Japanese national: Let’s clean up Baguio City together!

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 17, 2019   •   2940

(Left) Masakazu Nose voluntarily paints an overpass in Baguio City. (Right) Masakasu inviting netizens to join him in a cleanup drive.

Masakazu Nose used to run a small takoyaki store in Baguio City.

Born in Tokushima, Japan, Masakazu is known to be a silent man in his 40’s. Some people would even describe him as gentle.

He came to the Philippines in April 2014 to learn English. One month later, he began cleaning overpasses along Magsaysay Avenue, Abanao Street, and lower Session Road.

Every morning, with a pair of tongs in one hand and a garbage bag in the other, Masakazu would go around the streets collecting trash like candy wrappers and plastic cups.

Masakazu even bought paints at his own expense to repaint walls. In a report, he said he did these things because he has time to spare.

This earned the admiration of the locals as well as the media. He was interviewed by various news outlets. Netizens still continue to share their admiration for Masakazu a few years after he first became viral.

Did You Know ?. . . . . Mazakasu Nose is a Japanese National who has lived in Baguio City for a number of years. He owns…

Posted by Romeo del Carmen on Sunday, 14 July 2019

After staying in the Philippines for three years, Masakazu returned to Japan to manage an oil soba store near Okubo station in Tokyo.

But he has never forgotten about his life in the Philippines, which he calls his second home.

Masazaku will return on August 1-3 to clean up the city—this time, he is inviting everyone.

“Let’s clean up the city together!” his Facebook post reads.—AAC

Japan’s new supercomputer ranks as world’s most powerful

UNTV News   •   June 23, 2020

A Japanese supercomputer has taken the top spot among the world’s most powerful systems for the first time in nine years, a U.S.-European ranking of the world’s top supercomputers said on Monday (June 22).

“Fugaku”, jointly developed by Japanese Riken research and Fujitsu Ltd in Kobe, Japan, took first place on the TOP500 list, a twice-yearly listing of the world’s most powerful computers announced by an international conference of experts.

Fugaku also took the top spots in three other categories that measure performance in computational methods for industrial use, artificial intelligence applications and big data analytics.

“I am relieved and happy at the same time for this brilliant accomplishment,” Riken president Hiroshi Matsumoto said at a news conference on Tuesday (June 23) in Kobe.

Governments use supercomputers to simulate nuclear blasts to perform virtual weapons testing. They are also used for modelling climate systems and biotechnology research. The Fugaku supercomputer will be used in such research as part of Japan’s Society 5.0 technology program. (Reuters)

(Production: Hideto Sakai, Akiko Okamoto)

Japan to ease entry for Vietnam, Thailand, Australia, NZ – Abe

UNTV News   •   June 19, 2020

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday (June 18) said his country would ease entry restrictions for people coming from Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam.

Speaking at a news conference on a day after the parliament session closed, Abe said Japan, which bans entry from more than 100 countries, will start coordinating discussion with the four countries.

Abe emphasised Japan needs a measure to restore people’s livelihoods and the economy hit by the new coronavirus pandemic. “We need a measure which controls the risk of infections with as few restrictions as possible, a measure which focuses more on protecting our jobs and livelihoods,” he said.

Abe also delivered an apology at the beginning of the news conference, over the arrests of former justice minister Katsuyuki Kawai and his wife, upper house lawmaker Anri Kawai, on suspicion of vote-buying. “I’m keenly aware of my responsibility as I once appointed him (Katsuyuki Kawai) Justice Minister,” Abe added.

Support for Abe, who had close ties to the ex-justice minister, has declined over what critics say is his clumsy handling of the coronavirus outbreak, a furore over efforts to extend top prosecutors’ retirement age, and questions about government programmes to support tourism and smaller companies. (Reuters)

(Production: Hideto Sakai)

From greeting cards to abaca face masks, local company joins COVID-19 fight

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 12, 2020

In response to the limited supply of personal protective equipment (PPEs), a local company in Misamis Oriental decided to make face masks out of abaca.

The transition has not been easy, according to Neil Rafisura, president of Salay Handmade Products Industry, Inc.

It takes numerous and tedious process in order to create a face mask out of abaca. This is a challenge for Neil especially with the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

They are used to creating greeting cards and other similar products. It never crossed their minds before that their company would make any PPEs such as face masks. However, that did not stop them from helping the country’s frontliners in their fight against the COVID-19 virus.

“At first it’s very challenging because ang skills namin ay hindi ready (our skills were not ready), it involved a lot of sewing but then there are a few workers who know how to sew, so tinawag ko sila at nag-experiment kami, (so I called them and we did an experiment),” he said.

Based on initial research abaca face masks are seven times better than cloth face masks. Even though it will not surpass surgical and N95 face masks yet, Neil is optimistic that the abaca face masks would help frontliners and even ordinary citizens against the virus.

The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Region 10 said this is a great start for further research. They are also encouraging experts to look into the potential of abaca face massks.

“We are calling researchers kung gusto niyo mag-research about mask (if you want to research about mask) why not study with abaca face mask kasi mayroon na siyang initial study baka maging potential talaga at effective na face mask itong abaca, (because there is already an initial study and abaca face mask might have a potential and might be more effective)” according to DOST-10 Science Research Specialist 1 Julie Ann Baculio.

The abaca face masks is environmental-friendly, reusable and can be hand-washed. It is sold for P90 apiece. AAC (with reports from Weng Fernandez)

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