TT-575 -- How Hot is it Really? E-biz news from Japan

* * * * * * * * * T E R R I E 'S T A K E * * * * * * *
A weekly roundup of news & information from Terrie Lloyd.

General Edition Sunday, July 25, 2010 Issue No. 575


- What's New
- News
- Candidate Roundup/Vacancies
- Upcoming Events
- Corrections/Feedback
- News Credits

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Here in Tokyo we've had a record heatwave over the last
couple of weeks and the mercury rose above 35 degrees
Celsius for 5 days in a row, the highest unbroken period of
heat for July ever. Yes, we do expect it to get hot, but
more in August when most people are able to take summer
breaks and avoid having to hit the streets to go to work in
office attire. Suits and ties in this weather are just

Hundreds of people around the country have been taken to
hospital for heatstroke, and over the last few days,
almost 20 people have died from the heat. Those most at
risk are old people, perhaps because they are less likely
to have air conditioning and someone to monitor their
hydration. We were out most of today, and obviously hot
weather is great for the economy, because everyone makes
for the air conditioned shopping malls and train stations.

Apparently we have the polar jet stream to thank for the
heat wave. Japan is not the only country to be affected
by this band of strong winds 12km up in the atmosphere
which are moving west to east. In fact, Russia, parts
of the USA, and China have all been affected by the
phenomenon and are experiencing record high temperatures.

While the weather bureau tells us every night how hot it's
been, getting out on the streets to meet clients and
traveling to/from work, we'd have to say that it feels
hotter than what we hear in the news reports. Yes, 35
degrees is hot, but honestly speaking sometimes it feels
much worse. The high humidity and lack of sea breezes
no doubt part of the reason, but could there be another

[Continued below...]

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[...Article continues]

So we have a theory that maybe temperatures are being
called in lower than they really are, not because of any
conspiracy but because of the way they are measured (we'd
like to hear from readers who might think differently).
You see, the Japan Meteorological Agency is very diligent and
follows the global standard for measuring temperature by
setting its Automated Meteorological Data Acquisition
System (AMeDAS) weather stations 1.5m above the ground over
a grassy surface, and supposedly free of nearby influencing
objects that might retain heat.

Unfortunately, the Agency's Tokyo weather station is smack
dab in a concrete jungle like location in front of their
Chiyoda-ku headquarters (take a look at the Agency on
Google Earth and you'll see what we mean). OK, we suppose
that they compensate for the location so as to approximate
the ideal siting of a weather station in a short-cut grass
field, away from concrete and other heat retaining
fixtures, but then measuring over a grass field, at 1.5m is
the problem in our view. It's not realistic (although it is

Doing several hours of internet searches, we came up with
an interesting 2007 study which compares the effects on a
weather station of its immediate environment and also the
differences of air temperature measurement at ground level
and at 2m (roughly the height at which weather stations are
sited -- as mentioned it's 1.5m in Japan). The study was
done by the Ataturk university in Turkey, and they made
measurements in an inland city over a period of the hottest
month (August) in 2008 -- temperatures which are similar to
what we're experiencing in Tokyo right now.

What they found was that the type of ground cover that
temperatures are recorded from makes a big difference in
readings. At the ground surface, based on mean temperature
readings over a 24-hour period, there was a 6.5 degree
difference between asphalt and soil, and 5.3 degree
difference between soil and grass -- for a total difference
of 11.79 degrees between asphalt and grass.

Asphalt obviously absorbs and retains heat far more than
grass does.

They also found that the height of the weather station
significantly changes the extremes of temperature measured.
For example, at 2m above the ground surface, roughly where
temperatures are measured for weather bureaus
internationally, the difference between asphalt and soil
was still 5.22 degrees, but the difference between soil and
grass was 2.32 degrees -- thus giving a lower total
temperature difference of 7.54 degrees between asphalt and
grass. That's more than 4 degrees lower, indicating the bing
close to the ground is bad news if you're a short person --
like a toddler or a pet.

These are mean temperatures over that 24-hour period.

What's really interesting in the study is that at the peak
time of 13:00 at the test site, the maximum temperatures
recorded at the asphalt surface, soil, and grass were
46.51, 35.3, and 23.53 degrees respectively -- meaning that
the asphalt was hotter by 22.98 degrees than the grass --
about twice as hot!

