Supplier Ibiden Commits to 100 Percent Renewable Energy For Apple Manufacturing

Apple has announced that component supplier Ibiden has become the first company in Japan to guarantee all of its Apple manufacturing will be powered by 100 percent renewable energy.

Ibiden is planning to invest in more than 20 new renewable energy facilities, including one of the largest floating solar photovoltaic systems in the country.


"We're proud to partner with suppliers like Ibiden who recognize that renewable energy investments are good for the environment and good for business," said Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president for Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. "As we continue our push to power our global operations with 100 percent renewable energy, it is more important than ever that we help our manufacturing partners make the same transition to cleaner sources, and set an example for other companies to follow."
The renewable energy projects set up by Ibiden, which manufactures printed circuit boards and integrated circuit packaging used in Apple devices, will reportedly produce over 12 MW of solar power and support Japan's efforts to limit its carbon emissions.

Apple and its suppliers are aiming to generate over 2.5 billion kilowatt hours per year of clean energy for the manufacturing of Apple products by the end of 2018, which Apple claims is equal to taking over 400,000 cars off the road for a year.

More than 93 percent of Apple's worldwide operations are said to be powered by renewable energy. In August last year, Apple announced that Chinese supplier Lens Technology had committed to power all of its glass production for Apple with 100 percent renewable energy by 2018.

Outside of manufacturing, Apple's new headquarters in California will be powered by one of the largest onsite corporate solar energy installations in the world. All of the company's data centers are similarly powered by 100 percent renewable energy, as are 145 of its U.S. retail stores, and the large majority of its corporate facilities.


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Apple Pay Japan ‘New Life’ Promotion Brings Support For Six New Credit Cards

Apple today posted a limited-time promotion on its Japanese site for its "New Life" campaign, which allows customers using certain company-issued credit cards to receive cashback and other benefits on Apple Pay purchases and store rewards.

As noted by Japanese blog Ata Distance, the Apple Pay promotion runs between March 1 and April 30 and takes in app purchases and online services including Japan Taxi, Toho Cinemas, Demae-Can, Jalan, Minne, Base, and Giftee. The available online rewards range from coupons to free shipping on orders, while purchases from brick-and-mortar convenience stores are also touting similar benefits.


As part of its "New Life" campaign, Apple has added more firms to its list of participating card issuers: APLUS, EPOS, JACCS, Cedyna, POCKETCARD and Life all now offer some sort of reward as part of the promotion. UCS integration has also been confirmed but a timeline for activation has not been announced.

Apple Pay debuted in the Japanese market last October following the release of iOS 10.1, making it available for use at all locations that accept the Suica prepaid money card, QuicPay, or iD. Apple Pay in Japan also works with credit and debit cards issued by American Express, JCB, Mastercard, Aeon Financial, Orico, Credit Saison, SoftBank, d Card, View Card, MUFG Card, and more.

Related Roundup: Apple Pay
Tag: Japan

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Apple Launches ‘Back to Uni’ Promotion in Australia and New Zealand, Offers Up to $100 Apple Store Gift Card

Apple today launched its annual "Back to Uni" promotion in Australia and New Zealand, offering students and select other educational employees a $70 to $100 Apple Store gift card with the purchase of a qualifying new Mac or iPad Pro.


Apple is offering a A$100 or NZ$105 Apple Store gift card with the purchase of a new Mac, including the iMac, Mac Pro, MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and built-to-order versions of those models. Refurbished models and the lower-cost Mac mini do not qualify for the offer per usual.

Meanwhile, students and teachers who purchase any new iPad Pro model will receive a A$70 or NZ$75 Apple Store gift card.

In Australia, the promotion is available to full-time or part-time students aged 18 or over studying at an accredited Australian university or other Apple-approved institution. Lecturers and staff members at accredited Australian universities or Apple-approved educational institutions are also eligible.

In New Zealand, the promotion is available to students attending or accepted into a higher education institution, faculty members and staff members of higher education institutions, any employee of a public or private K–12 institution, and parents purchasing on behalf of a current or accepted student.

The promotion runs between February 7 and March 17 in both countries on Apple's website and at Apple Stores in Australia. Eligible customers can also call 133-622 in Australia or 0800-692-7753 in New Zealand. The promotion can be combined with Apple's standard educational pricing discounts.

Apple today also launched a similar promotion in Japan, offering students an ¥8,500 Apple Store gift card with the purchase of a new Mac and ¥5,500 Apple Store gift card with the purchase of any new iPad Pro.


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Apple to Hold New Year’s Sale in Japan Starting January 2

Starting on January 2, Apple plans to hold a special New Year's Sale both online and at all of its retail locations in Japan, continuing a long tradition of offering something special on January 2 in the country.

Up until 2016, Apple took part in the Japanese tradition of offering "Fukubukuro" or "lucky bags" to customers. Fukubukuro used to contain an assortment of random Apple products at a price of approximately $300. Some bags contained things like backpacks, speakers, and other small accessories, but there was always a chance to win a larger product, like a MacBook Air or an iPad.

japanapplesale
The Fukubukuro tradition is still ongoing in Japan, but 2015 was the last year that Apple participated, opting instead for in-store sales and doing away with the long lines retail locations used to see as people hoped to snag one of the limited edition bags.

It is not clear what kind of discounts Apple will be offering on January 2, but it could be similar to the Black Friday event in the United States, which saw the company offer Apple Store gift cards up to $150 with the purchase of Macs, iPads, iPhones, and more.

Apple is also likely to offer additional sales in various countries around the world ahead of Lunar New Year, set to take place on Saturday, January 28.

Related Roundup: Apple Deals
Tags: Japan, Apple retail

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Rare photos capture the attack on Pearl Harbor from the Japanese perspective, 75 years ago

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Bomber pilots who participated in the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Image: ullstein bild/ullstein bild via Getty Images

In 1941, it seemed to many in Japan that war against the United States was inevitable

Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, commander-in-chief of the Combined Fleet, had opposed Japan’s alliance with Germany and Italy and its invasion of China

He had also traveled and studied throughout the United States, and understood that Japan’s island empire could not hope to defeat the Americans’ vast resources and industrial capacity in a prolonged war.

Despite his reservations, the pro-war political climate ultimately forced Yamamoto to devise a plan to strike the United States. Read more…

More about Japan, Pearl Harbor Anniversary, Pearl Harbor, World War Ii, and History

Pokémon theme songs for Japan, Korea and the U.S. are totally different

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It wasn’t too long ago that the Pokémon Go craze put the anime theme song “Gotta Catch ‘Em All” back in our heads.

But in Japan and Korea, players were listening to very different tunes.

American YouTuber Dave Levene uploaded a video comparing the English, Japanese and Korean versions of the TV show’s opening songs, and they’re each surprisingly unique.

While the U.S. version is straight up rock, the Japanese version (めざせポケモンマスター, or “Aim to Be a Pokémon Master”) had a melodic J-pop style, with a soaring vocal line. 

The Korean version (모험의 시작, or “Start of an Adventure”) was a rock anthem set to a marching beat. Read more…

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Domino’s sadly gives up on reindeer pizza delivery plans for Christmas

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Those reindeer turned out to be a lot harder to train than Domino’s had anticipated.

The American pizza company announced on Thursday it was abandoning its plans to use reindeer to deliver pizzas in Japan for Christmas.

Domino’s had made a big announcement last week saying it was preparing a fleet of reindeer-pulled carriages to deliver pizzas over the holidays in wintry parts of Japan.

But in its latest statement [Japanese], the company has had to backtrack on this promise, saying it was “difficult to control” the reindeer. Read more…

More about Domino S, Pizza, Reindeer, Japan, and World

Starbucks releases hot baked apple lattes and Frappuccinos for Christmas

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It’s starting to smell a lot like Christmas in Japan.

Starbucks on Thursday released its latest festive flavour in the country, baked apple, in the form of a hot latte and a Frappuccino ice-blended drink.

Baked apple joins the Starbucks Japan Christmas line up of gingerbread and pecan nut drinks.

Image: starbucks japan

According to Starbucks Japan’s blog, the hot baked latte is made with warm apple juice, and contains bits of caramelised apple and brown sugar and butter. Read more…

More about Festive, Christmas, Japan, Frappuccino, and Coffee

How to make food that glows bright green in UV light

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These fluorescent glowing rice balls may not look the most appetising, but nobody will be able to accuse you of bringing a boring dish to the party.

With some creativity and basic science knowledge, Japanese Twitter user @unatra has posted pictures of rice balls he made at home that glow bright green under black light, or UV light.

The fourth-year university student made the strange-looking concoction by throwing vitamin B2 pills, tonic water and green food colouring in the water used to boil the rice.

una’s キッチン始まるよ!
今日の料理は『蛍光おにぎり』 pic.twitter.com/zjUYtZBDYH

— unatra (@unatra) November 18, 2016 Read more…

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This theme park thought skating on 5,000 dead fish would be fun and not creepy at all

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Fancy skating over more than 5,000 frozen fish? Didn’t think so. 

A theme park in Japan has been forced to close its skating rink after it received a wave of criticism over its main feature: dead sprats and mackerels trapped under ice so that people can skate on them. 

Space World, in the southern city of Kitakyushu, opened its quirky attraction earlier this month. 

A series of tweets promoting the feature caused heated reactions online. Images of the fish were posted on social media, some of them with their mouths still open, while others arranged to form arrows under the ice or spell out “hello”.  Read more…

More about Dead Fish, Fish, Frozen, Ice Rink, and Japan