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In world first, Japanese scientists to test ‘reprogrammed’ stem cells in treating Parkinson’s disease

by admin   |   Posted on Tuesday, July 31st, 2018


Jun Takahashi (L), professor at Kyoto University’s Center for iPS Cell Research and Application. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS

Scientists at Japan’s Kyoto University announced on Monday (July 30) they will be starting the world’s first clinical trial to treat Parkinson’s disease using “reprogrammed” stem cells.

Since Parkinson’s is caused by a lack of dopamine made by brain cells, researchers have long hoped to use stem cells to restore normal production of the neurotransmitter chemical.

In August last year, scientists from Kyoto University, a world leader in the technology, said they had successfully used the induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) to restore functioning brain cells in monkeys with symptoms of the debilitating disease.

The clinical trial for humans will start August 1, Jun Takahashi of Kyoto University said on Monday and will involve transplanting dopamine-producing neurons made by human iPS cells into the brains of people with the disease.

Parkinson’s is a degenerative disorder resulting from a lack of dopamine-producing brain cells, which affect the human nervous system. Symptoms include tremors, body stiffness, slow movement, and difficulty walking. Currently, there are about 150,000 people living with Parkinson’s disease in Japan. — Reuters

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Malacañang: Duterte likely to visit China, Japan anew this year

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, March 25th, 2019


MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte will possibly visit China and Japan anew this year.

Malacañang said on Monday the President may travel to China late next month to attend the second Belt and Road Forum in Beijing.

While on May, Duterte will most likely visit Japan to primarily attend a regional conference.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo made the statement after the Japanese media reported that Duterte will be attending the 25th International Conference on the Future of Asia.

The event is reported to be held on May 30 and 31 in Tokyo.

Panelo told reporters at a press briefing that he has yet to confirm the said visit, but if it pushes through, this will be Duterte’s third time to visit Japan since becoming president in 2016.

Duterte, meanwhile, has yet to make a visit to the United States of America since his rise to power. Panelo said this is because the President cannot stand the cold temperature in the U.S.

“I think the relationship between the U.S. and China remain cordial and healthy. So, with America, the only reason perhaps the President has not considered visiting is because of the temperature. He couldn’t stand very cold temperature, he gets sick,” he said. – Robie de Guzman (with details from Rosalie Coz)

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Cooperation on OFW protection signed between PH, Japan

by UNTV News and Rescue   |   Posted on Monday, March 25th, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines and Japan signed on Tuesday (March 19) a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) that assures better protection for soon-to-be-hired overseas Filipino workers (OFW) under the new specified skills residency in Japan.

The agreement, signed by Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III and Japanese Justice Minister Takashi Yamashita in Tokyo, aims at protecting Filipino from illegal recruiters who promise jobs in Japan.

Bello expects the Philippines will be able to get 30 percent of the 350,000 available jobs that Japan will open to foreign nationals.

Industries in need of skilled workers include health care, food services, electronics, food manufacturing, agriculture, hospitality, construction, shipbuilding, fisheries and aquaculture, aviation and building maintenance among others.

Under the agreement, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) will facilitate the processing and accreditation while the Philippine Labor Overseas Labor Office (POLO) – Japan will be in charge of the verification of skilled workers’ documents, coordination onsite and welfare concerns.

To be hired, applicants must pass the skill level tests and Japanese proficiency exams to be administered by the Japan Foundation in the Philippines.

Those who will be hired as specified skilled workers may stay in Japan for a maximum of five years under the Specified Skills No. 1 visa status with the chance to receive a status of Specified Skills No. 2 if the worker obtains a higher level of specialization.

According to the guidelines contained in Department Order No. 201 Series of 2019 last March 22 issued by Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), applicants for Specified Skilled Workers jobs must be at least 18 years old; must pass an examination or other evaluation method that the applicant possesses skills requiring considerable knowledge or experience necessary for the work which the applicant intends to engage in; must pass the Japanese language proficiency test as well as the language proficiency necessary for the work which the applicants intends to engage in; and must possess a passport valid for at least six months prior to the intended date of departure.

The DOLE emphasized that “no fee of any kind or form shall be collected, directly or indirectly, from the specified skilled worker for their selection and deployment to Japan.”

Likewise, no deductions will be made on the worker’s allowances and salary except for host country’s prescribed tax for foreign workers.

Japan’s new law on admitting foreign workers under the specialized skills program takes effect in April 11. — Marje Pelayo

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100,000 jobs in Japan open to Pinoys — Bello

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Monday, March 18th, 2019

A Japanese flag (Image courtesy to Reuters)

Out of the 350,000 job opportunities that Japan will open to foreign nationals next month, 100,000 may likely be allotted to Filipino workers, the Department of Labor said on Sunday (March 17).

“Our workers may get at least 30 percent of available jobs for foreign nationals,” Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello said.

A memorandum of cooperation that will provide a framework for the deployment of “specified skill workers” is set to be signed in Tokyo on Tuesday between the labor department of the Philippines and Japan’s Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Justice, Health, Labor and Welfare and the National Police Agency.

“This agreement, aside from providing better opportunities, is geared toward ensuring their protection by means of implementing a basic framework that will promote smooth and proper mechanisms in sending, accepting, and residence management of incoming specified skilled workers in Japan,” Bello said.

Industries in need of skilled workers include health care, building maintenance, food services, industrial machinery, electronics, food manufacturing, agriculture, hospitality, construction, shipbuilding, fisheries and aquaculture, parts and tooling and aviation.

The agreement defines specified skilled workers as those who have a degree of skill or expertise in the field they applied for and have been granted a residence status of “specified skilled worker” by the Japanese government.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) will process their accreditation while the Philippine Labor Overseas Labor Office (POLO) – Japan will verify the documents of workers.

The National Reintegration Center for OFWs (NRCO) will manage the reintegration of specified skilled workers returning to the Philippines. —Aileen Cerrudo

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