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How hot is it? So hot the heat has a name. In 2007, the Japanese Meteorological Agency started calling days that got over 35 degrees C moushobi, which means “extremely hot day.” (Manatsubi and natsubi, respectively, are 30-34 and 25-29 degrees. Impress your friends!) Turn on the TV or browse a few Japanese blogs, and you’ll see the word moushobi has been getting a workout in the past weeks, with many parts of Japan experiencing day after day of extreme heat. 


 
 
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Summer in Japan is hot and humid. Newspapers wilt. Mold flourishes. Even non-electrically heated toilet seats feel pre-warmed. Subways set the air conditioning to arctic or just blast the fans to stir the muggy air around. The Japanese government’s Cool Biz initiative launched in the summer of 2005 by then-Prime Minister Koizumi encourages workers to cope by taking off their ties and ditching their jackets.


 
 
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Japan's Fujitsu launched a new mobile telephone for the elderly on Wednesday, its latest "Raku-Raku" or "easy-easy" model, with a large, crisp display and one-touch Internet access. Users of the phone, designed in Japan for telecom giant NTT, have access to a special website with travel and gourmet information tailored to the needs of senior citizens, as well as news, weather and transport details.


 
 
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Tokyo International Toy Show 2010 kicked off Thursday, showcasing a wide variety of products ranging from classic to educational to high-tech. The major exhibition at Tokyo Big Sight features roughly 36,000 toys from 139 domestic and overseas companies.


 
 
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Recent years have seen a big boom in cell-phone shopping sites that cater to time-poor women by allowing them to purchase fashionable items while on the go. If you’re a woman with a full-time job in Japan, chances are, you don’t have much time to go shopping and once you get home, you’re often too tired to browse the web, so shopping with your cell phone really makes sense.


 
 
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Japan's number one mobile phone operator NTT DoCoMo has said it will add a new application platform to its "i-mode" handsets this year as it tries to catch up with Apple's runaway iPhone success. NTT DoCoMo will allow third-party individuals to develop applications for the company's 50 million "i-mode" users, spokeswoman Makiko Furuta said.


 
 
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Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd.'s Eneloop Stick Booster is the latest addition to the ‘Eneloop Universe’ products is a stick-type and handy power source that can be taken anywhere for easy charging of mobile devices. Sanyo began developing the ‘Eneloop Universe’ products in November 2006, as a product line to expand the ‘Eneloop’ rechargeable battery concept of a “lifestyle that values reusing and recycling.” 


 
 
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 "Wow! Just look at this!" is a typical reaction when customers get a look at the unusual ice cream served at a shop in Tokyo. There is the cone, of course, and the coiled ice cream above, and something that looks like a tail rising higher, aiming for the ceiling.

 
 
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In the Bank of Japan's quarterly "tankan" survey of business sentiment, the diffusion index for large manufacturers has risen to 1 in June -- the first time in two years a positive figure has been registered. The mark was 15 points above the level recorded during the previous survey three months earlier, and it was the fifth consecutive quarter for the index to rise. The last time positive figures were registered was in June 2008, prior to the Lehman Shock that rocked the global economy.