Taipei Nanshan Plaza
Jul 13, 2018

Project : Taipei Nanshan Plaza
Design : Mitsubishi Jisho Sekkei

The Xinyi district of Taipei, where the building site is located, is a cosmopolitan tourism area that symbolizes the city as a whole. Based on a new urban plan drawn up by the government that encourages cityscape-conscious development, the area has grown into a business center with a range of amenities including shopping, arts facilities, and international exhibition spaces.

The building stands on the former grounds of a trade center adjacent to Taipei 101, the tallest building in Taiwan, on the southern edge of Xinyi. Mitsubishi Jisho Sekkei won a government-led development competition to partner on the project with Nanshan Life Insurance, which has a fifty-year lease from the government and planned to construct an office and high-end shopping complex to re-energize the district.

The first time our team visited the site—a long, thin, piece of land measuring 100 meters north-to-south and 270 meters east-to-west—we noticed the way the flow of people and energy from the shopping district to the north ended there. In order to attract visitors to the site and create a lively atmosphere, we proposed a new landmark tower to draw people from a distance, paired with a human-scale podium to welcome them in. The idea was for the 272-meter tower to form a set with Taipei 101, creating a new skyline for the city while harmonizing with the existing neighborhood.

The tower is occupied primarily by offices, with restaurants featuring dramatic views on the top three floors. The architectural design, inspired by the image of two hands joined in a prayer of thanks and peace, expresses the insurance company’s gratitude toward its customers and desire for them to enjoy health and peace. A low-rise “Retail Annex” and the “Cultural Entrance Annex,” a multi-purpose cultural hall, adjoin the tower on either side, linking horizontally to the bustle of the surrounding neighborhood.

The “Retail Annex” is comprised of three large cubes offset in alternating layers, like hands placed on top of one another. The entire façade is covered with an artistic, three-dimensional cast-stainless-steel motif of plum blossoms, the national flower of Taiwan. The building makes abundant use of other handmade decorative elements as well, which are intended to inspire appreciation of craftsmanship. The “Cultural Entrance Annex” has a trussed shell whose sculptural form seems to invite people in with outstretched hands.

In the evenings, Taiwan’s first rooftop bar glitters at the peak of the tower, while the plantings on the retail tower terraces blend in with the adjacent park, further enhancing the attractiveness of the building from afar.

Contemporary architecture may present the illusion of having been created automatically by computers and machines, but in reality, human hands come together at every stage of design and construction Taipei Nanshan Plaza fully expresses the spirit of creation symbolized by human hands.

Company Information

Company name : Mitsubishi Jisho Sekkei Inc.
Project team: Tetsuya Okusa(Project Director), Yasuhiro Sube(Project Architect), Hiroshi Kawamura, Takaaki Fuji, Noboru Kawagishi, Shunichi Osaki
Address : Marunouchi 2-chome Building, 2-5-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 100-0005 Japan
Phone : +81-3-3287-5555

Credit Information

Architecture : Mitsubishi Jisho Sekkei Inc.
Structural Engineer : Mitsubishi Jisho Sekkei Inc. + Evergreen Consulting Engineering, Inc.
Mechanical Engineer : Mitsubishi Jisho Sekkei Inc. +
GHIA Engineering Consultants Co.,
Ming Shuei Engineering


Construction Supervision: Archasia Design Group
FFE Coordinator: Mitsubishi Jisho Sekkei Inc.
Art Coordination: Mitsubishi Jisho Sekkei Inc.
Project Management: Mitsubishi Jisho Sekkei Inc.

Photo Credit :

Mitsubishi Jisho Sekkei 

Project Outline

Location : Xinyi District, Taipei, Taiwan
Date of Completion : January 2018
Date of Opening: June 2018
Principal Use : Office, Retail, Cultural Hall, Bus terminal
Structure : S+SRC+RC
Site Area : 17,708 m2
Building Area : 10,271.41 m2
Total Floor Area : 192,891.35m2

Architects Profile

The roots of Mitsubishi Jisho Sekkei lie in the Marunouchi Architectural Office, the architectural design firm founded in 1890 which designed Japan’s first modern office building, the Mitsubishi Ichigokan (Building No. 1). Over the subsequent decades, as the country modernized, the firm went on to design a series of iconic brick buildings in the central Marunouchi district of Tokyo, the national capital. In the 1960s, responding to rapid economic growth and the burgeoning demand for office space, the area was transformed into a harmonious central business district, with new buildings designed to conform to a uniform height of 31 meters. In the 21st century, these buildings have been replaced with high-rise towers and the area has been reimagined once more as a lively district with vibrant commercial and cultural functions. Mitsubishi Jisho Sekkei has led the development and renewal of the Marunouchi district across three generations, allowing it to bring unparalleled experience to bear in architectural and urban development projects throughout Japan and the world.

Free Electrons: 28 Pilots Already Launched between Startups and Utilities
JCN Newswire
Jul 11, 2018

Module 2 was hosted in San Francisco with Top 15 startups

TOKYO - (JCN Newswire) - Free Electrons, the first global energy accelerator program that connects the world's most promising startups with leading utilities around the world, has wrapped up its second module with an impressive total of 28 running pilots with a final module in Berlin to go.

The program kicked off its 2018 edition with a successful Bootcamp in Lisbon, followed by module 1 in Sydney/Melbourne, where initial pilots were scoped between utilities and startups. Module 2 took place in Silicon Valley, the global tech hub, and focused on growth and learning.

In module 2, sessions where utilities and startups forwarded their on-going pilots were key in maximizing performance. The module was also an opportunity to develop new relationships and opportunities. In module 1 only one pilot per startup was recommended in order to insure focus and traction. In module 2 the learnings were shared and the playing field was open.

Free Electrons allows for utilities to cooperate with each other on pilots, which is unique, and effective for startups, as they only have to go through a learning curve with a utility once and allows for them to scale much faster. To date startups could only have one pilot, but from now they have the opportunity to work with multiple utilities.

One such example is between Verv, that created a clever home energy assistant, and ESB, that has already successfully completed a pilot with Sterblue, and is now preparing the next steps to apply their solution to monitoring wind farms. Another example is SOLshare, a blockchain platform that is doing a pilot with Innogy where a donor can choose individual users or a predefined group of users (like a village) to donate energy and a second pilot with Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) to develop a technology and implement for field-testing to enhance data access in DC microgrids.

"We wanted a safe, fast and accurate solution to inspect our wind turbines to minimize maintenance costs & generator downtime. Sterblue were super-accommodating of all our requirements. Sometimes we find it can actually be easier to work with startups than larger companies because they are more flexible, enthusiastic and listen intently to their customer's needs", says John McKiernan, Head of External Collaboration at ESB. "This program connects us with new companies that we might never otherwise find. It is a tremendous catalyst for accelerating change and innovation at ESB", adds John McKiernan.

Module 2 (San Francisco)

The first two days of the module were partially dedicated to sharing learnings derived from the first 15 pilots underway. This process is core to the program structure and allows startups and utilities to build on the experiences of each other.

The third day represented one of the module's high notes with the Level-Up Energy Innovation event, which presented the Free Electron participants to the Silicon Valley ecosystem. The 15 startups in the program were each given the opportunity to showcase their cutting-edge solutions to an audience comprised of investors and tech experts.

The module closed with the announcement of the new pilots which had been defined throughout the week, and an overview of the roadmap towards the final module in Berlin.

"Naming this program Free Electrons says a lot about the utilities' shared perspective and view regarding the evolution of power and energy industry and markets around the world. Electricity as a commodity will tend to lose value over time, so we need to develop new business models and new services to add value to our shareholders, and they will certainly revolve around digital, data and data management", says Luis Manuel, Executive Board Member at EDP Innovation.

The Free Electrons members are American Electric Power (USA), AusNet Services (Australia), CLP (Hong Kong), DEWA (Dubai), EDP (Portugal), ESB (Ireland), Innogy (Germany), Origin Energy (Australia), SP Group (Singapore) and TEPCO (Japan). The program is supported by Beta-i (Portugal).

In total, the program received 515 applications, from 65 different countries, a testament to the global reach of the initiative. After a selection process that culminated in the Bootcamp (that took place last April, in Lisbon, Portugal), 15 startups qualified for the acceleration phase. The final stage, that closes the program, will happen in Berlin, Germany, in October.


