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02/16/17
First Phase of Tenjin Big Bang Launched
Fukuoka City has released the details of the Tenjin Business Center Building, the first phase of its Tenjin Big Bang urban redevelopment project. Slated for completion in fiscal 2020, the Tenjin Business Center Building will be erected just east of the Fukuoka Building on a site that is now occupied by five commercial buildings. The quake-proof building will boast 60,250 m2 of floor area over 16 above-ground and two underground floors. The total cost is estimated at 50 billion. In addition to offices and shops, the building will also have a parking lot. Under the Tenjin Big Bang project, City Hall aims to redevelop 30 aging buildings in the Tenjin area by 2024.

02/16/17
Joint Hydrogen Materials Research Center Established at Kyushu University
On Jan. 11, Kyushu University and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) established a joint research center for hydrogen materials. Aiming to realize a "hydrogen-based society," researchers at the new center, dubbed the AIST-Kyushu University Hydrogen Materials Laboratory (or HydroMate), will conduct basic research necessary for the development of materials for the safe, low-cost storage and transportation of hydrogen. By tying up with AIST, the front-runner in basic research on hydrogen materials, Kyushu University aims to leverage its strengths in solar cell research.

01/13/17
Nobel Laureate Dr. Yoshinori Ohsumi to Receive Prefectural People's Honor Award
In 2016, Fukuoka-born Tokyo Institute of Technology professor, Dr. Yoshinori Ohsumi, won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his years of research on autophagy, the process by which cells break down and recycle cellular components. Dr. Ohsumi is the first Fukuokan to win a Nobel Prize. In recognition of this academic achievement, which is a source of inspiration and pride for the people of Fukuoka, the Prefecture has decided to confer the Prefectural People's Honor Award on Dr. Ohsumi - the first time that a non-athlete will receive this award.

01/13/17
Yamakasa Parades to be Inscribed on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List
The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has decided to inscribe the Hakata Gion Yamakasa and the Tobata Gion Yamakasa in its Intangible Cultural Heritage List. UNESCO not only designates monuments, buildings and objects as tangible cultural heritage sites, it also defines intangible cultural heritage as "oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events ... [and] the knowledge and skills to produce traditional crafts." This will be Japan's 21st inscription on the list. On Dec. 2, the Prefecture held a ceremony at the Prefectural Office to commemorate the UNESCO decision. About 250 people attended the event, and Prefectural representatives promised to ensure that this traditional culture will be handed down to future generations and widely publicized.

01/13/17
First Made-in-Kyushu Satellite Launched into Space
On Dec. 9, a mini-satellite developed by Hirokawa Town-based Nakashimada Engineering Works was launched on an H2B rocket from the Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture. The satellite is equipped with a device called a de-orbit mechanism, or DOM, that aims to reduce space debris by identifying and lowering the altitude of dead satellites. Tests will be conducted after the satellite is released from the International Space Station. With many countries around the globe launching satellites, space debris has become a pressing international issue. Developers are keen to see how the satellite tests fare. This is the first time for a satellite developed by a Kyushu-based company to be launched into space.

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