Saving the Seas with Sustainability
[On-Site Report]
One of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals -- "Life Below Water," is of particular importance to Japan. This episode introduces Japanese companies that are taking action to help counter the effects of seafloor desertification by helping to bring kelp forests back to coastal seabeds. A young startup has come up with a clever way to slow the spread of kelp-eating sea urchins and provide additional economic benefits to local communities by collecting, fattening up and selling the prickly pests. Elsewhere, a major steel maker is producing a special fertilizer made from a mixture of steel slag and other organic compounds that is promoting the regrowth of marine plant life off of Japan's coastal waters.

[In Depth: Japan Accelerates Moves to Reopen Economy]
While Japan continues efforts to contain the coronavirus, it is also accelerating steps to get the economy back on track. We take a look at the initiatives the government has kicked off this week.

[Global Trends: High-Rise Construction Adopts the Way of Wood]
As Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, gain traction around the world, a building method developed in Japan is getting attention. Typically, large buildings are constructed using steel frames and reinforced concrete. But this environmentally friendly alternative relies on wood-based materials, creating buildings that are aesthetically appealing as well as resistant to fire and earthquake damage. The builder behind a high-rise under construction in Sendai shares his vision of a future where cities are again dominated by wooden structures.

On-Site Report

Coastal waters off of Northern Japan suffering from seafloor desertification
This facility removes seafloor desertification-causing urchins from coastal waters and farms them for commercial use
Seaweed fertilizer units containing iron-rich steel slag produced by a major steel maker are placed along the seashore

Global Trends

A wooden high-rise under construction in Sendai, northern Japan