Three international modules held across the globe are the cornerstones of Free Electrons. During the course of the program participants will work closely with local players, utilities, mentors and other resources in order to accelerate their company's growth.

The utilities backing Free Electrons are leading innovation in the energy sector. This project embodies their commitment to work with startups in building the future of the sector with clean, smart and widely accessible energy.


Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. (TSE: 9501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is the largest utility in Japan serving millions of homes and businesses. Worldwide the company has more than 34 subsidiaries and 32 affiliates in 8 countries and employs approximately 42,060 people. Consolidated revenue for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017, totaled 5.3 trillion Japanese yen. The company was established in 1951 and is listed on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. For more information visit

About Free Electrons

The Free Electrons Program is the best opportunity for startups in the energy space to grow and develop their businesses. The energy market has seen rapid changes in recent years with the rise of renewables, decentralization of the energy system, regulatory uncertainties and disruptive new technologies. To stay ahead, there is a strong need for utilities to source more innovation externally and consider the 'beyond utilities' business models.

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TANAKA Expands FC Catalyst Production Capacity
JCN Newswire
Jul 10, 2018

- 7x current capacity will meet future demand from China and Europe

The TANAKA KIKINZOKU GROUP has announced a major expansion of its Fuel Cell Catalyst Development Center at the Shonan Plant in Kanagawa Prefecture, operated by TANAKA KIKINZOKU KOGYO, the manufacturing business entity of the TANAKA GROUP. TANAKA KIKINZOKU KOGYO already commands the top global share in the fuel cell catalyst market, but will increase production capacity seven-fold with its freshly enlarged FC Catalyst Development Center.

With an investment of 4 billion yen, the new buildings are adjacent to the existing Center, with some 3,000 square meters for production facilities combined with new shipping and warehouse facilities. As a result, TANAKA KIKINZOKU KOGYO will be able to provide stable supplies of electrode catalyst in response to rising demand for precious metal electrode catalysts, having grown in tandem with expanding fuel cell markets and facilitating development of a hydrogen society. Scheduled for completion on July 18, the new Center moves to full-scale operation in January 2019.

China recently announced its support for developing hydrogen energy for fuel cell vehicles as a strategic industry, while the city of Shanghai announced a subsidy plan for purchasing fuel cell vehicles and the establishment of R&D facilities. The global move away from diesel vehicles is accelerating in Europe, and there are development areas for new transportation including hydrogen-powered trains, marine craft and unmanned or connected vehicles. The question of global demand for fuel cells and electrode catalyst shows no signs of slowing, for which TANAKA KIKINZOKU KOGYO sought an answer.

TANAKA will maintain a stable supply of fuel cell electrode catalysts into the future, while focusing on its research and development program as well. As the leading provider of precious metal fuel cell catalysts for more than a half-century, TANAKA will continue to contribute responsibly to the wider adoption of fuel cells and the development of a hydrogen-based society.

TANAKA's Fuel Cell Electrode Catalysts

TANAKA's FC Catalyst Development Center develops and manufactures electrode catalysts for 'polymer electrolyte fuel cells' (PEFCs). PEFCs are an exciting new technology, used in household 'ENE FARM' fuel cells and in fuel cell vehicles (FCVs). However PEFC use is expected to expand to grow to the fields of industrial machinery, such as FC forklifts, and commercial vehicles, such as FC buses.

PEFC is a small, lightweight, high-power, and new environmentally-friendly technology that uses the chemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen. TANAKA KIKINZOKU KOGYO combined precious metal catalytic technology, and electrochemical technologies cultivated over the years, to have developed a highly-active platinum catalyst for cathode (air electrode), and a platinum alloy catalyst resistant to carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning for anode (fuel electrodes).


The TANAKA KIKINZOKU GROUP consists of 30 companies, namely 6 domestic and 24 overseas companies, led by TANAKA HOLDINGS. As a group of precious metals specialist covering various fields focus on precious metals, we correspond to the needs of each customer by deploying a high level of services through close partnership and well-established system.

