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＜ 2016.03.29 Reuters ＞
Smoke without fire: Japan becomes test ground for real tobacco e-cigarette
（ A customer tries a Philip Morris' 'iQOS' smokeless tobacco e-cigarette at an iQOS store in Tokyo, Japan, March 3, 2016. ）
Two tobacco giants are seeing strong demand for their reboots of the e-cigarette in Japan, with Philip Morris International (PM.N) twice postponing a nationwide rollout and Japan Tobacco (2914.T) suspending shipments - both due to supply shortages.
Japan has become a key testing ground for the two companies and their new, real tobacco e-smokes as they grapple with shrinking demand for traditional cigarettes in other developed countries.
Philip Morris, the world's largest tobacco company, has postponed the nationwide rollout of its iQOS to April 18.
"We believe that the success of iQOS commercialization in Japan will accelerate its global expansion," Philip Morris Japan president Paul Riley told Reuters.
Japan Tobacco CEO Mitsuomi Koizumi told an earnings briefing in February: "We have very high expectations for growth of the so-called tobacco vapor category in five years or so from now."
The iQOS is a tobacco stick that is heated just enough to produce an aerosol but not combust. The company is betting the presence of real tobacco will make it more satisfying to smokers than existing e-cigarettes.
The new device, priced at 9,980 yen ($89), appears similar to other e-cigarettes in that it is pen-shaped and battery-powered, and is heated to release tobacco vapor.
A key distinction is the refills, sold as Marlboro HeatSticks. Most e-cigarettes sold elsewhere use nicotine-laced liquid, which is heavily regulated in Japan. A pack of 20 HeatSticks sells for 460 yen, the same as regular Marlboro cigarettes.
＜ 2016.03.23 Pacific Islands News Association ＞
Palau President declares state of emergency due to extreme drought
Palau President Tommy Remengesau on Tuesday declared a state of emergency after severe drought continues to affect the island nation.
“The declining water levels caused by this drought seriously threaten the availability and quality of potable water,” Executive Order No. 389 issued by the president which declares a state of emergency due to extreme drought.”
Water shortage in Palau worsens as the Palau Public Utilities Corporation (PPUC) shortened the water supply starting March 19 from 10 hours since it implemented it on March 12 to six hours last March 21 everyday in Koror and Airai States.
The water levels of the Palau reservoir is going down on a critical level due to lack of rain.PPUC said that during a short period of rains on March 16, 2016 water levels gained about 3 feet but then dropped again back to 1.5 feet Average consumption is about 125,000 gallons per hour or 625,000 gallons every five hours.
Remengesau in his executive order said the drought is also affecting others states of Palau and that the Ministry of Health fears that the water shortage continues to cause health implications to the public through food and water-borne illnesses.
The water shortage has also affected schools and hospitals and the power system, which are dependent on water supply to function.
＜ 2016.04.04 Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan ＞
Emergency Assistance to the Republic of Palau in Response to the Drought Disaster
1. On Friday, April 1, the Government of Japan decided to provide emergency relief goods (portable jerry cans, water tanks and water purifiers) to the Republic of Palau through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in response to the request from the Government of the Republic of Palau following serious damage from the drought in the country.
2. The Republic of Palau generally has dry season from November to April and there is little rainfall every year in the season. However, the Republic of Palau is suffering from severe drought this year due to extraordinary water shortage caused by El Nino since last year. Based on the situation, the President of the Republic of Palau declared a State of Emergency due to extreme drought on March 22, 2016.
3. The Government of Japan decided to provide emergency assistance from a humanitarian point of view for the affected people as well as in light of the long friendly relationship between Japan and the Republic of Palau.
＜ 2015.04.09 BBC News ＞
Japan emperor marks Palau war dead
（ The imperial couple paid their respects to the war dead on Peleliu ）
Japan's Emperor Akihito has visited the Pacific island of Peleliu to commemorate those who died in fierce fighting during World War Two.
Some 10,000 Japanese troops and 1,600 US soldiers died during three months of intense fighting on the island, which is part of the nation of Palau.
＜ 2016.04.06 FOX News ＞
At Venus, a Japanese spacecraft is almost ready for big science
（ Akatsuki Test Image of Venus , JAXA ）
A Japanese spacecraft's long-awaited Venus campaign is finally about to begin.
Japan's Akatsuki probe was originally supposed to arrive at Venus in December 2010, but an engine failure caused the spacecraft to miss its target and zoom off into orbit around the sun. But this past December, Akatsuki's handlers managed to guide the craft back to Venus, and now the probe is just about ready to start science operations.
"Akatsuki has been performing test observations by turning on its onboard observation instruments one by one," Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) officials wrote in an update on Friday (April 1). [Japan at Venus: See the photos from Akatsuki]
"The instruments are starting up normally, and we have already conducted successful observations that are equivalent to a 'minimum success,'" they added. "Thus we will move to regular operations in mid-April."
The $300 million Akatsuki spacecraft, whose name means "dawn" in Japanese, was designed to study Venus' clouds, weather and atmosphere up close using six different instruments. The probe's observations should help researchers better understand how Venus, which may have been quite Earth-like billions of years ago, became so hot and seemingly inhospitable to life, JAXA officials have said.
＜ 2016.04.06 産経新聞 ＞
＜ 2016.04.06 産経新聞 ＞