All posts by blogsonjapan

Will Vietnam’s FDI-led economy get stuck in a middle income trap?

Author: Tran Van Tho, Waseda University

The Vietnamese economy has experienced a downturn in growth since 2008. In the past five years, the growth averaged about 5.5 per cent a year and is not expected to be much higher in the coming years. For a country of per capita income of about US$2000, that rate of growth is low. Increasing the rate of growth to somewhere in the vicinity of 8 per cent a year is imperative if Vietnam is to avoid the so-called middle income trap.

Another feature of the Vietnamese economy is that growth has increasingly been driven by foreign direct investment (FDI). FDI firms in recent years accounted for nearly half of industrial output and more than 65 per cent of exports. The contribution of FDI has been even stronger in various types of machinery, such as telephones, computers, motorbikes and home electric appliances. In addition, due to high income-elastic characteristics, machinery is now the mainstream of industrialisation and trade in the growing East Asian region.

Because of the large flows of FDI, Vietnam has been increasingly intertwined in the machinery supply chains developed by multinational corporations in East Asia. Machinery is becoming increasingly important in Vietnam’s trade structure: it …continue reading

    

Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu Episode 2 Impression

Source: Spark Blog
Untitled355.jpg

On this episode, Shinichi decides on which name that he should call on his right hand parasite. Later, the duo decides whether they should save people from other parasites.

Sweet, this is quite similar to Tokyo Ghoul but it’s about mysterious parasites. Anyway, seeing Shinichi and the right hand parasite starting to bond is interesting. Also there’s some more nice action. Now what’s going to be next plot for the duo? Overall, interesting bonding and action.

Conclusion: Interesting bonding and action. …continue reading

    

Exercise bikes use technology to better simulate your biking experience

There’s still nothing quite like the real thing, though!

Cycling isn’t just an activity; it’s an experience. Every time you take to the road or ride on a trail, you experience a new part of the world around you. Yes, even if it is just the cacophony of traffic in Tokyo. Of course, not everybody has the time or the drive to commit to a regular cyclist’s lifestyle. Thankfully, there is a good alternative for those who, for one reason or another, can’t really go out and burn through calories on the open road: exercise bikes.

The thing is, it seems that over the years exercise bikes have started to get not only more and more high-tech, but more and more unusual as well. One prime example would have to be the slot machine exercise bike. Yes, this is a real thing; or at least it was. Back in 2000, a company called Fitness Gaming Corp came up with the idea of encouraging casino patrons to exercise by hooking up a slot machine to an exercise bike. The exercise bike can only be pedaled if you use the slot machine, which is controlled using buttons on the handlebars. There’s …continue reading

    

LEGO Dioramas Featuring Japan

I like LEGO. I never played with it as a kid, but as an adult – yeah. My son, who is approaching nine seems to like it building things – but only new things, hence the hundreds of kits in our house – and the whole cityscape in his bedroom, but doesn’t get into rebuilding things.

Me… I like to try and create dioramas – scenes from my imagination, inspired or otherwise. I’m currently working on constructing a Doctor Who space tunnel that the tardis goes through when traveling through time and space. It’s slow going, as I need to figure out how to make it twist and turn (I know) and then shrink it to a singularity at the end.

But… every time I think I’m getting good at building with LEGO, I see the work others do and I feel like a nine-year-old who should better stick with just building kits.

It’s not just the skill, it is also the availability of bricks – in the color and shape I require… that costs money, and for whatever reason, that’s sorta tight.

Anyhow, here are some of the cool Japanese dioramas I saw recently that put my ‘skill’ to shame:

<table …continue reading