Core companies of the TANAKA GROUP:

-- Metalor Technologies International SA

Learn about TANAKA at or see Industrial Products at

Company JCN Newswire
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KDDI Brings Japanese Telecom Services Tech to Myanmar
JCN Newswire
Jul 04, 2018

Myanmar MPT staff in first graduating class of personnel training program

TOKYO - (ACN Newswire) - KDDI CORPORATION is implementing telecommunications business operations in Myanmar, together with Sumitomo Corporation and Myanmar Posts and Telecommunications (MPT).

KDDI has been working to improve the quality of telecommunications services and service development capabilities in Myanmar since July 18, 2017, carrying out long-term training programs in Japan to improve the technological skills of MPT personnel[1]. On June 29, 2018, the program finished its first year, producing its first graduating class, the members of which will now return to Myanmar.

As smartphones come into widespread use in Myanmar, demand for social networking services (SNS), video sharing services and content use is increasing. MPT has been offering LTE+ high-speed data transmission service[2] since May 2017, and began offering a reward program[3] in May 2018 as part of plans for ongoing service upgrades.

In addition to telecommunications service know-how such as network planning, design, construction, testing and operations, students of KDDI's program have learned how to devise and propose strategies in other service fields, such as payments and contents. Returning to Myanmar, they look forward to being assigned by MPT to practical positions where they will be able to put the lessons and experiences of this program to work.

The program is scheduled to accept four new trainees for a second course of study to begin this fall.

As a company that always strives to offer exciting new ideas, KDDI will continue to work together with Sumitomo and MPT to increase customer satisfaction in Myanmar by promoting the integration of telecommunications and life design. It is our way of contributing to the development of Myanmar's economy and industry, and improvement of the lives of the people of Myanmar by creating new experience value.

About the MPT employee long-term training program

After approximately 200 applications are received from MPT employees, a written test and interviews with directors are administered within MPT to select four candidates (two from business departments and two from technical departments) with corporate leadership potential. Based on MPT's needs, KDDI then administers its own originally designed training program.

- Joint training: Academic studies including an overview of KDDI's business activities, business skills, Japanese language fundamentals, etc.
- Business training: Practical training and applied study in detail, including visits to each of KDDI's business departments
- Technical training: Training in the complete cycle of planning, design, construction, testing and operation in line with a theme chosen by the trainee

1. KDDI news release dated July 14, 2017--
"Myanmar MPT Employee Training and Exchange Held in Japan Long-term Training Program Begins: Year-long Employee Training Contributes to Development of Myanmar's Telecommunications Industry"

2. KDDI news release dated June 19, 2017--
"Full-scale Development of LTE Telecommunications Service Begins in Myanmar - Introducing Myanmar's First 4x4 MIMO Technology Brings Fastest Speed"

3. The "MPT Club" reward program --
Instituted on May 15 2018 at MPT (, the MPT Club is a reward program for MPT mobile service customers. Myanmar's first point/reward service, it is administered with nine initial partner firms in Myanmar, including convenience stores, shopping malls, restaurants and cafes.

About KDDI
KDDI is the second largest telecommunication service provider in Japan, offering both mobile and fixed-line communications. With its well-established base of over 50 million customers, and through mobile services and shops offering its "au" brand, KDDI is expanding its services into the "Life Design" business, which includes fintech, e-commerce and nationwide electric power utility services.

With a 60-year history, KDDI is today focused on creating smart infrastructure through IoT technologies and open innovation with partners and start-up companies in diverse industries. KDDI is accelerating the global growth of its telecommunications consumer business with operations in Myanmar and Mongolia, and in the global ICT business with the TELEHOUSE brand. KDDI (TYO:9433) is listed on the Tokyo stock exchange.

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Interior Lifestyle Tokyo comes to successful end and proves itself as a trend-setting business platform
Jul 03, 2018

TOKYO --( ASIA TODAY )-- The 28th edition of Interior Lifestyle Tokyo, held from 30 May – 1 June 2018 at Tokyo Big Sight, came to a successful close after welcoming 810 exhibitors [1] (Japan: 615, Overseas: 195) and 25,456 visitors. The show received excellent feedback from exhibitors and visitors alike for providing a whole array of new contacts, projects, and ideas.

Exhibitors presented their latest innovations at various zones dedicated to lifestyle concept themes. The products in these zones ranged from interior items like apparel, jewellery, arts and crafts, to high-end home electronics and food. For example, a number of trend-setting items were presented at the Atrium Highlight area, under the theme of ‘For Here or To Go?’. Meanwhile, the latest designs from overseas were showcased at the ‘GLOBAL’ international zone, and the most popular Scandinavian brands were at the ‘NORDIC LIFESTYLE’ area. Japanese artisanal skills with a modern touch gathered at the ‘JAPAN STYLE’ zone, with the latest designs displayed under ‘MOVEMENT’.

Work from many up-and-coming young designers were displayed at the ‘TALENTS’ and ‘NEXT’ areas, and an array of well-designed packaged food was exhibited at 'FOODIST'. The ‘KITCHEN LIFE’ zone was dedicated to innovative dining items, and numerous everyday products which exhibit stylish and functional properties were promoted at ‘HOME’, ‘ACCENT’ and ‘EVERYDAY’ areas.

The Atrium Highlight, which was themed as ‘For Here or To Go?’, a familiar phrase heard at coffee shops or fast food outlets around the world, had a strong influx of people during the fair. This highlight zone provided an environment to encourage participants to come to a purchasing decision efficiently with straightforward information on the purchasing options available and even more accessible booth design and product display to immediately catch the buyers’ attention. Thanks to the Atrium director Yu Yamada’s creative concept, the Atrium Highlight successfully supported the participants to help reach their various business goals.

Interior Lifestyle Award winners announced Aside from the product developments on display at the show, the range of fringe programme events – such as the talk show event LIFESTYLE SALON 2018 – gathered visitors who were seeking out the most updated business hints and tips throughout the three-day sessions. One of the most popular events at the LIFESTYLE SALON was the Interior Lifestyle Award ceremony, which was held on 30 May. Awards were handed out in two categories: ‘Best Buyer's Choice 2018’ and the ‘Young Designer Award’.

The Best Buyer's Choice 2018 was given to HULS Inc for their Japanese craft brand ‘KORAI’ based on a concept of ‘coolness in summer’. The grantor of the award was Kenji Ono, Merchandise General Manager of THE CONRAN SHOP JAPAN, who said: “I value the design which naturally blends into our daily life. This is a brand which gives us the images of lives of users.” Yusuke Shibata, CEO of HULS Inc, later commented: “We visited this fair three years ago in order to prepare for this brand, where we met many good Japanese craftsmen who exhibited. Now we are making our debut here as an exhibitor to present the first collection of our brand, and we got the award. We are more than happy, and this success is all thanks to Interior Lifestyle Tokyo.”

The winner of the Young Designer Award was selected among the participants at the NEXT area, and was subsequently offered to exhibit at the Ambiente’s NEXT zone in 2019. The award was given to designer Takeo Chiboshi of the NECKTIE design office. The grantor of the award, Nicolette Naumann, Vice President of the Ambiente brand at Messe Frankfurt, commented: “The products combine in a surprising way the concept of Kawaii with reduced elegance. I believe NECKTIE design office to be most suitable for Ambiente Frankfurt.” Takeo Chiboshi said: “This is my third time joining Interior Lifestyle Tokyo. I was very happy that I was awarded at the fair which is recognised as the most high quality show for interior and design. I am also satisfied with my fruitful business outcomes. Participating at Ambiente next year is a big opportunity for me, and I am looking forward to it.”

The next Interior Lifestyle Tokyo will be held from 17– 19 July 2019 at Tokyo Big Sight West halls 1, 2, 3, 4 and the Atrium. The show’s sister fair, IFFT/Interior Lifestyle Living, will run in the coming autumn from 14 – 16 November 2018 at Tokyo Big Sight West halls 1, 2, 4 and the Atrium. For updates, please visit

Media Contact
Katsuya Kashiwagi
Tel. +81 3 3262 8453

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ASEAN Center authorized to operate in Thailand as a foreign NGO
Jul 01, 2018

On 7 March 2018, the Thai Ministry of Labour's "Committee to Consider the Operation of Foreign Private Organizations" granted permission to Kyoto University’s ASEAN Center in Bangkok to operate as a foreign non-governmental organization (NGO). The NGO certificate was presented 24 May by Ms Supapitchaya Ruengves, the Ministry's labour specialist, to ASEAN Center Director Mamoru Shibayama, who is also a KyotoU professor emeritus.

