Mitsubishi Public Affairs Committee

Mitsubishi Digital Rolls out the Big Picture in All-digital Home Entertainment
World's First Photonic Crystal Fiber Cable
For Indian Farmers, a New Kind of Rain Check
Striking a Blow for Wind Energy
Delicious Soups from Mitsubishi Corp's New Venture Kitchen
Electrifying Advancements in Fuel Cell Technology
Recording Another First
News Flashes


M
itsubishi Digital Electronics America is emerging as the leader in high definition home theater. Heralding its theme, 邦ore Than Just TelevisionネトMitsubishi Television,・ the California-based company introduced 27 widescreen displays and televisions, along with the consumer electronics industry's most advanced HDTV receiver/controller, at its annual dealer line show in April 2004.

  鋒ever before have consumers had such a wide selection of digital home theater products from one manufacturer,・said Max Wasinger, senior vice president of sales and marketing for the company.

  In fact, this year's product line, ranging from 22 to 82 inches in size, includes LCD monitors, rear-projection TVs (with HD and HD-upgradeable versions), plasma monitors and widescreen televisions. The standard-bearing 82-inch, three-chip LCoS HDTV, the Mitsubishi Alpha, which hit the market last year, rounds out the microdisplay lineup.

  A new twist is televisions that integrate HD PVRs (personal video recorders) and MPEG SD encoders. The compact HD receiver/controller, HD-6000, can be discretely added to any display, eliminating the need for set-top boxes, cables and PVR subscription fees.

  This latest-generation technology uses Mitsubishi Electric's strategic resources on a global level. Mitsubishi Electric is committed to lead the way in home-theatre displays regardless of technology.

See the lineup at www.mitsubishi-tv.com.

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Photo from ESO home page, http://www.eso.org

Mitsubishi Cable Industries, Ltd. has supplied the world's first photonic crystal fiber (PCF) cable to the European Southern Observatory for use in a laser guide star system. The cable was installed in the Observatory's facility in Chile in July 2004 for use in fine-tuning the observation performance of its large telescopes. The system creates an artificial star using a high-output special laser (with a wavelength of 589 nm) focused on sodium atoms about 90 km above the Earth. The artificial star is positioned in the sky near an extremely faint target object to give the telescope system something to lock onto, improving the sharpness and brightness of the object's image. To relay the special laser light from the laser pumps to the launch telescope, Mitsubishi Cable's DIAGUIDE® PCF single-mode photonic crystal fibers were selected.

  Despite having obvious potential for fiber optics, PCF's physical properties resisted practical application. Mitsubishi Cable's unique technology presented solutions for both the original production of PCF cable, and later, for effective connector processing that made possible its application in a laser guide star system.

  Large telescopes of the same type as at ESO are used in the national observatories in Japan and in other overseas observatories. This means additional orders for PCF cables are expected in the future.
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In India, a country that employs 60% of its work force and 50% of its land in agriculture, a new type of weather insurance developed with the knowledge and expertise of Tokio Marine is bringing a much needed promise of stability to the lives of millions of farming families. Many of the country's regions still lack irrigation and other systems, and annual grain harvests are extremely vulnerable to weather conditions each year. Droughts can have particularly serious impact on farmers' income, and many are compelled to sell their livestock, land and other assets.

  The weather insurance provides indemnity if a drought occurs during the monsoon season (June to September), with payment levels linked to the severity of the drought. The product will be sold by IFFCO-TOKIO General Insurance Co., Ltd. (ITGI), an Indian non-life insurance company and another member of the Millea Group. It will be marketed to the agricultural sector through a network of approximately 36,000 cooperative distribution outlets of the Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Ltd., which is India's largest fertilizer company and an investor in ITGI.

  The Tokio Marine & Fire Insurance Co. and Tokio Marine Financial Solutions Ltd. brought their experience in weather derivative sales and weather data analysis in Japan to the immense task of calculating drought probabilities from vast volumes of data on Indian weather patterns over the past century.

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Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. has won an order for 58 MWT-1000A 1,000-kW wind turbines from Eurus Energy Japan Corporation, making it Mitsubishi Heavy's most popular model.

Photos show the previous model of MWT-1000A before improvement.

  Driven by a new high-efficiency 62-m rotor and perched on a 68-m tower, the MWT-1000A's wind turbines will be installed in Hokkaido, with 57 destined for Japan's biggest wind power generation facility, the Soyamisaki Wind Farm, which will be built in Wakkanai City, Hokkaido, and one for the adjoining Hamatonbetsu Wind Farm.

