Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 7

Search results for: Toshihiko Masui

7 Scenario-Based Analysis of Electric Vehicle Penetration in Road Transportation in Laos

Authors: Bouneua Khamphilavanh, Toshihiko Masui


The penetration of EV (electric vehicle) technology in Lao road transportation, in this study, was analyzed by using the AIM/CGE [Laos] model. The computable general equilibrium (CGE) model was developed by the Asia-Pacific Integrated Model (AIM) team. In line with the increase of the number of road vehicles, the energy demand in the transport sector has been gradually increased which resulted in a large amount of budget spent for importing fossil fuels during the last decade, and a high carbon dioxide emission from the transport sector, hence the aim of this research is to analyze the impact of EVs penetration on economic and CO₂ emission in short-term, middle-term, and long-term. By the year 2050, the expected gross domestic product (GDP) value, due to Laos will spend more budget for importing the EV, will be gradually lost up to one percent. The cumulative CO₂ emission from 2020 to 2050 in BAU case will be 12,000 GgCO₂eq, and those in the EV mitigation case will be 9,300 GgCO₂eq, which accounting for likely 77% cumulative CO₂ emission reduction in the road transport sector by introducing the EV technology.

Keywords: GDP, CO₂ mitigation, CGE model, EV technology, transport

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6 Perceptions and Attitudes toward Pain in Patients with Chronic Low-Back Pain

Authors: Naomi Sato, Tomonori Sato, Kenji Masui, Rob Stanborough


To date, there are few studies on the subjective experiences of patients with chronic low-back pain (CLBP). The purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of CLBP patients’ perceptions and attitudes regarding pain. Individual, semi-constructed interviews were conducted with 7 Japanese and 10 Americans who had been diagnosed with CLBP. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed based on a content analysis approach. The study proposal was approved by the Institutional Review Board of the first author’s affiliate university. All participants provided written consent. Participants’ ages ranged from 48 to 82. Five main categories were emerged, namely, 'There are no reasons for long-term chronic pain,' 'Just will not worsen,' 'Have something to help me cope,' 'Pain restricts my life,' and 'Have something to relieve me.' Participants lived with CLBP, which could sometimes be avoided as a result of the coping strategies that they employed, and due to which they sometimes felt helpless, despite their efforts. As a result, they had mixed feelings, which included resignation, resoluteness, and optimism. However, their perceptions and attitudes toward pain seemed to differ based on their backgrounds, including biological, social, religious, and cultural status. There is a need for the development of a scale in future studies, to enable quantitative measurement of individuals’ perceptions of and attitudes toward pain. There is also a need for an investigation of factors influencing perceptions and attitudes toward pain.

Keywords: attitude, chronic low-back pain, perception, qualitative study

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5 Co-Liquefaction of Cellulosic Biomass and Waste Plastics

Authors: Katsumi Hirano, Yusuke Kakuta, Koji Yoshida, Shozo Itagaki, Masahiko Kajioka, Toshihiko Okada


A conversion technology of cellulosic biomass and waste plastics to liquid fuel at low pressure and low temperature has been investigated. This study aims at the production of the liquefied fuel (CPLF) of substituting diesel oil by mixing cellulosic biomass and waste plastics in the presence of solvent. Co-liquefaction of cellulosic biomass (Japan cedar) and polypropylene (PP) using wood tar or mineral oil as solvent at 673K with an autoclave was carried out. It was confirmed that the co-liquefaction gave CPLF in a high yield among the cases of wood or of polypropylene Which was ascribed the acceleration of decomposition of plastics by radicals derived from the decomposition of wood. The co-liquefaction was also conducted by a small twin screw extruder. It was found that CPLF was obtained in the co-liquefaction, And the acceleration of decomposition of plastics in the presence of cellulosic biomass. The engine test of CPLF showed that the engine performances, Compression ignition and combustion characteristics were almost similar to those of diesel fuel at any mixing ratio of CPLF and any load, Therefore, CPLF could be practically used as alternative fuel for diesel engines.