As a certified NGO, the ASEAN Center aims to further expand its activities promoting research, education, and other forms of collaboration among Japan, Thailand, and ASEAN universities and other institutions.

Labour Specialist Ruengves and Director Shibayama

SOURCE / Kyoto University

TEPCO Establishes Subsidiary to Turn New Businesses into Venture Companies
JCN Newswire
Jun 26, 2018

TOKYO - (JCN Newswire) - Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. (TEPCO) announced today that it has established TEPCO Ventures, Inc. as a wholly owned subsidiary charged with turning new businesses into venture companies. TEPCO Ventures, which will begin operating on July 2, will develop both wholly owned subsidiaries within the TEPCO Group and joint-venture companies formed with partners in various industries either in Japan or overseas.

New companies are expected to be developed in a variety of fields for next-generation "Utility 3.0" business fusing energy and other industrial platforms, such as distributed energy, solutions based on storage batteries, infrastructure utilizing drones, IoT technologies for location services especially for children and seniors, and power infrastructure beyond the scope of electricity.

Electricity utilities and the broader utility industry have been subjected to sharp changes as a result of the "5Ds" - deregulation, decentralization, decarbonization, digitalization and decreasing population. To adapt to these changes for long-term business sustainability, TEPCO's New Business Task Force so far has been investing in domestic and overseas ventures offering advanced business models and commercializing promising ideas from both inside and outside of TEPCO.

Going forward, however, TEPCO decided that it requires a more robust ecosystem to maximize the benefits of its new business development, including by increasing the speed of project development and the probability of success. As a result, it will replace its New Business Task Force with TEPCO Ventures, a subsidiary dedicated to business creation through quick decision-making and strategic allocation of corporate resources.

Under its mission statement, "Developing the future of utilities together," TEPCO Ventures will cooperate with core companies and other members of the TEPCO Group to create new value for society while strengthening the group's overall business portfolio and earning power.

Name: TEPCO Ventures, Inc.
Establishment: May 31, 2018
Location: 1-14-1 Kandasudacho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 101-0041, JAPAN
President & CEO: Shinji Akatsuka
Capital: 5 million yen (business development budget: 10 billion yen)
Equity: 100% owned by Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc.
Business: Develop, and invest in, and support new businesses

Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc. (TSE: 9501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is the largest utility in Japan serving millions of homes and businesses. Worldwide the company has more than 34 subsidiaries and 32 affiliates in 8 countries and employs approximately 42,060 people. Consolidated revenue for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2017, totaled 5.3 trillion Japanese yen. The company was established in 1951 and is listed on the First Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchange. For more information visit

For more information, please contact:
Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, Inc.
Corporate Communications Office., International Public Relations Group

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Furuya Metal to Invest in Enhancing the Ruthenium Refining Capability of Tsuchiura Plant
JCN Newswire
Jun 21, 2018

Planning to Increase Capability to Approximately 60 Tons Per Year by December 2019 in Response to Growing Demand for High-Purity Ruthenium for Hard Disks Within and Outside Japan

TOKYO - (ACN Newswire) - Furuya Metal Co., Ltd. announced that it will invest in enhancing the ruthenium (Ru) refining capability of its Tsuchiura Plant (located at Sawabe in Tsuchiura City, Ibaraki).

Furuya Metal's Tsuchiura Plant has refining and recovery lines for high-purity ruthenium targets (thin film materials), catalysts, and other products, and is able to carry out high-purity refining within short time frames.

This capability-enhancement investment is in response to the growing demand, both within Japan as well as overseas, for high-purity ruthenium targets used in hard disks. The scale of the investment is 1.6 billion yen, with the first phase of 600 million yen planned to be invested by the end of December 2018. Through the first phase of investment, the refining and recovery capability for ruthenium will be increased by approximately one ton monthly, from the current 2.4 tons monthly to 3.5 tons monthly. This increases the annual capability by 12 tons.

