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Raje woos Japanese investors

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NewsGram Staff Writer

Jaipur: Highlighting the huge potential of the state, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on Monday urged Japanese companies to invest in the state.

As a delegation of Kansai Economic Federation, one of Japan’s representative economic organizations, called on her, Raje told them that her state offers potential and scope in automobile, ceramic, solar, water recycling, waste management and skill development besides other sectors and invited the Japanese companies to invest in these.

“Rajasthan and Japan have deep commercial and trade relations and Resurgent Partnership Summit to be held in November will further help to strengthen these trade relations,” she said.

Resurgent Rajasthan Partnership Summit to be held in Jaipur on November 19-20 is expected to bring together investors from all over the world for interacting with policy makers, including the political leadership, government officials and, local business leaders on the investment environment and opportunities in the state.

Raje, who had visited Japan earlier this year to drum up investment said that her visit “was very fruitful and slowly-slowly we are seeing encouraging results”.

Masayuki Matsushita, vice chairman of Kansai Economic Federation said that the Japanese delegation has come here to study investment opportunities in the state, which can benefit from expertise of Japanese companies in waste disposal, water management and green energy.

(With inputs from IANS)

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Tech And Entertainment Industries Chase After Realistic Face Masks From Japan

Kitagawa said he works with clients carefully to ensure his products will not be used for illicit purposes.

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Face masks
REAL-f Co. President Osamu Kitagawa holds a super-realistic face mask at his factory in Otsu, western Japan. VOA

Super-realistic face masks made by a tiny company in rural Japan are in demand from the domestic tech and entertainment industries and from countries as far away as Saudi Arabia.

The 300,000-yen ($2,650) masks, made of resin and plastic by five employees at REAL-f Co., attempt to accurately duplicate an individual’s face down to fine wrinkles and skin texture.

Company founder Osamu Kitagawa came up with the idea while working at a printing machine manufacturer.

But it took him two years of experimentation before he found a way to use three-dimensional facial data from high-quality photographs to make the masks, and started selling them in 2011.

Face Masks
Super-realistic face masks are displayed at factory of REAL-f Co. in Otsu, western Japan. VOA

The company, based in the western prefecture of Shiga, receives about 100 orders every year from entertainment, automobile, technology and security companies, mainly in Japan.

For example, a Japanese car company ordered a mask of a sleeping face to improve its facial recognition technology to detect if a driver had dozed off, Kitagawa said.

“I am proud that my product is helping further development of facial recognition technology,” he added. “I hope that the developers would enhance face identification accuracy using these realistic masks.”

Kitagawa, 60, said he had also received orders from organizations linked to the Saudi government to create masks for the king and princes.

Face masks
Face off: Realistic masks made in Japan find demand from tech, car firms. 

“I was told the masks were for portraits to be displayed in public areas,” he said.

Kitagawa said he works with clients carefully to ensure his products will not be used for illicit purposes and cause security risks, but added he could not rule out such threats.

Also Read: Women In India Turn to Technology to Stay Safe From Harassment

He said his goal was to create 100 percent realistic masks, and he hoped to use softer materials, such as silicon, in the future.

“I would like these masks to be used for medical purposes, which is possible once they can be made using soft materials,” he said. “And as humanoid robots are being developed, I hope this will help developers to create [more realistic robots] at a low cost.” (VOA)