Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 11

Search results for: Akihiro Ichinose

11 Providing Medical Information in Braille: Research and Development of Automatic Braille Translation Program for Japanese “eBraille“

Authors: Aki Sugano, Mika Ohta, Mineko Ikegami, Kenji Miura, Sayo Tsukamoto, Akihiro Ichinose, Toshiko Ohshima, Eiichi Maeda, Masako Matsuura, Yutaka Takao

Abstract:

Along with the advances in medicine, providing medical information to individual patient is becoming more important. In Japan such information via Braille is hardly provided to blind and partially sighted people. Thus we are researching and developing a Web-based automatic translation program “eBraille" to translate Japanese text into Japanese Braille. First we analyzed the Japanese transcription rules to implement them on our program. We then added medical words to the dictionary of the program to improve its translation accuracy for medical text. Finally we examined the efficacy of statistical learning models (SLMs) for further increase of word segmentation accuracy in braille translation. As a result, eBraille had the highest translation accuracy in the comparison with other translation programs, improved the accuracy for medical text and is utilized to make hospital brochures in braille for outpatients and inpatients.

Keywords: Automatic Braille translation, Medical text, Partially sighted people.

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10 Changes in Fine PM Pollution Levels with Tightening of Regulations on Vehicle Emissions

Authors: Akihiro Iijima, Kimiyo Kumagai

Abstract:

A long-term campaign for monitoring the concentration of atmospheric Particulate Matter (PM) was conducted at multiple sites located in the center and suburbs of the Tokyo Metropolitan Area in Japan. The concentration of fine PM has shown a declining trend over the last two decades. A positive matrix factorization model elucidated that the contribution of combustion sources was drastically reduced. In Japan, the regulations on vehicle exhaust emissions were phased in and gradually tightened over the last two decades, which has triggered a notable reduction in PM emissions from automobiles and has contributed to the mitigation of the problem of fine PM pollution.

Keywords: Air pollution, Diesel-powered vehicle, Positive matrix factorization, Receptor modeling.

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9 Concentration of Nitrogen in a Forested Headwater Stream in Japan

Authors: Sakura Yoshii, Kana Sekiguchi, Akihiro Iijima

Abstract:

The balance between nitrogen loading and runoff in the forested headwater streams of the Kanna River was estimated to elucidate the current status of nitrogen saturation in a forested watershed. NO3-N concentration in the study area was far higher than the average value in Japan. Estimated nitrogen runoff accounted for 55–57% of nitrogen loading; suggesting that the forest-s nitrogen retention capacity is most likely in decline. Since the 1970s, Japan-s forestry industry has been declining due to the decrease in lumber demand and increase in cheap imported materials. Thus, this decline will contribute significantly to further reducing nitrogen saturation in forest ecosystems.

Keywords: Dissolved inorganic nitrogen species, Forest management, Nitrogen Saturation, Watershed.

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8 Current Trends in Eco-Friendly Reconstruction after the Great East Japan Earthquake

Authors: Ayaka Kamiyama, Akihiro Iijima

Abstract:

On March 11, 2011, the East coast of Japan was hit by one of the strongest earthquakes in history, followed by a devastating tsunami. Although most lifelines, infrastructure, and public facilities have been restored gradually, recovery efforts in terms of disposal of disaster waste and revival of primary industry are lagging. This study presents a summary of the damage inflicted by the earthquake and the current status of reconstruction in the disaster area. Moreover, we discuss the current trends and future perspectives on recently implemented eco-friendly reconstruction projects and focus on the pro-environmental behavior of disaster victims which is emerging as a result of the energy shortage after the earthquake. Finally, we offer ideas for initiatives for the next stage of the reconstruction policies.

Keywords: Agriculture, Disaster wastes, Pro-environmental behavior, Reconstruction policies.

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7 Comparison of Two-Phase Critical Flow Models for Estimation of Leak Flow Rate through Cracks

Authors: Tadashi Watanabe, Jinya Katsuyama, Akihiro Mano

Abstract:

The estimation of leak flow rates through narrow cracks in structures is of importance for nuclear reactor safety, since the leak flow could be detected before occurrence of loss-of-coolant accidents. The two-phase critical leak flow rates are calculated using the system analysis code, and two representative non-homogeneous critical flow models, Henry-Fauske model and Ransom-Trapp model, are compared. The pressure decrease and vapor generation in the crack, and the leak flow rates are found to be larger for the Henry-Fauske model. It is shown that the leak flow rates are not affected by the structural temperature, but affected largely by the roughness of crack surface.