Furthermore, the remaining one billion yen will be invested by December 2019 during the second phase of the investment. The plan is to put in place a system to handle the growing demand for targets as well as chemical products such as catalysts. Through the second phase of investment, ruthenium refining and recovery capability will be further increased, bringing it up to five tons per month. This will bring refining and recovery capability to approximately 60 tons each year, which is almost double the current capability.

Overview of Tsuchiura Plant
- Location: Tsuchiura Plant (located at Sawabe in Tsuchiura City, Ibaraki), Furuya Metal Co., Ltd.
- Floor area: Approximately 6,400 m2
- Business scope: Refining and recovery of ruthenium and iridium

Background of the investment for enhancing ruthenium refining capability
With systems moving to the cloud, the spread and sophistication of smart phones, big data utilization, progress in IoT and AI, and coupled with other factors such as autonomous driving of cars, data centers are rapidly increasing around the world to record and store the enormous and rapidly-expanding data. Most of the data is stored on hard disk drives (HDD). Each hard disk drive contains several pieces of hard disks, and the number of hard disks within a drive continues to grow each year. High-purity ruthenium targets are essential for hard disks, and it is expected that there will be a long-term increase in demand for them. In addition, the demand for solid state drives (SSD) is also expected to increase, but hard disks can be said to have an advantage from cost and other aspects. Moving forward, it is expected that segregation based on their respective functions will be carried out while responding to the rapid expansion of data storage.

Furthermore, Furuya Metal's ruthenium targets have received high recognition in mass-production prototypes for the next-generation semiconductor memory known as spin-transfer torque magnetoresistive random-access memory (STT-MRAM)*1. The increase in demand for ruthenium targets is expected to further grow together with the establishing of the market for STT-MRAM from 2020 onward. In addition, the demand for highly-functional chemical catalysts is also expected to increase with their use as an environmental measure. These and other factors make it essential to increase the refining and recovery capability for ruthenium, which led to the capability-enhancement investment this time.

*1 STT-MRAM refers to magnetoresistive random-access memory (MRAM) which utilizes a technology known as spin-transfer torque (STT) for writing data.

Press release (PDF):

Overview of Furuya Metal Co., Ltd.
Furuya Metal manufactures industrial-use precious metal products utilizing precious metals with high scarcity value included among platinum group metals (PGM) such as platinum (Pt), iridium (Ir) and ruthenium (Ru). Due to the extreme difficulty in processing these precious metals, the number of industrial-use precious metal manufacturers specializing in PGM is limited even on a worldwide level. Industrial-use precious metals centered on PGM, could be considered to be materials with a vital role in supporting advancements in the fields of electronics, optical glass, clean energy, environment and medicine because of their excellent characteristics such as heat resistance, chemical stability and good electrical conductivity.

The Company specializes in PGM with particularly excellent properties among precious metals, and manufactures and sells industrial-use precious metal products such as crucibles (heat-resistant containers), thin film materials and thermocouples (thermometers).

Headquarters: MSB-21 Minami Otsuka Bldg., 2-37-5 Minami Otsuka, Toshima-ku, Tokyo
Representative: Takahito Furuya, President
Founded: March 1951
Incorporated: August 22, 1968
Capital: 5,445 million yen
Listed exchange: JASDAQ Standard (Securities code: 7826)
Employees: 305 (as of June 30, 2017)
Sales: 14,742 million yen (as of June 30, 2017)
Areas of business: Manufacture and sales of industrial-use precious metal products such as iridium and platinum, and thermosensors. Sales of electronic materials and semiconductor-related products. Manufacture and sales of thin film components.

Press inquiries
Furuya Metal Co., Ltd.
America, Europe & Southeast Asian Markets, Sales Division
Hideki Kuwabara

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Apple Pay Coming to JCB's Customers in Taiwan
JCN Newswire
Jun 18, 2018

TOKYO - (ACN Newswire) - JCB International Co., Ltd., the international operations subsidiary of JCB Co., Ltd, today brings its customers Apple Pay in Taiwan, which is transforming mobile payments with an easy, secure and private way to pay that's fast and convenient. Support for Apple Pay will start with E.Sun Bank and Union Bank of Taiwan and continue to be phased in for other JCB brand payment product issuers.

Security and privacy is at the core of Apple Pay. When you use a credit or debit card with Apple Pay, the actual card numbers are not stored on the device, nor on Apple servers. Instead, a unique Device Account Number is assigned, encrypted and securely stored in the Secure Element on your device. Each transaction is authorized with a one-time unique dynamic security code.

Daisuke Sakurai, Executive Vice President, Business Development & Coordination Headquarters I, said: "The Taiwan payment market is one of the most advanced in terms of contactless payment, with many merchants equipped with contactless payment readers. Taiwan is the first market after Japan where JCB is supporting Apple Pay. JCB will support Apple Pay to help create a new payment lifestyle that is both secure and convenient for everyday use."

Apple Pay is easy to set up and users will continue to receive all of the rewards and benefits offered by JCB cards. In stores, Apple Pay works with iPhone SE, iPhone 6 and later, and Apple Watch.

Online shopping in apps and on websites accepting Apple Pay is simple with Touch ID, or just double-click the side button and glance at your iPhone X to authenticate with Face ID. There's no need to manually fill out lengthy account forms or repeatedly type in shipping and billing information with Apple Pay. When paying for goods and services on the go in apps or Safari, Apple Pay works with iPhone 6 and later, iPhone SE, iPad Pro, iPad (5th generation and later), iPad Air 2, and iPad mini 3 and later. You can also use Apple Pay in Safari on any Mac introduced in or after 2012 running macOS Sierra and confirm the payment with iPhone 6 or later or Apple Watch, or with Touch ID on the new MacBook Pro.

For more information on Apple Pay, visit:

About JCB
JCB is a major global payment brand and a leading payment card issuer and acquirer in Japan. JCB launched its card business in Japan in 1961 and began expanding worldwide in 1981. As part of its international growth strategy, JCB has formed alliances with hundreds of leading banks and financial institutions globally to increase merchant coverage and card member base. As a comprehensive payment solution provider, JCB commits to provide responsive and high-quality service and products to all customers worldwide. Currently, JCB cards are accepted globally and issued in 24 countries and territories. For more information, please visit: https// or
Note: Statistics about JCB are as of June 2018.

Kumiko Kida
Corporate Communications Department of JCB Co., Ltd.
Tel: +81-3-5778-8353

Company JCN Newswire
Contact Tiara Liu
Telephone +81-3-5791-1821
The JAPAN Best Incentive Travel Awards 2018 Now Open for Entries!
Jun 13, 2018

TOKYO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The JAPAN Best Incentive Travel Awards 2018 campaign organized by Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO) is now opened for entries and submissions will be accepted until 13 July 2018 at 5pm (UTC+9). The awards ceremony will be held on 19 September 2018 at Hotel New Otani, Tokyo.

The Japan Incentive Travel Awards aims to recognize outstanding achievers among global meeting and incentives planners for their delivery of unique programs and experiences for incentive tours to Japan, and showcasing the attractions of Japan as an ideal incentive destination to the world.

  • Eligibility
    - Eligible incentive tours must have taken place between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018 with at least 100 room nights*.
    *One room night is based on one person staying for one night (For e.g. 20 persons x 5 nights = 100 room nights)

    - You must submit the relevant documents of the incentive tour conducted together with the photos as entry proof.

    - If your entry is selected for the prize, the detailed information of your event will be featured on JNTO’s website. However, the name of your client will not be disclosed.

  • How to Apply
    To download the application form, please visit

  • Announcement of Winning Entries
    All winning entries will be announced in early August on JNTO’s website.

  • Prizes
    - Three winners will be invited to Japan for the awards ceremony with complimentary return round trip business class airfare provided. JNTO will offer each winner a fully hosted inspection trip with more chances to explore new incentive and “WOW” ideas for your future incentive tour planning.

    - The winners will have the privilege to use the "JAPAN Best Incentive Travel Awards 2018" logo for all advertising and marketing promotional activities for a period of three years. The logo for printing materials such as brochures as well as websites is also available.
    *The prize package is subject to change.

    "JAPAN Best Incentive Travel Awards 2018" Overview

    "JAPAN Best Incentive Travel Awards 2017" Winner Details

    Japan National Tourism Organization - Japan Convention Bureau
    Hirofumi SATO / Mayuko TOSU / Rinka KO, +81-3-6691-4852

    - ASIA TODAY News Global Distribution