Antonio Becali Visits Japan

Cuban sport's top leader Antonio Becali visiting Japan met Masatake Yamanaka, vice president for the Baseball Federation of Japan according to Carlos Miguel Pereira, Cuban ambassador to the Asian nation.

During the meeting, both managers exchanged new ways of cooperation, in both the training of athletes and the practice of baseball. They also celebrated the return of baseball to the 2020 Olympics.

INDER president and the delegation that accompanies him also shared with Cuban baseball players who play in the NPB: Alfredo Despaigne, Livan Moinelo, Yurisbel Gracial, Raidel Martinez, Ariel Martinez and the batting coach of the Dragons of Chunichi, Omar Linares .

Becali referred to the positive contribution of the Japanese League in the formation and development of our players and highlighted the willingness of its directors and franchises to expand and consolidate cooperation with Cuba.

  • Published in Sports

Japanese Ambassador in Cuba Visits Agricultural Sites in Camaguey

Japan's Ambassador to Cuba, Masaru Watanabe visited on Tuesday the city of Camaguey to inaugurate the development of three production and conservation of seeds projects in urban and suburban agriculture financed by the Asian embassy on the island.

The objective of the initiative is for the socio-economic development of the local communities and its inhabitants, said Watanabe and mentioned the cooperation between both nations in over 100 similar programs that make up the donation of high quality agricultural machinery.

He highlighted the importance in the increase of biological elements as an indispensable aspect to strengthen Cuban agriculture with the objective of hiking the productivity through agro-ecological practices and guaranteeing the protection of the cultivations.

In his tour through the Los Ranchos urban farm of the Agricultural and Animal Company in Camaguey where the project was in its validation stage during five years, the Japanese diplomat observed some of the almost 30 varieties of 10 vegetable species, fruits and others that were harvested.

He also saw the work of the machinery that was installed like a cold chamber for the conservation of seeds, four equipment to decontaminate and produce them, a water purifier and room to plant, grow and dry.

The Director of urban, suburban and family agriculture of the Ministry of Agriculture Office in Camaguey, Javier Rodriguez Guerrero said that over four thousand producers from the territory are benefited with the projects that allowed a harvest of over 91 tons of vegetables in 2017.

These programs allowed to obtain 790 kilograms of seeds in 2017, meaning an increase in the productivity that should continue this year to reach one thousand for its use in over 166 hectares, said Rodriguez Guerrero and added that the project will be expanded to benefit 11 farms in the province.

The Japanese ambassador expressed to the workers that improving the yield of the cultivation and increasing the rate of food efficiency will contribute in reducing the use of foreign currency for imports in the area.

He added that the development in the agricultural sector is a priority for the Cuban government and the countries that cooperate with the Caribbean island, according to what has been defined through dialog on economic cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Investment.

The Japanese diplomat will continue his tour on Wednesday through Camaguey with a visit to the Patricio Lumumba community in the municipality of Sibanicu, to inaugurate a rehabilitation and maintenance project of the water supply system in the region.

  • Published in Cuba

Cuban Players shine in Japanese Professional Baseball Pre-Season

Cubans Alfredo Despaigne and Livan Moinelo maintained their good performance in the preseason of the Japanese Professional Baseball (NPB), although their team, the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, lost 3-4 to the Chunichi Dragons.

According to the NPB website, Despaigne batted 3 for 4, including a solo homer, double and a single, and drove in a run, thus raising his batting average to .421, and now totals four homers and seven RBIs.
Last season, in the Pacific League, the Cuban slugger finished as homerun and RBI leader with 35 and 103, respectively.

Meanwhile, lefty reliever Moinelo pitched two-thirds of scoreless innings, to reduce his ERA to 5.40.
The 2018 NPB season kicks off next March 30th and the Hawks of the Cubans Despaigne and Moinelo will face at home the Orix Buffaloes at the Yafuoku Dome.

  • Published in Sports

Exhibition of Japanese Contemporary Art Inaugurated in Havana

An exhibition entitled “Going Away Closer” of Cuban and Japanese artists will be inaugurated on Friday afternoon at the Wilfredo Lam Contemporary Art Center in Havana

The work of young Japanese artists will be exhibited like Takahiro Iwasaki, Natsunosuke Mise, Tadasu Takamine, Futoshi Miyagi, Yuko Mohri, kasutomo Tashiro and Atsuko Mochida.

The four Cuban artists are Glenda Leon, Reynier Lyva, Leandro Feal and Jose Manuel Mesias.

The assembly process lasted two years where Japanese Yumiko Okada and Hiroyuki Hattori and Cuban Abel Gonzalez and Blanca Victoria Lopez worked together.

The key work within the concept is Distance, a representation of the temporary space dimension that exists between both nations, in addition to its different cultures; in a demonstration that included installations, photography, painting and performance; and will be presented in Tokyo next July.

This cooperation process between both countries in the cultural sector will extend to other manifestations like dance.

According to the National Arts Council, this is the moment to offer the Cuban people a reference of contemporary art of other nations in order for the national scene to increase its exchange with other realities. (ACN)

  • Published in Culture

Paro, first robot with artificial intelligence that arrives in Cuba

The first robot with artificial intelligence that arrives in Cuba, known by the name Paro, grabs the attention of the audience to the Technology Fair La Guayabera 5.0, an appointment and luxury that comes with "all inclusive" in the field of culture and technologies.