Keywords: Crack, critical flow, leak, roughness.

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6 Current Status of Nitrogen Saturation in the Upper Reaches of the Kanna River, Japan

Authors: Sakura Yoshii, Masakazu Abe, Akihiro Iijima

Abstract:

Nitrogen saturation has become one of the serious issues in the field of forest environment. The watershed protection forests located in the downwind hinterland of Tokyo Metropolitan Area are believed to be facing nitrogen saturation. In this study, we carefully focus on the balance of nitrogen between load and runoff. Annual nitrogen load via atmospheric deposition was estimated to 461.1 t-N/year in the upper reaches of the Kanna River. Annual nitrogen runoff to the forested headwater stream of the Kanna River was determined to 184.9 t-N/year, corresponding to 40.1% of the total nitrogen load. Clear seasonal change in NO3-N concentration was still observed. Therefore, watershed protection forest of the Kanna River is most likely to be in Stage-1 on the status of nitrogen saturation.

Keywords: Atmospheric deposition, Nitrogen accumulation, Denitrification, Forest ecosystems.

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5 Text Mining Analysis of the Reconstruction Plans after the Great East Japan Earthquake

Authors: Minami Ito, Akihiro Iijima

Abstract:

On March 11, 2011, the Great East Japan Earthquake occurred off the coast of Sanriku, Japan. It is important to build a sustainable society through the reconstruction process rather than simply restoring the infrastructure. To compare the goals of reconstruction plans of quake-stricken municipalities, Japanese language morphological analysis was performed by using text mining techniques. Frequently-used nouns were sorted into four main categories of “life”, “disaster prevention”, “economy”, and “harmony with environment”. Because Soma City is affected by nuclear accident, sentences tagged to “harmony with environment” tended to be frequent compared to the other municipalities. Results from cluster analysis and principle component analysis clearly indicated that the local government reinforces the efforts to reduce risks from radiation exposure as a top priority.

Keywords: Eco-friendly reconstruction, harmony with environment, decontamination, nuclear disaster.

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4 Life Experiences are Important Factors of Making Stronger SOC (Sense of Coherence) on the Workers in Tsukuba Research Park City (TRPC)

Authors: Shinichiro Sasahara, Yusuke Tomotsune, Yuichi Ohi, Shun Suzuki, Akihiro Seki, Junko Sakano, Yoshihiko Yamazaki, Ichiyo Matsuzaki

Abstract:

Via a large scale cross-sectional study among Japanese white color workers, the authors aimed to elucidate: (1) the distributions of Sense of Coherence (SOC), which reflect stress coping abilities, (2) the distributions of Life experience; (3) and the association between SOC and Life experience. Anonymous self-administered questionnaires were sent to 15,891 in 2001 and 21,922 in 2011 employees at educational and research institutions in Tsukuba Research Park City. A total of 5,868 (36.9%) and 9,528 (43.5%) respectively workers completed and returned the questionnaire; 5,715 and 9,515 respectively workers without missing data were analyzed. SOC scale scores differed by gender, age, and other demographic features in both study years. Among the life experiences, workers who have got over parenting or management position were higher SOC scale scores adjusted by gender and age. The life experiences that workers have got over could develop their stronger SOC in their life course.

Keywords: field study, life experience, mental health, SOC (sense of coherence)

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3 Field Study on Thermal Performance of a Green Office in Bangkok, Thailand: A Possibility of Increasing Temperature Set-Points

Authors: T. Sikram, M. Ichinose, R. Sasaki

Abstract:

In the tropics, indoor thermal environment is usually provided by a cooling mode to maintain comfort all year. Indoor thermal environment performance is sometimes different from the standard or from the first design process because of operation, maintenance, and utilization. The field study of thermal environment in the green building is still limited in this region, while the green building continues to increase. This study aims to clarify thermal performance and subjective perception in the green building by testing the temperature set-points. A Thai green office was investigated twice in October 2018 and in May 2019. Indoor environment variables (temperature, relative humidity, and wind velocity) were collected continuously. The temperature set-point was normally set as 23 °C, and it was changed into 24 °C and 25 °C. The study found that this gap of temperature set-point produced average room temperature from 22.7 to 24.6 °C and average relative humidity from 55% to 62%. Thermal environments slight shifted out of the ASHRAE comfort zone when the set-point was increased. Based on the thermal sensation vote, the feeling-colder vote decreased by 30% and 18% when changing +1 °C and +2 °C, respectively. Predicted mean vote (PMV) shows that most of the calculated median values were negative. The values went close to the optimal neutral value (0) when the set-point was set at 25 °C. The neutral temperature was slightly decreased when changing warmer temperature set-points. Building-related symptom reports were found in this study that the number of votes reduced continuously when the temperature was warmer. The symptoms that occurred by a cooler condition had the number of votes more than ones that occurred by a warmer condition. In sum, for this green office, there is a possibility to adjust a higher temperature set-point to +1 °C (24 °C) in terms of reducing cold sensitivity, discomfort, and symptoms. All results could support the policy of changing a warmer temperature of this office to become “a better green building”.

Keywords: Thermal environment, green office, temperature set-point, comfort.

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2 Miocene Warm Tropical Climate: Evidence Based on Oxygen Isotope in Central Java, Indonesia

Authors: Akmaluddin, Koichiro Watanabe, Akihiro Kano, Wartono Rahardjo

Abstract:

Oxygen and carbon isotopes records of multi-species planktonic, benthic foraminifera and bulk carbonate sample from Central Java Indonesia demonstrate that warm sea surface temperature occurred during the Miocene. Planktonic δ18O values from this study consistently lighter (-4 to -3 ‰PDB) than previous studies that indicate sea surface temperature during Miocene in this area was warm than tropical/equatorial localities. A surprising decrease of oxygen isotopic composition was recorded at ±14 Ma where the maximum of δ18O values is -4.87 ‰PDB for Orbulina universa, -5.02 ‰PDB for Globigerinoides sacculifer and -4.30 ‰PDB for Globoquadrina dehiscens, this event we predict as Middle Miocene Optimum. Warming of sea surface temperature we interpret as related to the development of Western Pacific Warm Pool where warm water from Pacific Ocean through the Indonesian seaway appears to remain during Miocene. Our result also show increasing suddenly of oxygen isotope values of planktic, benthic and bulk carbonate sample from ± 12 Ma, the increasing cooled surface water relatively high degree with Late Miocene global cooling climate or we predict that due to closing of Indonesian Gateway.

Keywords: Oxygen isotope, Foraminifera, Miocene, Paleoclimate, Indonesian.

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1 Alleviation of Adverse Effects of Salt Stress on Soybean (Glycine max. L.) by Using Osmoprotectants and Organic Nutrients

Authors: Ayman El Sabagh, Sobhy Sorour, Abd Elhamid Omar, Adel Ragab, Mohammad Sohidul Islam, Celaleddin Barutçular, Akihiro Ueda, Hirofumi Saneoka

Abstract:

Salinity is one of the major factors limiting crop production in an arid environment. Despite its global importance soybean production suffer the problems of salinity stress causing damages at plant development. So it is implacable to either search for salinity enhancement of soybean plants. Therefore, in the current study we try to clarify the mechanism that might be involved in the ameliorating effects of osmo-protectants such as proline and glycine betaine as well as, compost application on soybean plants grown under salinity stress. The experiment was conducted under greenhouse conditions at the Graduate School of Biosphere Science Laboratory of Hiroshima University, Japan in 2011. The experiment was designed as a spilt-split plot based on randomized complete block design with four replications. The treatments could be summarized as follows; (i) salinity concentrations (0 and 15 mM), (ii) compost treatments (0 and 24 t ha-1) and (iii) the exogenous, proline and glycine betaine concentrations (0 mM and 25 mM) for each. Results indicated that salinity stress induced reduction in growth and physiological aspects (dry weight per plant, chlorophyll content, N and K+ content) of soybean plant compared with those of the unstressed plants. On the other hand, salinity stress led to increases in the electrolyte leakage ratio, Na and proline contents. Special attention was paid to, the tolerance against salt stress was observed, the improvement of salt tolerance resulted from proline, glycine betaine and compost were accompanied with improved K+, and proline accumulation. While, significantly decreased electrolyte leakage ratio and Na+ content. These results clearly demonstrate that harmful effect of salinity could reduce on growth aspects of soybean. Consequently, exogenous osmoprotectants combine with compost will effectively solve seasonal salinity stress problem and are a good strategy to increase salinity resistance of soybean in the drylands.

Keywords: Compost, glycine betaine, growth, proline, salinity tolerance, soybean.

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