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  6. No.1 (September, 2013) Special Issue on Solving Social Issues Through Business Activities
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No.1 (September, 2013) Special Issue on Solving Social Issues Through Business Activities

In order to achieve our aim "To be a leading global company leveraging the power of innovation to realize an information society friendly to humans and the earth," NEC has designated NEC's seven CSR initiatives that are important not only to society and all our stakeholders, but also to our company from various perspectives of corporate philosophy and business strategy, and we assigning them priority in driving our CSR activities.
Among these initiatives, the issues related to the following 4 initiatives will be tackled and solved through business activities: "Build reliable information and communications infrastructure," "Address climate change and environmental preservation," "Establish a safe and secure society," and "Include everyone in the digital society."
This special issue, entitled "Solving Social Issues Through Business Activities," introduces NEC's business activities, products, technologies and services in connection with our endeavors for becoming a "Social Value Innovator," based on the above 4 initiatives.

Special Issue on Solving Social Issues Through Business Activities

FUKUI Masaki
Executive Vice President



MORIZANE Naoko

For the company of tomorrow, it is vital to grasp the challenge of solving diverse social issues arising on a global scale as a business, and through their solution, give birth to innovation, sharpen our competitive edge through the creation of new business models, and enhance corporate value. In NEC’s basic policy for CSR management formulated in 2004, we declared our commitment to “Contributing to solving social issues through business activities.” In 2007, we outlined 4 initiatives for “Solving issues faced by society and addressing people’s needs through business activities” that prioritize social issues and needs to be addressed through our CSR-driven business activities, and have aggressively tackled each. In this special issue, we would like to introduce the reader to concrete examples of our endeavors. In order to set the scene for the heart of this special issue, we would like to begin by providing an overview of NEC’s approach to CSR management and the various social issues and needs that we aim to address through our business activities.



Build reliable information and communications infrastructure

ONUKI Hirohisa, NAGANO Hidetoshi, TORII Katsuyuki, KAWAGUCHI Yuki

Traffic control systems are designed to manage highway traffic conditions in an integrated manner in order to assure safe, smooth, and comfortable traffic flow. Their aim is to effectively provide the collection and processing of traffic information as well as achieving prompt and accurate information provision. This paper discusses features of the next-generation traffic control system that has been prepared by NEC for the Shin-Tomei Expressway.



INOUE Takanori, AIDA Ryuji, YAMAGUCHI Katsuji

The submarine cable system plays an important role in the international communication network as a key component of the infrastructure which connects countries worldwide. The requirements of the submarine cable system include: large-capacity transmission for meeting huge traffic demand; network flexibility for efficient connections between multiple countries, and network reliability improvements to minimize the effects of faults such as cable breaks. This paper describes the latest technologies deployed in submarine cable systems in order to meet these requirements.



MINO Katsuyuki, TAKAGI Kazuo, AONO Yoshiaki

Accompanied by the rapid increase in mobile communications traffic in recent years, there has been an increasing demand for larger capacity core network systems to support the backbone system. It is also regarded as important that the various costs such as CAPEX and OPEX are suppressed and that the network features a highly reliable resistance to disastrous events. This paper introduces NEC’s component technologies and the latest network systems for building high-capacity, high-reliability optical networks as well as discussing future prospects.



MORITA Motoki, NOBUKIYO Takahiro, HAMABE Kojiro

Demand is accelerating for reliability that mobile communications services can be used in a stable way. In order to cope with the increasing data traffic volume of mobile communications, there is a growing need to install more femtocell base stations covering small indoor areas, in addition to macrocell base stations covering large outdoor areas. This paper introduces a technology to maximize communications speeds by controlling the transmission power of radio signals for femtocell base stations in accordance with the data traffic volume. This is a radio signal interference control technology that minimizes the degradation of communications quality, which happens due to radio signal interference with macrocell base stations, even under the condition of a high-density installation of femtocell base stations. Moreover, we introduce a technology that makes it possible to control transmission power for each femtocell base station and to minimize the radio signal influence of heavy users who carry out high-volume data transmission.