Again this is clearly very bad news for babies in strollers
and small pets that are closer to the ground when crossing
the street. On the other hand, at 2m in the air at 13:00,
the maximum temperatures for asphalt, soil, and grass were
38.27, 29.99, and 27.55 degrees respectively -- meaning
that asphalt was hotter than grass by a much more
acceptable 10.72 degrees. (Note that a grass temperature
2m up is actually hotter than grass temperatures at the
surface -- interesting...)

So at the hottest time of the day, in the early afternoon,
it can be significantly hotter next to the ground over
asphalt than 2m in the air over grass. Please remember that
next time you take your kids or dog to Shibuya in

The main point of this discussion is that according to the
findings of the Turkey study, the Meteorological Agency's
readings taken over grass at 2m will create a reading
lower than what you'll be facing in the streets, especially
if you're a little person. From what we can see from the
differences, adjusted to Tokyo conditions, is that if
you're of normal height and shopping in the Ginza or
Shibuya, you're probably walking around in temperatures
about 4-8 degrees warmer than what is being broadcast on

That means yesterday it was probably 40+ degrees on the
streets of Tokyo.

...The information janitors/


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Working with our fully licenced temporary dispatch group,
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This innovative service is available for companies needing
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to commit to the expense and infrastructure of maintaining
an office in Japan. We take care of all aspects of the
employment, contracting, and dispatch -- including
management of the employee.

For more information on this and other SI and IT services,
in English or Japanese:

Phone: 03-5773-3090, Email:

+++ NEWS

- New WTO agreement to open up government tenders
- Who would emigrate in event of economic collapse?
- Brother debuts shake-to-recharge battery
- Japan is 8th most preferred travel destination
- Yen-dollar intervention due to begin?

-> New WTO agreement to open up government tenders

41 countries who are members of the World Trade
Organization (WTO) have agreed in principle to introduce
web-based government procurement systems that allow online
bidding. Currently the Japanese government buys about
JPY15trn of goods and services annually, but only a small
percentage of tenders are bid on electronically, and
perhaps as a result, just 3% of government business is
won by foreign companies. ***Ed: Clearly this is in
Japan's best interest to open up its procurement properly.
Not only will it introduce better price competition and
drive down costs, but it will also open up the way for
Japanese firms to bid electronically for business abroad
as well -- especially since China will start participating
in the system.** (Source: TT commentary from,
Jul 23, 2010)

-> Who would emigrate in event of economic collapse?

In what we think is a brilliant marketing ploy, a job
website operator called BizReach has surveyed its members
to find out who would leave Japan to seek work elsewhere
should the nation suffer an economic collapse. No one ever
asks these kinds of blunt questions, so reactions were
interesting... Lots of people (39% in the survey) think
this kind of scenario could happen in the future. Anyway,
BizReach found that 51% of respondents earning more than
JPY10m annually would be prepared to jump ship and find a
job abroad. Most commonly they said their preference would
be Singapore (69%), followed by the U.S. (64%), and China
(49%). (Source: TT commentary from, Jul 23,

-> Brother debuts shake-to-recharge battery

Electrical firm Brother Industries has demonstrated a
prototype of a battery that recharges when you shake it.
The battery is formally called a Vibration Energy Cell, and
in its current AA and AAA formats was demonstrated to
power a TV remote, a LED flashlight, and some other
gadgets. ***Ed: Put one of these in a Wii and you'd never
have to recharge the Wii again -- or in a music player
while you're jogging...*** (Source: TT commentary from, Jul 23, 2010)

-> Japan is 8th most preferred travel destination

A recent poll of consumers in the USA questioned
respondents on where they would most want to travel to in
the future. Of these, Italy, Australia, and Ireland came
up tops, followed by Great Britain, France, Greece and
Germany, then Japan -- putting Japan at the top of the
table for Asia. In fact Japan slipped from 7th last year
to 8th place this year -- still a very respectable result.
(Source: TT commentary from, Jul 22, 2010)

-> Yen-dollar intervention due to begin?

