Noteworthy Press Releases from Japan

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PS Solutions Corp.

Webinar Organized by the US Journal “Science” Sponsored by a Japanese Company for the First Time


1st–Theme of Agriculture for a Webinar, 1st–Lecturers from Japan to Speak
—Proposals for Sustainable Agriculture—

A 1st for a Japanese company--PS Solutions Corp. sponsored a webinar held by the peer-reviewed, comprehensive science magazine Science on May 23, 2018 (Wednesday local time). PS Solutions Corp. (hereafter PS Solutions, of Minato Ward, Tokyo; chairman & CEO Amane Kito) is a member of the Softbank Group. The theme of agriculture is also a first for this webinar, as is a speech being given by lecturers from Japan, namely Dr. Takashi Togami, who leads the technological development of the agricultural IoT solution e-kakashi provided by PS Solutions, and Dr. Manabu Ishitani, who is engaged in the development of rice cultivation with the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT).


Agriculture is an indispensable industry for the continued survival of mankind. Even today technological innovations continue to evolve in agriculture, with the aims to not only further improve its productivity but also its quality. In this way new technologies are being applied one after another to agriculture.
By contrast, on the downside of expansion of agriculture is the fact that it has a negative impact on the environment and, as a result, it threatens not only its own sustainability, but also the global environment.
This comes in the form, for example, of the greenhouse gases methane and nitrous oxide that are emitted from the agricultural sector. Add that to the fact that agriculture is one of the largest industrial users of water, making it indispensable for increasing production of food, necessary for the increasing global population--but that will require even more water resources. So it is fair to say that taking steps to conserve the environment in order to produce food sustainably is an urgent challenge.
In this webinar, 3 doctors use wet-land rice cultivation as an example in a relay-style presentation of solutions to production that will make agriculture both more environmentally efficient and environmentally friendly.


PS Solutions looks to help solve agricultural issues for both Japan and throughout the world via this webinar; PS Solutions is also working to contribute to solving challenges in Japan and globally by utilizing advanced initiatives that leverage science and IT, as manifested in e-kakashi.



■Introducing the Speakers (In Order of Webinar Appearance)
Takashi Togami, Ph.D.
Director, Agricultural Science Lab., CPS Business Division, PS Solutions Corp.;
Dr. Togami graduated with a B.S. in applied sciences from Charles Sturt University in New South Wales, Australia, followed by a Master’s degree from Mie University in Japan, where he researched agricultural information and communication technology. He obtained a doctorate in bioresources science in 2012, also from Mie University, researching sensor networks and information utilization on farms. In December 2012, Dr. Togami received an honorable mention at the International Commission of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering subcommittee of the Science Council of Japan for his work on a wireless sensor network for precise soil water management in an orchard. He joined SoftBank Mobile in 2013, where he currently leads technology development projects related to agricultural Internet-of-Things technology and expertise.


Manabu Ishitani, Ph.D.
International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT)
Cali, Colombia
Dr. Ishitani was awarded his Ph.D. in agricultural biochemistry by Nagoya University in Japan in 1994. He then completed postdoctoral training at the University of Arizona in the United States before joining BASF Plant Science in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina as a research scientist. He is presently a senior scientist in the Agrobiodiversity Research Area at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) as well as coordinator of the International Laboratory for Cassava Molecular Breeding (ILCMB) at the Agricultural Genetics Institute in Hanoi, Vietnam. Dr. Ishitani’s research interests include the application of new plant breeding techniques to improve crops and the use of the Internet of Things to better monitor and manage agricultural production.


Dirk B. Hays, Ph.D.
Texas A&M University
College Station, Texas
Dr. Hays obtained his B.S. in biochemistry from Texas A&M University (TAMU) in 1991 and his Ph.D. in plant physiology from the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada in 1997. He held postdoctoral research positions with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and Manhattan, Kansas before becoming an assistant professor at TAMU’s Department of Soil and Crop Sciences. His research and teaching focus is plant physiology and genetics, with specialties in physiological and molecular plant breeding for improved adaptation to drought and high-temperature stress in wheat, sorghum, cowpea (black-eyed pea), and cassava. His research also aims to improve the nutritional and industrial end-use quality of wheat, sorghum, and cowpea through traditional and genetic engineering optimization of the starch, protein, and oil makeup of their seeds. Most recently, he has developed the use of ground penetrating radar for subsurface crop root imaging through international collaborations with scientists at Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) centers in Mexico, South America, Africa, and South Asia. Dr. Hays is the current chair of the Molecular and Environmental Plant Sciences interdisciplinary graduate program at TAMU.



■ Webinar Details
1) Time
May 23, 2018 (Wed.), Noon (US Eastern Std. Time)
May 24, 2018 (Thu.), 1 AM (Japan Time)
*Times listed above are live, but the webinar can be viewed from the archive.
2) Title
The rise of agritech: How green technology can enable more earth-friendly agriculture
3) Overview
・Current environmental burdens caused by agricultural expansion
・Solutions for reducing environmental burdens by applying scientific expertise and new green technologies
・Introduction to examples of novel agricultural technologies and their real-world application and performance
4) To View: Register at the following URL

*The name SoftBank is a trademark or registered trademark of the SoftBank Group Corp. in Japan and other countries.
*PS Solutions and e-kakashi are trademarks or registered trademarks of the PS Solutions Corp.
*Other product, company and organization names are trademarks or registered trademarks of the companies concerned.


PS Solutions Corp. Public Relations Team
Mika Hyogo:


<Photo of the speakers>
1. Takashi Togami, Ph.D.

2. Manabu Ishitani, Ph.D.

3. Dirk B. Hays, Ph.D.

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