Address climate change and environmental preservation

KAWAGUCHI Masayoshi, YOSHIDA Tatsuya

The Global Change Observation Mission 1st-Water GCOM-W1 (Japanese name SHIZUKU) is the first satellite in the two series of the Global Change Observation Mission (GCOM), a project to clarify the mechanisms of water cycle and climate change by observing the atmosphere, oceans, land, snow and ice over the entire globe over long periods (10 to 15 years). GCOM-W1 was launched from Tanegashima Space Center on May 18, 2012 with a mission to observe the mechanisms of the global water cycle. This paper introduces the GCOM-W1 satellite, the fields in which its observation data is applied and how this data is useful.



SATOU Tasuku, YOSHIZAWA Kentarou, TAKEMORI Kyoko, OOTANI Hiroyuki

NEC’s power-saving Express5800 series servers and iStorage M series storages incorporate a various power-saving technologies. Of these, this paper introduces featured technologies that can protect the power consumption of data centers, such as power supply efficiency improvement, power control and high ambient temperature compatibility solutions.



ISHIDA Masahiko

A thermoelectric (TE) conversion element is a promising candidate to enable the recovery of a vast amount of waste heat all over the world into useful electricity. There are several types of TE conversion elements being developed in the market, but a particularly promising one is being developed with a TE conversion technology that employs a novel mechanism based on the “spin Seebeck effect.” This technology may bring innovation into the field of thermal energy, where mature technologies already exist. This paper describes the possibilities of the spin Seebeck effect: how it solves the issue of waste heat and how it recovers these heat sources into useful electricity.



Establish a safe and secure society

TAKATSUTO Shiro, KIMURA Toshihiko, NEBAYASHI Hideaki
AKUTAGAWA Aiko, YAGI Reiko, YOSHII Masaru

NEC is continuing to expand the CONNEXIVE M2M service solutions activities to achieve an innovative ubiquitous network society where “things” of the real world will be allowed to connect to safe and secure network systems. Anyone is thereby enabled to collect device data and control devices freely. This paper introduces the “CONNEXIVE Ionizing Radiation Measurement Solution” case study that has supported reconstruction of the communities damaged by the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake.



ONODERA Masataka, YAMAZAKI Norifumi, ABE Kenta

Since experiencing the Great East Japan Earthquake, an even greater range of media is tending to be employed in disaster information transmissions. When a disaster occurs, municipal offices are expected to provide administrative disaster prevention information both to staff members and to local residents. This paper introduces a system that enables information transmission more promptly and widely while using a Disaster Prevention Administrative Radio System in Cities, Towns and Villages as a core communications system. It also describes case studies that have been conducted of trials for “diversity of disaster information transmission,” as well as the results of studies regarding DTN (Delay/Disruption Tolerant Networking) that support information transmission procedures in the event of natural disasters.



KAWABATA Masaaki

Japanese fire prevention/emergency wireless communications systems, presently run through analog wireless communications, are being upgraded to digital wireless communications. The digitization of these systems makes it possible to expand the area of communication between mobile stations thanks to base station loopback communications, but on the other hand, this expansion of the communication area leads to new operational issues, such as radio wave interference and frequency changes. This paper introduces the efforts made by NEC to solve these issues while making full use of the advantages of digitization.



WATANABE Jun, KAWANABE Masazumi

What are the truly effective measures to be taken against unpredictable crises in order to ensure the business continuity of an enterprise? NEC Corporation supports the business continuity management of customer enterprises by providing a wide range of solutions, from disaster recovery planning to various products and solutions as well as building and operating DR systems based on our long past experience. As an example of a DR system, this paper introduces a remote backup function using HYDRAstor. The data deduplication and replication functions of HYDRAstor achieve smooth remote backup by transferring massive quantities of data even through thin network circuits.



NAKANO Masaki, SHIBA Hiroshi, MURAMATSU Jun
MIHARA Kenji, KOBAYASHI Minoru, YAGI Masahiro

In order to contribute to creating a safe and secure society by focusing on the field of public safety, NEC Radio Application Division proposes a recently developed underwater surveillance system capable of inspecting suspicious underwater intrusions that are generally considered to be hard to assess. Acts of terror that target public transportation services and installations are occurring continually worldwide. These threats adopt ingenious technical innovations and exploit changing situations, the tactics adopted are flexible and varied. Our recently developed underwater surveillance system is described below. It manifests high stability, reliability and may be adopted flexibly for use in underwater environments. This paper introduces solutions that may suitably support it and to discuss the results of actual testing in the marine environment.