  The structure and shape of the blades on the MWT-1000A system have been modified to ensure efficient generation even in low winds, improving the annual power output in a location with an average annual wind speed of 6 meters per second by around 20%. In February 2004, it won the Japan Machinery Federation Chairman's Award, for energy conservation machinery and the Nikkei Business Daily Environmental Award for Excellence.

  Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is Japan's only manufacturer of large wind turbines and has built an excellent reputation in this field. Contracts were signed with Hokkaido Electric Power Co., Inc. and Eurus Energy Japan on March 30, and the project is now moving forward.
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Mitsubishi Corporation is currently focusing special effort on businesses that serve consumers directly, such as retailing and restaurant operation, and among these, Smiles Co., the first 吠n-company venture・ established by Mitsubishi Corp., is drawing extra attention. Smiles is the operator of Soup Stock Tokyo, a chain of eateries that specializes in wholesome, natural soups. The idea of Soup Stock Tokyo was proposed by Mr. Masamichi Toyama, Smiles' President, who remains an employee of Mitsubishi Corp. The company and Mr. Toyama provided 87% and 13% of the capital, respectively, to establish Smiles.

  Soup Stock Tokyo's core concept, 鋒atural and tasty soup for all ages that is additive-free and full of plentiful ingredients,・has proven to be particularly popular with women. On any given day, a Soup Stock Tokyo outlet will serve seven or eight of their rich, stew-like soups. They are varied weekly and with the seasons from some 30 recipes made from natural ingredients and without artificial flavorings or preservatives. Each outlet presents a very simple, no-frills, but decidedly refined appearance that belies careful cost control.

  With soups well established, Smiles is expanding into new fields. In November 2003, the company launched Tokyo Roux, a new business specializing in dishes that combine rice with various thick sauces, such as curry, stroganoff and ragout. And, in January 2004, Smiles developed canned soup in collaboration with Kirin Beverage Corp., which put them on sale at thousands of convenience stores.

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Recently, Mitsubishi companies unveiled major progress in fuel cell related technology as a key next-generation clean energy.

Nippon Oil, together with Ebara Ballard Corporation, has commenced trials of the world's first practical prototype 1kW residential polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) system fueled by economical kerosene.

  Although a kerosene fuel cell requires difficult and complex hydrogen generation technology, the partners achieved a major milestone with a practical PEFC prototype with a power generation efficiency rating of 33%. The two companies plan to expand their joint effort toward full commercialization in fiscal 2006.

Mitsubishi Corporation has reached new heights in hydrogen generation technology with its successful development of the high-pressure hydrogen energy generator (HHEG), based on its exclusive technology.

  This is the first system in the world to generate hydrogen gas at high pressure solely through electrolysis, without the use of a compressor, which makes the new system more durable and energy efficient than other types of systems. Mitsubishi Corporation plans to increase the hydrogen generation capacity and pressure rating of the system to match the specifications of existing hydrogen filling stations.

Mitsubishi Kakoki is leveraging its four decades of advanced hydrogen generation involvement. In 2003, it began offering a package of equipment necessary for filling stations to serve hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. In April 2004, it delivered its fourth installation to a station constructed under the policy-driven Japan Hydrogen & Fuel Cell (JHFC) Demonstration Project. It features the world's first use of on-site kerosene-based hydrogen production and employs a special reaction process that improves the heat-recovery ratio for higher energy-conversion efficiency.

 

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M
itsubishi Kagaku Media has begun producing the world's first double layer DVD recording disc. The DVD+R DL discs went on sale in May. The move comes amid an explosion in demand for DVD recording media, which is expected to double this year in Japan.

  The discs, developed jointly by Mitsubishi Kagaku Media and Philips, employ a second recording layer placed directly below the first. They offer 8.5GB of recording space compared to the 4.7GB of space available on a standard DVD+R disc, when used with the new double layer DVD recording drives, which made their debut at the same time.

  Mitsubishi Kagaku Media first had to overcome numerous challenges. Not only must the two layers be flawless, but data in the top layer must not be altered when the laser beam shines through it to record on the second layer. To make it possible for a single laser to access both recording layers, the top layer must be semitransparent, but at the same time it must have enough reflectivity for data storage and playback, even as it allows light to pass through to the second layer.

  Although physically different, commercial DVD-Video discs employ a similar double layer technology, so users should be able to play back data recorded on the new discs in almost all DVD drives currently on the market.

  Mitsubishi Kagaku Media markets its discs overseas under the Verbatim and Mitsubishi brand names.

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