It is thus that Paro is expected to draw a large part of the glances of those who decide to get to the House of the Guayabera, since it is a robot that simulates a white baby seal developed by Japanese specialists.

Considered a technology for the integration of artificial intelligence for therapeutic purposes, was designed for the accompaniment, mainly for people of the third age, autistic children or those who by physical issues may not have pets.

And is that this seal, thanks to a huge number of sensors of artificial intelligence, answer the call of the people and is happy when you load; in addition, makes gestures that simulate an animal true and expressions that stimulate the five human senses.

Paro has a synthetic leather does not spores, with medical conditions including, and about three thousand 500 copies of this robot are used in more than 30 countries of the world, mostly in Europe and North America.

According to Luis Ernesto Baracaldo, a member of the organizing committee of the fair, in Denmark, for example, 80 % of the local governments have officially introduced and is used in institutes for rehabilitation of persons with developmental disabilities, mental impairment or brain disorders.

The robot was brought by a delegation of Japanese experts who participate in the Guayabera 5.0, headed by Kenji Shimada, First Secretary of the Embassy of Japan in Cuba, who will give a talk on robotics and the relations of cooperation in this matter between the Asian nation and the island.

During the event, which promotes the interaction between culture, technology and society in this central city, will be inaugurated the photo exhibition across borders, a collective collection of Japanese photographers Awards winners 2013 Relief Artists in 2015 and which has travelled the world.

Opened in December 2017 in the Asia House in Havana, the exhibition will be on display at the headquarters of the Provincial Museum of the city of Sancti Spiritus.

  • Published in Cuba

A kiss of death for prostate cancer

Hokkaido University researchers have uncovered a cellular protein that stabilizes a tumor promoting signaling pathway, suggesting a new target to treat prostate cancer.

The drug Gefitinib is used to treat breast, lung, and other cancers by inhibiting epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling, but it has only a limited effect on prostate cancer. EGFR, present on the cell membrane, is involved in cell proliferation and the development of dermis, lung, and digestive tissues. When a mutation causes its over-activation, it can lead to increased cell proliferation and tumor formation.

Tadashi Matsuda of Hokkaido University and his colleagues in Japan investigated human prostate cancer cells to determine if there is an unknown up-regulation mechanism in the EGFR pathway.

When EGFR is attached to a small protein called ubiquitin, it is given "the kiss of death" and tagged for degradation inside the cell. This tagging process is facilitated by a protein called c-CBL. The degradation of EGFR leads to less signaling from the receptor and reduced cell proliferation.

Matsuda and his team found that signal-transducing adaptor protein-2 (STAP-2) stabilizes EGFR by inhibiting its c-CBL-mediated ubiquitination. Furthermore, when the team suppressed STAP-2, the prostate cancer cells showed reduced proliferation and did not form a tumor when transplanted into mice.

"STAP-2 inhibitors could play a role in treating Gefitinib-resistant prostate cancers. Further studies on STAP-2 will provide new insights into cancer physiology and support the development of anticancer therapies," says Tadashi Matsuda. The study was published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Okinawa files new lawsuit to block relocation of US Marines base – local media

The Japanese prefecture of Okinawa filed a new lawsuit against the government demanding a halt to construction work for the relocation of the US Futenma base, local media report. The relocation has been the target of protests among locals.

The prefectural authorities say that Tokyo is acting illegally without permission from the Okinawa governor, as seen in a copy of the lawsuit sent on Monday and obtained by the Okinawa Times.

READ MORE: Construction for US base relocation in Okinawa continues amid protests (VIDEOS)

The relocation of the base involves damaging seabed rock, which would harm the fishing grounds, the lawsuit states.
Earlier in July, an Okinawa Prefectural Assembly committee asked for legal action against damage to the fishing grounds caused by the relocation.

A crane barge works in the Henoko coastal area in Nago, Okinawa prefecture on February 6, 2017. © Jiji Press

“The granting of fishing rights is considered a local government matter and it’s the prefecture that determines how to interpret those local government matters,” Kiichiro Jahana, the head of the executive office of the governor, told the assembly.

The US Marine Corps Futenma Air Station is going to be moved from the densely populated city of Ginowan to the less populated city of Nago in the Henoko coastal area. The city is already home to Camp Schwab, another US Marines camp which has caused numerous protests among the local population.

The base relocation has been repeatedly halted due to resistance from the Okinawa authorities and local residents.

Japanese authorities began the relocation of the base back in February this year, despite stiff opposition from the population. Local residents regularly stage protests with thousands of people, often resulting in confrontation with police.

According to the relocation plan, the flight functions of the Futenma airfield will be transferred to Camp Schwab. Tokyo also plans to reclaim around 157 hectares of land in Henoko waters and build a V-shaped runway. 

Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga is among those who stand firmly opposed to the US military presence on the archipelago, calling for the removal of the Futenma base.

READ MORE: Hundreds protest US base construction in Japan, year after woman killed by US marine (VIDEO)

Onaga says that the relocation would destroy the environment of the bay surrounding the new base site.

Around 100,000 US military personnel are currently stationed in Japan, according to the official website of US Forces, Japan. Home to about one percent of Japan’s population, Okinawa hosts almost half of the troops (47,000), according to media reports.

  • Published in World
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