WADA Akihisa, YAMASHITA Toshiaki, MARUYAMA Masaak
ARAI Takanari, ADACHI Hideo, TSUJI Hirokazu

Following the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake, the use of small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for surveillance, such as for checking the initial situation after a disaster is attracting much interest. The NEC Guidance and Electro-Optics Division has been developing aerial surveillance systems using small motorized UAVs mounting optical sensors and image transmission modules, etc. This small UAV adopts a system that integrates a wide range of technologies involving: communication, control, sensing, image processing and networking. This paper introduces solutions being applied by the Guidance and Electro-Optics Division in the development of this new easily operated and portable tool that is capable of acquiring aerial image information expediently in a disaster situation.



FURUKAWA Jun, FURUKAWA Ryo, MORI Takuya
MORI Kengo, ISSHIKI Toshiyuki, ARAKI Toshinori

Following the diffusion of cloud-based services and the consequent increase in the opportunities for handling sensitive data, concerns about leakage and abuse of such data has been increasing. In order to deal with these concerns, this paper introduces suitable countermeasures. These are a technology for preventing data leakage by processing data in an encrypted form and one for protecting data by selecting optimum processing measures according to content. Both of these technologies are results achieved from the “R&D of Security Technology for Promoting Transition to Cloud Services in Preparation for Disasters.” This research project was commissioned by the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC).



Dan Dobre, Joao Girao, Ghassan Karame

While public clouds are widely used for flexible deployment of online services such as video on demand, email, file sharing, etc., most enterprises still shy away from outsourcing sensitive data to public clouds because of security issues associated with storing data within a potentially untrusted cloud provider. In this paper, we explore the solution space for enhancing the robustness and security of existing clouds. More specifically, we describe a set of cutting edge technologies that guarantee the security provided by the cloud infrastructure, the availability of its services, the privacy of its users, and the confidentiality of the stored data. Finally, we portray a “service image” that depicts the integration of these various technologies into one single multi-purpose cloud service.



Include everyone in the digital society

AOKI Masaru, ISHIDERA Eiki

This paper discusses a solution that aims to prevent wandering by geriatric patients and also associated accidents. This solution is achieved by combining a motion detection camera and a face recognition camera. The motion detection camera does not detect the entry of people but only those exiting, while the face recognition camera automatically identifies a person who is exiting. When these two cameras are used in conjunction, it is possible to build a system that sends alerts to the staff by detecting the exiting of only those facility residents/users who are in need of nursing care and assistance. Face recognition does not put a burden on the facility residents/users as does the carrying of an RFID tag and it is free from management problems such as loss or equipment failure. Besides, RFID use is more costly because malfunctioning caused by electrical signal leakage must be prevented. The use of a camera is therefore a more rational solution. In addition to describing the system, this paper also discusses the validation testing results.



NISHIMURA Tomonari, ASHIO Tsutomu

When a hearing impaired student attends class, one of the measures used to communicate to the student what the teacher is saying is a technique called summary transcription. Summary transcription is a task in which a summary scribe sits next to a student with a hearing impairment and writes down a summary of what the teacher says or enters it in a PC and shows it to the student. However, it is often the case that there are few competent people available to perform summary transcription satisfactorily, leaving the students unable to receive this support. At NEC System Technologies, R&D of a remote summary transcription system is underway that aims to achieve a solution capable of presenting opportunities for more students with hearing impairment issues to receive summary transcription support and for people with summary transcription skills who are unable attend class to act as remote summary scribes.



MIZUGUCHI Hironori, ISHIZAWA Yoshio
MURAOKA Yusuke, NAKAO Toshiyasu

NEC has been developing a technology that can lead to one-to-one communication activity by offering topics to encourage conversation. By supporting communication, this technology will be able to prevent the isolation of the elderly and the detachment of youth from the community. These are two issues that become important social problems. In our user trials, we provided users with news articles for topics. As a result, we found that the amount of communication increased twofold compared to using conventional technologies. We also conducted a field trial of this technology at the temporary housing for victims of the 2011 Tohoku Earthquake and found that there was great interest in topics related to reconstruction and residents’ associations.



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