tech

High-tech Tokyo tops list of world's most innovative cities

32 Comments
By Adela Suliman

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32 Comments
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Japan has built a reputation as an early adopter of new technologies.

Tokyo maybe, and the reputation stops there. At least it should. and while I am fully expecting the "rah rah rah' "go go go" Japan club members to be out in force on this thread today, things are definitely NOT all the same throughout the country.

How many offices are still running Windows XP? Why are far too many businesses still using FAX machines, and the stupid roll paper? The list is long........

Tokyo is not "all" Japan, contrary to what far too many writers of articles that get posted here on JT think!

2 ( +18 / -16 )

An illusion, Honda has stopped making Asibo because it is so outdated. Pepper is just an android tablet with legs. What robotics are they talking about?

-2 ( +13 / -15 )

Fax Machines.

6 ( +17 / -11 )

I think they have actually never been to Tokyo. Just seen some photos. Example ETC has barriers other countries cameras no need to stop at all.

1 ( +13 / -12 )

commercial data provider 2thinknow, which publishes the annual ranking.

And is a client of Hitachi.

It (Tokyo) recently launched facial recognition technology ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and has invested in artificial intelligence for vehicles, hospitals and financial services.

All made by Hitachi group companies! You can't beat a good laugh on a Saturday morning. That's infotainment!

4 ( +15 / -11 )

Amazing news to wake up to! Robotics is the area Japan leads the way, and expect to see thousands more robots working in Tokyo in next 2 years, leading to Olympic. A lot of foreigners are shocked that robots are now working as staff in some Tokyo Hotels!

-7 ( +11 / -18 )

ZZzzzzzzz......

0 ( +12 / -12 )

Some things are definitely high tech however they still use too much cash, DVDS, fax machines and have not yet automated McDonalds. Ganbare Japan I am a foreigner and I am not shocked that robots are working as staff. I am shocked that Japan still uses cash! Who uses cash anymore?

14 ( +18 / -4 )

Must be all the installs of Windows XP and ActiveX?

0 ( +8 / -8 )

"Robotics" in this case usually refers to their use on manufacturing lines, etc., not just to the humanoid (or doganoid?) robots in popular media. In that sense, Japan is indeed one of the leaders in the use of robotics. Despite the fax machines and such.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Weird. My two overseas trips this year to SE Asia and USA, I did my immigration procedures on electronic kiosks, except when I returned to Japan, and stood in a lineup so a guy wearing white gloves could manually inspect my docs.

On Thursday, a Tokyo hotel said I could fax my (paper) business card to become registered as a corporate client. I've got a long, long list of such examples. Too long.

7 ( +17 / -10 )

I'd love to write a longer comment about this, but I've got to drive to Tsutaya to return my DVD rentals and stop at the ATM to pick up wads of cash for the weekend

6 ( +17 / -11 )

Illusion is everything in Japan and this well-manicured make-believe and wishful thinking, I believe, is the reason why big, expensive, unnecessary “gee whiz” type projects always get favored over simple, affordable, necessary ones such as traffic calming with speed bumps and bicycle lanes, or AC in schools or more parks or more daycare centers for children and elderly.

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

And meanwhile on the streets of Tokyo foreign tourists hoping to use credit cards to pay for a taxi ride  or an  ATM card to grab a bit of local currency hit road blocks ALL over the place.

Business colleagues & visitors always look at me weird when I tell them to AVOID bank ATMs & go to the nearest combini to use THEIR ATMs, but if they are here for a few days they soon learn

Yeah some manufacturing here is high tech but most of society at large is NOT.

I have been describing Japan to visitors as part modern & am awful lot of Pioneer Village, has its charm but also can be ridiculous.

Cant wait to hear all the stories when 2020 arrives LOL!!!

0 ( +11 / -11 )

Last year I was in Miami; paid in cash almost everywhere, so I guess even the mighty US of A uses it!!!

Of course, if desired, you can still use cash (and even checks) in the U.S. at many places. However, it is frowned upon because it's slow and dated.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

This is another poll that is owned by a Japanese company, same as how sankei Shimbun bought the magazine that suddenly listed Tokyo as the “most liveable city in the world” afterward. Japan can be innovative when push comes to shove, but they are currently very complacent. Look at their “innovative” ideas for cooling things down for the Olympics: businesses blast air-conditioning and open their doors. That’s like cooling off your entire house by leaving the fridge open. Very innovative!