A well-known analyst at Macquarie Research reckons that the
Bank of Japan may be close to intervening in the FX market
to stop the yen from rising further against the U.S.
dollar. According to the analyst, the pain threshold is
JPY80-JPY85 to the dollar. He also went on to say that any
intervention would probably only be short term in its
effectiveness because there is so much surplus liquidity in
the markets due to the very low interest rates available in
the U.S. and elsewhere -- thus increasing speculative
movements of capital. (Source: TT commentary from, Jul 24, 2010)

NOTE: Broken links
Many online news sources remove their articles after just a
few days of posting them, thus breaking our links -- we
apologize for the inconvenience.


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=> BiOS, a Division of the LINC Media group, is actively
marketing the following positions for customers setting up
or expanding in Japan, as well as other employers of


BiOS is currently looking for an experienced and highly
successful SMB Sales Manager to join our clients,
specializing in sales of Software As A Service. This person
will lead a sales department which is currently in the
process of shifting to a direct sales model for Japan, and
as such the focus is on direct rather than channel or
partner sales. Supporting this, and also forming part of
your core duties you will manage lead generation to sales
closure for Small and Medium sized Business, take ownership
and direct the metrics of lead generation and opportunity,
and lead accounts and take an active role in
troubleshooting any changes or issues.

The successful candidate in this role will have more than 6
years experience in IT software sales, ideally with the
SaaS background forming part or all of this, and will also
have 2 years experience managing a sales team to successful
meet and beat targets on a regular basis. In addition to
this, although not mandatory, the most desirable candidates
will have some form of telemarketing and/or telesales
experience, and will finally have experience managing
Japanese customers in direct sales.

Remuneration is up to JPY20m depending on your experience
and level


- President of Ops, Plastics Manf, Ebina, JP12m – JPY18m
- eSourcing Account Manager, JPY4.5m – JPY5.5m
- Web Apps Support, LCD Manf JPY3.5m – JPY4m
- Unix Engineer, iBank in Okinawa, JPY4m – JPY5m
- Fixed Income Developer, European iBank, JPY8m – JPY12m

Interested individuals may e-mail resumes to:

** BiOS Job Mail

Every 2 weeks BiOS sends out a regular communication to its
job seeking candidates, called BiOS Job Mail. Every edition
carries a list of BiOS's current and most up-to-date
vacancies, with each entry featuring a short job
description and a direct link to the main entry on the BiOS
home page. Regardless of whether you are unemployed and
searching, thinking about a career change, or just curious
to know if there is something out there that might suit you
better, the BiOS Job Mail newsletter is an easy and
convenient way for you to stay informed. If you would like
to register for the BiOS Job Mail, or to find out more,
please email

Interested individuals may e-mail resumes to:


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---------- CCH Japan presents 'HR Seminar 2010' -----------

Managing and Motivating Your Japanese Team for Success

'Bridging Cultural Differences as a Leader'

- What expectations Japanese have of their managers
- What Japanese think of Western managers
- How to pose questions to get the most informative responses
- How to give directions so that they are clearly understood
- Giving feedback to Japanese subordinates
- Key cultural differences
(directness of communication, hierarchy, and management style)
- The new workforce in Japan
(The different generations in the Japanese workplace and more..)

Date: Thursday, 29th July 1:30pm-5:00pm
Venue: Happo-en 5F Linden Room
Speaker: Rochelle Kopp, Principal, Japan Intercultural Consulting
Number of Seats: 50, Language: English
Fees: 20,000 yen + tax
Register at:

For more details, Please Contact us at:,
or 03-3265-1161,

------------- ICA Summer Networking Party!!!!! ------------

The ICA invites you to join our Summer Networking Party at
La Boheme in Shirogane. This will be an excellent
opportunity to catch up with old friends, meet new people
and network with peers in related industries, or simply to
put names to faces.

Open bar (beer, wine, soft drinks) and great food will
be included. Be sure to bring your colleagues and friends
to join the party. Open to all, RSVP required.

Date: Thursday, 29th July, 2010
Time: 19:00 to 21:30pm
Venue: La Boheme, Shirogane
Cost: 3,000yen ICA members, 5,000yen non-members.
*Includes open bar (beer, wine, soft drinks) & great
quality food.



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