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News from Japan - February 7, 2022

Old people's diapers used to heat public baths

Old people's diapers used to heat public baths

Ecology made in Japan in the city of Hōki.

In this town of 4,000 people over the age of 65 (out of a population of 10,000), the use of diapers for the elderly is quite common. In its supermarkets, there are shelves filled with adult diapers. In retirement homes, 90% of people use them. However, the latter represented 10% of the waste, or 250 tonnes of annual rubbish.

So, in the context of an aging city (or even country), the bet was to make it an ecological force. The city decided to recycle these nappies in order to use them to heat public baths. This represents a lower cost than gas or oil and is much more environmentally friendly. Hōki has thus reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by 20%.

It then inspired other cities in the archipelago and this idea could see the light of day in other countries in the future.

Japan must quadruple immigration by 2040

Japan must quadruple immigration by 2040

Several studies have shown that Japan will need to quadruple immigration to its country by 2040.

Indeed, if it wants to achieve the growth target set by the government, the country of the archipelago will need a large number of immigrant labor over the next twenty years.

They will then have to accommodate 6.74 million foreign workers by 2040, compared to the current 1.72 million. Today, immigrant workers in Japan make up just 2.5% of the country's workforce.

This challenge seems difficult and rather poorly undertaken, in a context of an aging population and borders strictly closed to foreign students and workers (COVID-19). Over the next two decades, Japan could lose more than 10% of its workers due to an aging population.

"Snow Miku" - Hatsune Miku - at the snow festival of Sapporo

Snow Miku

The Sapporo Snow Festival is an annual event that begins in February. For nearly a week, more than 2 million visitors admire this spectacle of huge snow sculptures and frozen statues. It takes place in three locations: the Tsudome site, the Susukino district and Odori Park.

This festival notably hosts the 3-meter-high sculpture “Snow Miku”, inspired by the character Hatsune Miku. Japanese singer, she is a virtual idol in the country. She makes appearances in many music, commercials and some anime.

Unfortunately, with the pandemic, the Sapporo festival will be held online, for the second consecutive year. It will last until February 28.

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