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Makes sense, none of these other cities even comes close in tech or society. Well done to Tokyo!

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

tourist expectations are going to be crushed

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Meanwhile I can't use a credit card at my local Denny's and my kid's private preschool still requires communication by fax machine... Jussayin.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Yeah some manufacturing here is high tech but most of society at large is NOT.

A bit like every other developed, industrialized nation then. Switzerland, Germany, US, etc. no matter how advanced their engineering and manufacturing, you'll find that people live their lives in a mixture of high tech and low tech ways, and that is how their cities and communities have developed as well.

People come here with very unrealistic expectations, often massaged by some nonsense PR fluff they've read, and then when confronted with reality seem unable to accept that it's their own expectations that have failed them.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

the index, which judges cities on 162 indicators including... wealth distribution

How can wealth distribution be a metric for innovation? This study sounds like it's ideologically tainted. (Unless the cities with the least distribution are actually ranked higher on the assumption that innovators are more incentivised to innovate if they are able to keep more of what they earn?)

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Robotics in Tokyo? Where? Examples? Seriously.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

All these entries make sense but Singapore is a small dystopian totalitarian nation. Technology there is used for oppression and evil. Without liberty, technology only oppresses and dehumanizes.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Robotics in Tokyo? Where? Examples? Seriously.

That's where unskilled workers don't come :)

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Meanwhile I can't use a credit card at my local Denny's and my kid's private preschool still requires communication by fax machine... Jussayin.

There are sophisticated countries where people have money on their accounts and prefer debit cards instead of charging their credit cards from month to month.

And about that fax machine...how about bank clerks in sophisticated NYC who can handle only one routine with the latest PV in front of them. For that question you've t go to....

Reread the article and notice that there are 162 indicators related to that index :)

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

PC **

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Honda has stopped making Asibo

Sony made Aibo, Honda made Asimo. I wonder which one you are referring to.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Weird. My two overseas trips this year to SE Asia and USA, I did my immigration procedures on electronic kiosks, except when I returned to Japan, and stood in a lineup so a guy wearing white gloves could manually inspect my docs. 

On Thursday, a Tokyo hotel said I could fax my (paper) business card to become registered as a corporate client. I've got a long, long list of such examples. Too long.

The procedure worldwide is 2 finger scans connected to new passports and on Haneda I 've seen the only time a double scan device so far among a few nations mentioned in the top 10 of the index concerning immigration.

In most of my J hotels everything is electronic from desk till rooms.

Obvious have language teachers and other unskilled workers no clue where these 162 indicators are about except for their inflated minor issues with their host country :)

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I wouldn't take this study seriously because:

Tokyo topped a list of the world's most innovative cities 

'A list'-is the key word here,almost every market research/consulting/PR company makes up their own list, often based on 'potential' of the city as opposed to whats really done.

There was a trend to create a universal Smart city index to compare development of smart cities, but still the data every "study" is based on varies greatly.

I've never heard of the company that published this study and their list of indicators measuring innovation looks ..hm..interesting..

https://www.innovation-cities.com/162-standard-indicators/6365/

Cities use it as a chance to advertise and attract innovative companies, and PR companies are just making money.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I'm 100% pure Japanese and yes, we might have such "high-tech" but the thing is, they haven't become common yet.

We need to use cash because some stores don't have a machine that accept credit cards, send documents by a Fax machine, because it is still "the most common way" for most of companies, buy real books to read (I think many of us don't use kindle yet). When moving, or starting business, we go to a city office to submit a document by a paper with a seal or a signature.

I feel Japan is a country that hesitates to change, keep up with innovations, and find comfortable in direct, face-to-face communication through the way of analogue style.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I've never heard of the company that published this study and their list of indicators measuring innovation looks ..hm..interesting..

https://www.innovation-cities.com/162-standard-indicators/6365/

Cities use it as a chance to advertise and attract innovative companies, and PR companies are just making money.

I've never heard of this firm either and a few clicks further in the link you provided you'll find the Brit-Australian behind it.

https://www.christopherhire.com

Among the trustees a few well known firms and the Australian government.

Can't find that much 'externally' about this Mr. Hire :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Interesting to see how long Tokyo can maintain this accolade. It's almost a social experiment as country ages and young people disappear. Is innovation in high tech possible without creative minds mostly associated with youth/young people(as millennials in US)?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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