Keywords: Cellulosic Biomass, Co-liquefaction, Solvent, Waste Plastics

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4 Rehabilitation Robot in Primary Walking Pattern Training for SCI Patient at Home

Authors: Taisuke Sakaki, Toshihiko Shimokawa, Nobuhiro Ushimi, Koji Murakami, Yong-Kwun Lee, Kazuhiro Tsuruta, Kanta Aoki, Kaoru Fujiie, Ryuji Katamoto, Atsushi Sugyo


Recently attention has been focused on incomplete spinal cord injuries (SCI) to the central spine caused by pressure on parts of the white matter conduction pathway, such as the pyramidal tract. In this paper, we focus on a training robot designed to assist with primary walking-pattern training. The target patient for this training robot is relearning the basic functions of the usual walking pattern; it is meant especially for those with incomplete-type SCI to the central spine, who are capable of standing by themselves but not of performing walking motions. From the perspective of human engineering, we monitored the operator’s actions to the robot and investigated the movement of joints of the lower extremities, the circumference of the lower extremities, and exercise intensity with the machine. The concept of the device was to provide mild training without any sudden changes in heart rate or blood pressure, which will be particularly useful for the elderly and disabled. The mechanism of the robot is modified to be simple and lightweight with the expectation that it will be used at home.

Keywords: training, rehabilitation, SCI patient, welfare, robot

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3 Effect of Oxytocin on Cytosolic Calcium Concentration of Alpha and Beta Cells in Pancreas

Authors: Rauza Sukma Rita, Katsuya Dezaki, Yuko Maejima, Toshihiko Yada


Oxytocin is a nine-amino acid peptide synthesized in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and supraoptic nucleus (SON) of the hypothalamus. Oxytocin promotes contraction of the uterus during birth and milk ejection during breast feeding. Although oxytocin receptors are found predominantly in the breasts and uterus of females, many tissues and organs express oxytocin receptors, including the pituitary, heart, kidney, thymus, vascular endothelium, adipocytes, osteoblasts, adrenal gland, pancreatic islets, and many cell lines. On the other hand, in pancreatic islets, oxytocin receptors are expressed in both α-cells and β-cells with stronger expression in α- cells. However, to our knowledge there are no reports yet about the effect of oxytocin on cytosolic calcium reaction on α and β-cell. This study aims to investigate the effect of oxytocin on α-cells and β-cells and its oscillation pattern. Islet of Langerhans from wild type mice were isolated by collagenase digestion. Isolated and dissociated single cells either α-cells or β-cells on coverslips were mounted in an open chamber and superfused in HKRB. Cytosolic concentration ([Ca2+]i) in single cells were measured by fura-2 microfluorimetry. After measurement of [Ca2+]i, α-cells were identified by subsequent immunocytochemical staining using an anti-glucagon antiserum. In β-cells, the [Ca2+]i increase in response to oxytocin was observed only under 8.3 mM glucose condition, whereas in α-cells, [Ca2+]i an increase induced by oxytocin was observed in both 2.8 mM and 8.3 mM glucose. The oscillation incidence was induced more frequently in β-cells compared to α-cells. In conclusion, the present study demonstrated that oxytocin directly interacts with both α-cells and β-cells and induces increase of [Ca2+]i and its specific patterns.

Keywords: α-cells, β-cells, cytosolic calcium concentration, oscillation, oxytocin

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2 The Effects of Organizational Apologies for Some Members’ Annoying Behavior on Other Members’ Appraisal of Their Organization

Authors: Chikae Isobe, Toshihiko Souma, Yoshiya Furukawa


In Japan, an organization is sometimes asked for responsibility and apology toward the organization for the annoying behavior of employees, even though the behavior is not relevant to the organization. Our studies have repeatedly shown that it is important for organizational evaluation to organization propose compensatory behavior for such annoying behavior, even though the behavior is not relevant to the organization. In this study, it was examined how such an organizational response (apology) was likely to evaluate by members of the organization who were not related to the annoying behavior. Three independent variables were manipulated that is organization emotion (guilt and shame), compensation (proposal or not), and the relation between organization and the annoying behavior (relate or not). And the effects of organizational identity (high and low) were also examined. We conducted an online survey for 240 participants through a crowdsourcing company. Participants were asked to imagine a situation in which an incident in which some people in your company did not return an important document that they borrowed privately (vs. at work) became the topic of discussion, and the company responded. For the analysis,189 data (111 males and 78 females, mean age = 40.6) were selected. The results of ANOVA of 2 by2 on organizational appraisal, perceived organizational responsibility, and so on were conducted. Organization appraisal by members was also higher when the organization proposed compensatory behavior. In addition, when the annoying behavior was related to their work (than no related), for those who were high in organization identity (than low), organization appraisal was high. The interaction between relatedness and organizational identity was significant. Differences in relatedness between the organization and annoying behavior were significant in those with low organizational identity but not in those with high organizational identity. When the organization stated not taking compensatory action, members were more likely to perceive the organization as responsible for the annoying behavior. However, the interaction results indicated this tendency was limited to when the annoying behavior was not related to the organization. Furthermore, it tended to be perceived as responsible for the organization when the organization made a statement that felt shame for the annoying behavior not related to the organization and would compensate for the annoying behavior. These results indicate that even members of the organization do not consider the organization's compensatory actions to be unjustified. In addition, because those with high organizational identity perceived the organization to be responsible when it showed strong remorse (shame and compensation), they would be a tendency to make judgments that are consistent with organizational judgments. It would be considered that the Japanese have the norm that even if the organization is not at fault for a member's disruptive behavior, it should respond to it.

Keywords: appraisal for organization, annoying behavior, group shame and guilt, compensation, organizational apologies

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1 Proposed Design of an Optimized Transient Cavity Picosecond Ultraviolet Laser

Authors: Marilou Cadatal-Raduban, Minh Hong Pham, Duong Van Pham, Tu Nguyen Xuan, Mui Viet Luong, Kohei Yamanoi, Toshihiko Shimizu, Nobuhiko Sarukura, Hung Dai Nguyen


There is a great deal of interest in developing all-solid-state tunable ultrashort pulsed lasers emitting in the ultraviolet (UV) region for applications such as micromachining, investigation of charge carrier relaxation in conductors, and probing of ultrafast chemical processes. However, direct short-pulse generation is not as straight forward in solid-state gain media as it is for near-IR tunable solid-state lasers such as Ti:sapphire due to the difficulty of obtaining continuous wave laser operation, which is required for Kerr lens mode-locking schemes utilizing spatial or temporal Kerr type nonlinearity. In this work, the transient cavity method, which was reported to generate ultrashort laser pulses in dye lasers, is extended to a solid-state gain medium. Ce:LiCAF was chosen among the rare-earth-doped fluoride laser crystals emitting in the UV region because of its broad tunability (from 280 to 325 nm) and enough bandwidth to generate 3-fs pulses, sufficiently large effective gain cross section (6.0 x10⁻¹⁸ cm²) favorable for oscillators, and a high saturation fluence (115 mJ/cm²). Numerical simulations are performed to investigate the spectro-temporal evolution of the broadband UV laser emission from Ce:LiCAF, represented as a system of two homogeneous broadened singlet states, by solving the rate equations extended to multiple wavelengths. The goal is to find the appropriate cavity length and Q-factor to achieve the optimal photon cavity decay time and pumping energy for resonator transients that will lead to ps UV laser emission from a Ce:LiCAF crystal pumped by the fourth harmonics (266nm) of a Nd:YAG laser. Results show that a single ps pulse can be generated from a 1-mm, 1 mol% Ce³⁺-doped LiCAF crystal using an output coupler with 10% reflectivity (low-Q) and an oscillator cavity that is 2-mm long (short cavity). This technique can be extended to other fluoride-based solid-state laser gain media.

Keywords: rare-earth-doped fluoride gain medium, transient cavity, ultrashort laser, ultraviolet laser

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