=G20サミットで米中首脳会談を開く方向で調整が進められているとしたうえで、ゴールドマンサックスやウォールストリートの関係者が中国政府と協議し、貿易摩擦の解消に向けた合意を結ぶようトランプ大統領に圧力をかけてきている、と主張しました。

そして「中国のために働くアメリカの億万長者たちの協力は必要ない。トランプ政権の交渉能力を弱めるだけだ」と述べ、名指しはしなかったものの中国と合意を結ぶよう求める勢力を批判しました。

Translation

A top official of the American's Trump administration, regarding the deep confrontation in trade with China, criticized that China did not keep its promise on the South China Sea and on the cyber attack; he admitted that it was not easy to conclude a satisfactory trade agreement with China.

On the 9th Navarro, the president’s assistant on trade policy who was known as an anti-Chinese hard-liner inside the Trump’s administration gave a talk in Washington city.

In the talk Navarro the assistant accused China in breaking its promise made to the former Obama administration that Chinese government would not militarize the South China Sea and would not steal the secret of enterprises by cyber-attacks; he accused that China had completely broken these.

On top of that, about making an agreement with China on trade which was in serious conflicts, he stated that "The biggest problem is trust. It's different from negotiations with Japan and Europe." He admitted that to reach a satisfactory negotiation with China on trade would not be easy.

Navarro the assistant had suggested that while on top making adjustments so as to advance towards reaching a China-U.S. summit meeting during the key 20-country summit meeting = G20 Summit scheduled to be held in Argentina at the end of this month, he insisted that the people related to Goldman Sachs and Wall Street had discussed with the Chinese government, and that they were pressurizing president Trump to reach an agreement to stop the trade friction.

Also, he said "in dealing with China the help of the American billionaires was not necessary. The ability of Trump’s political power to negotiate would only be weakened".  While not spelling out the names, he criticized those forces that asked for reaching an agreement with China.

              During a political confrontation between two countries, it seems that the side having a dictatorial political structure would have an advantage over the side that has a democratic political system. The former society often follows the decision of one person. The latter often treasures the discussion process among the people before reaching a decision, although it could take a lot of time and effort.

2018年11月8日 星期四

The spacecraft “Kounotori” recovery capsule loaded with goods to be brought back was heading towards earth


Recently the NHK News on-line reported the following:
物資持ち帰る回収カプセル搭載の宇宙船「こうのとり」地球へ
2018118 641

地球に物資を持ち帰る日本初の回収カプセルを搭載した宇宙輸送船「こうのとり」が8日未明、予定どおり国際宇宙ステーションから切り離され地球に向かいました。回収カプセルは今月11日に大気圏に突入し、太平洋上で回収される予定で、その成否が注目されています。

ことし9月に打ち上げられた日本の宇宙輸送船「こうのとり」の7号機は、宇宙飛行士の食糧などのほかに、地球に物資を持ち帰る日本初の回収カプセルを国際宇宙ステーションに届けました。

宇宙ステーションでは、無重力状態で実験を行って結晶化させた医療研究用のたんぱく質などをアメリカとヨーロッパの宇宙飛行士が慎重に回収カプセルの中に収めて、「こうのとり」7号機の先端に取り付ける作業を行いました。

そして、日本時間の8日午前1時50分すぎに予定どおり地球に向けて「こうのとり」は切り離されました。

JAXA=宇宙航空研究開発機構などが開発した回収カプセルは底面の直径が80センチ余りの円すいに近い形をしていて、およそ2000度の高温にも耐えられるようにつくられています。

回収カプセルは今月11日に「こうのとり」から分離して大気圏に突入し、小笠原諸島の南鳥島近海に着水する予定で、その後、船で回収されます。

「こうのとり」本体は宇宙ステーションから出た廃棄物などを載せていて、大気圏で燃え尽きる設計になっています。

国際宇宙ステーションから地球に物資を持ち帰る回収カプセルの技術は、現在アメリカとロシアしかもっておらず、将来の有人探査にも応用できることから日本初の回収カプセルの成否が注目されています。

Translation

The space transport ship 'Kounotori' loaded with the Japan's first recovery capsule that would  bring back goods to the earth was separated from the International Space Station at dawn on the 8th as scheduled and it would go back to earth. The recovery capsule would rush into the atmosphere on the 11th this month; it was expected to be collected at the Pacific Ocean and its success or failure had drawn attention.

In September this year the number 7 machine of Japanese space transport ship ' Kounotori' which delivered astronaut's food to International Space Station in addition to bringing Japan's first recovery capsule that would be used to send goods back to the earth.

Astronaut from Europe and the United States put the protein for medical studies, which was made by an experiment using the weightlessness in the space station to turn them crystallize, back into the recovery capsule carefully; and the work to install it into the tip of  "Kounotori" number 7 machine was carried out.

Then at 1:50am on the 8th Japan time "Kounotori", scheduled to bound for the earth, was let loose.

The recovery capsule which was developed by JAXA= Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and others had a near cone shape at the bottom with a diameter about 80 centimeters; it was made in order to endure approximately 2000 degrees heat.

On the 11th this month “Kounotori” would be separate from the capsule and it was expected to rush into atmosphere making a splashdown at Minami Torishima neighboring seas in Ogasawara-shoto, and after that the recovery capsule would be collected by ship.


"Kounotori” itself was designed to carry the waste generated by a space station and burnt them out at the atmosphere.

At present, only the United States and Russia had the technology of recovery capsule which brought back goods to the earth from International Space Station; but because it could also be applied to future manned exploration, the success or failure of Japan's first recovery capsule had drawn attention.

     So, Japan is participating actively in the International Space Station projects.