CNN's 'Blueprint' explores how Japan is innovating for a world beyond Covid-19

2022-01-27 12:05 1321

HONG KONG, Jan. 27, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- For many across the world, innovation is the new normal, as businesses and communities adapt and learn from the global pandemic. In 2021, attention turned to Japan as it hosted the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games under unprecedented circumstances and pioneered to overcome the associated challenges. That spirit has flowed throughout the nation since. In a brand-new 30-minute special hosted by CNN International correspondent Blake Essig, CNN's 'Blueprint' travels to Japan to explore how people, communities, businesses and industries across the country are innovating for a world beyond Covid-19 and creating a plan for the future.

CNN’s ‘Blueprint’ explores how Japan is innovating for a world beyond Covid-19
CNN’s ‘Blueprint’ explores how Japan is innovating for a world beyond Covid-19

The pandemic has prompted companies in Japan to rethink the country's traditional work culture. Essig meets Hiroki Hiramatsu, Chief Human Resources Officer for Japanese tech giant Fujitsu and the architect of the company's "Work Life Shift" initiative, set up to help employees balance their personal and professional lives. Essig learns how Fujitsu hopes to lead the way in creating a new work culture, and tours the company's new office space designed specifically with this plan in mind.

Evolving attitudes are also creating opportunities for new living solutions, especially as remote working becomes more commonplace. CNN learns about a co-living service called ADDress, which allows its subscribers to live and work in any of the 220 homes listed on its platform across Japan. The company's CEO says its users have risen since the pandemic started as more people look for more diverse living options. Essig also visits one of Panasonic Homes' latest designs: a single-story house designed to emphasize well-being as families spend more time at home.

From lockdowns to social distancing, the pandemic has restricted the ways we move around. For wheelchair users, that reality is amplified. Yuriko Oda hopes to change that with her crowdsourced map application WheeLog! which allows users to post and search locations of barrier-free facilities around Japan and in other parts of the world. CNN also hears from five-time Paralympian and wheelchair rugby champion Shinichi Shimakawa about how public accessibility is improving in the country. 

Japan is turning to automation to boost its agriculture industry, especially in the face of a growing labor shortage made worse by the pandemic. Japanese startup AGRIST has developed a harvesting robot which can help farmers by picking crops, collecting data and using artificial intelligence to analyze growth rates and detect disease. Essig visits Miyazaki Prefecture, where the startup is based, to discover how it is harnessing the power of robotics to help move Japan's agricultural industry into the future. 

Blueprint – Japan images: 

Airtimes for 30-minute special:

Saturday, 5th February at 7:00pm HKT

Sunday, 6th February at 2:00pm HKT

Monday, 7th February at 2:00am HKT

About CNN International 

CNN's portfolio of news and information services is available in seven different languages across all major TV, digital and mobile platforms, reaching more than 475 million households around the globe. CNN International is the number one international TV news channel according to all major media surveys across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the Asia Pacific region, and Latin America and has a US presence that includes CNNgo. CNN Digital is a leading network for online news, mobile news and social media. CNN is at the forefront of digital innovation and continues to invest heavily in expanding its digital global footprint, with a suite of award-winning digital properties and a range of strategic content partnerships, commercialised through a strong data-driven understanding of audience behaviours. CNN has won multiple prestigious awards around the world for its journalism. Around 1,000 hours of long-form series, documentaries and specials are produced every year by CNNI's non-news programming division. CNN has 36 editorial offices and more than 1,100 affiliates worldwide through CNN Newsource. CNN International is a WarnerMedia company.

Source: CNN International