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The number of people you’ll see in Japan wearing surgical masks is pretty surprising. Sure, Japan is a hard working society, and the spread of productivity-sapping sickness is always a concern at schools and workplaces, but that doesn’t seem like reason enough for the proliferation of facial coverings that sometimes has Tokyo offices looking more like an operating room.


 
 
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With the world's elderly population growing rapidly, scientists are suggesting that robots could take on some of the burden of providing care, support and - most surprisingly - companionship. A boy born today in Britain is expected to live on average to the age of 89, a girl to 92. Worldwide 1.5 billion people over the age of 65 are expected to be around in 2050.


 
 
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A Japanese research team has become the first in the world to develop a functional liver from human induced pluripotent stem cells, according to an article the researchers published in the online version of British journal Nature.  The team created liver buds and transplanted these into mice suffering from liver failure. 


 
 
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Regulars of Mickey D’s may debate the merits of the Filet-O-Fish or the McRib, but there isn’t much disagreement that McDonald’s fries are a crispy, salty delight of a guilty pleasure. At a time when Japan’s competitive fast food industry is feeling the pinch from the growing menus at convenience stores, burger chains often resort to attention-grabbing offers. Now, McDonald’s Japan is letting French Fries play center stage.


 
 
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Attempting to read and understand food labels in Japan can be a tricky thing. Even when being able to read hiragana, katakana and some kanji, the majority of the food labels are still confusing to many consumers -- EVEN JAPANESE !!  Japan-based blogger Ashley (Surviving Japan) wrote this awesome guide on how to read food labels in Japan which we are now sharing with you. Enjoy to realize what you're eating in Japan! Thanks Ashley !!


 
 
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Bean lovers, your time has finally come! Wherever ye may be, let the wind blow free. And don't be afraid of reactions. Why? Simple! Because you're wearing Japanese textile company Seiren's latest creation: a revolutionary pair of pants that make bad odours undetectable. The underwear have a in-built technology system that neutralises the smell caused by flatulence. 


 
 
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Japanese retailers are vying to cash in on the country's drive for energy-savings this winter season by offering a new selection of thermal underwear. Major clothing retailer Uniqlo is expanding its lineup of popular winter underwear to include products for toddlers. Retail chain Seiyu has developed a new line of thermal underwear at a 20 percent discount to last year. Stores are expecting higher demand for winter underwear as consumers prepare to turn down the heat in the face of power rate hikes.


 
 
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_Locally produced foodstuffs also have been "rediscovered" by Japanese and this has helped people regain the confidence they lost in the face of the devastation caused by the Great East Japan Earthquake. However, many non-Japanese are knocking on Japan's door to learn the skills of local chefs.


 
 
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Sales of alcohol-free beverages that taste like beer and wine remain on an upward trajectory as an increasing number of people are abstaining from drinking for health reasons or forgoing purchases of alcoholic drinks amid weakening consumer sentiment since the March 11 disasters. Beverage makers have introduced a number of new products, while also seeking to expand into overseas markets.


 
 
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The Japanese smoker is becoming an increasingly rare breed. According to a new survey, 21.7% of Japanese adults are smokers, the lowest proportion recorded since the annual report conducted by Japan Tobacco Inc. began in 1965. The smoking population in Japan declined for the 16th consecutive year, but the latest figure is 2.2 percentage points lower than 2010, reflecting the steepest annual drop seen in recent years.