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Friday, Nov. 12, 2010

Robot hosts display of high-tech prowess


Staff writer

Miim's got talent. With her straight, shoulder-length black hair, she can sing, model, act and dance like anyone in Japan. But Miim's not human. Miim's a robot.

News photo
Karaoke pal: Humanoid robot HRP-4C Miim, which can sing and dance, is introduced to journalists Wednesday at the International Media Center at the APEC conference venue in Yokohama. SATOKO KAWASAKI PHOTO

The humanoid robot is one of more than 130 exhibits on show at "Japan Experience," a government-sponsored exhibition being held at Pacifico Yokohama on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

The exhibit, which is limited to the APEC delegations and media people only, is a showcase of high-tech products Japan wants to show off. The offerings range from robots and electric vehicles to an artificial heart and future bullet train designs.

"Welcome to APEC Japan 2010," Miim said in English. "This exhibition shows Japan's strengths and attractions. Please see, touch and feel advanced technology and initiatives of Japan."

Also on display is land mine clearing equipment — a technology sure to be on the shopping lists of many countries in Southeast Asia.

According to Japan Experience guide Mari Karatsu, the machine has seen action in Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam, as well as in Afghanistan, Angola, Colombia and Nicaragua.

"We are introducing things that we hope can contribute to the world," Karatsu said. "The exhibition has three themes (echoing APEC) — regional economic integration, APEC growth strategy, and human security — and the displays show Japan's cutting-edge technology in those areas."

The Japan External Trade Organization set up a zone at the exhibit dubbed "Green Innovations" that showcases products from 28 companies related to water purification, wastewater treatment, energy efficiency and wind power.

The city of Yokohama and Kanagawa Prefecture are using their space at the exhibit to promote local products and tourism spots and to display a diorama of the city in 2030, when electric vehicles are envisioned as the main form of transport.

The Japan Tourism Agency's booth is offering three different kinds of Japanese tea and instant noodles. Two kinds of noodles will be available each day from various parts of Japan.



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The Japan Times

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