News / Asia

Panasonic Eyes Technology, Infrastructure Contracts at 2020 Olympics

Visitors look at an exhibition showing the history of the partnership between Panasonic Corp. and Olympics at Panasonic center in Tokyo, Aug. 6, 2014.
Visitors look at an exhibition showing the history of the partnership between Panasonic Corp. and Olympics at Panasonic center in Tokyo, Aug. 6, 2014.
Reuters

Robot porters and wearable translation devices are just some of the innovations Panasonic Corp. would like to launch for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, an event it hopes will earn it at least $1.5 billion.

As one of the top sponsors of the Games since 1988, Panasonic has mainly supplied TV screens to host venues.

But with the event coming home, Panasonic sees the Olympics-related technology and infrastructure contracts up for grabs as an opportunity to expand its other businesses as it seeks to reduce its reliance on the highly competitive consumer electronics segment.

“The Olympics will without a doubt spur the development of new businesses,” Masahiro Ido, the director of Panasonic's Olympic Enterprise Division, told Reuters in a recent interview.

“Panasonic is not just a home appliance maker, we have all kinds of technologies, including ones related to social infrastructure,” he added.

Panasonic renewed its sponsorship contract with the International Olympics Committee in February, even as most of its divisions were cutting spending amid a company-wide restructuring drive to recover from net losses of 1.5 trillion yen ($14.6 billion) over the two years to March 2013.

The company said it expects to earn at least 150 billion yen, or $1.5 billion, from contracts related to the Games. The total potential revenue, including earnings from new ventures following on from the Olympics, is seven times that amount, it added.

Ideas for Olympics

Some of the ideas Ido's division is proposing include a payment card to be used in trains, shops and restaurants across Tokyo, eliminating the need to carry cash, and systems to prevent traffic jams or control self-driving vehicles.

Panasonic would also like to invest in charging stations at convenience stores for environmentally friendly cars, Ido said. Iwatani Corp. opened Japan's first commercial hydrogen fuel cell charging station last month.

Many of the projects Panasonic is proposing, like its plan to create "cool spots" around town with solar-powered fans and mist-spraying jets, would utilize existing technology, Ido said. The government has made cooling Tokyo a priority during the Olympics, which will be held at the hottest and most humid time of the year.

Panasonic is also hoping its local connections will help it win Olympics business in Tokyo beyond the contracts for TV screens and surveillance cameras it got in the London and Beijing Games.

Ido said Panasonic could leverage ties with Japanese construction firms if it won the contract to supply appliances for the Athlete's Village in Tokyo Bay. The company is also banking on selling existing products like lighting, air-conditioning systems and TVs.

“There are 87,000 hotel rooms within 10 kilometers of the Olympics center, and several thousand just for the International Olympics Committee,” Ido said. “The TVs in their rooms can't be made by Samsung, of course.”

You May Like

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs