Japan News (Jun 2016)

Japanese Ministry of the Environment: Wind Power Plants

The Japanese Ministry of the Environment released an interim report on their website last February of an investigation on the method of evaluating the noise of wind power plants (wind turbine noise). Construction of wind power plants has been subject to the Environmental Impact Assessment Law, based on the revised Implementing Order enforced in October 2012. However, it is essential to fully understand the unique nature of wind power plants, which affects noise characteristics, by taking account of the latest scientific knowledge in order to establish a method for investigation, modeling, and evaluation of wind turbine noise. The investigative committee, organized by the Ministry, separated the results of the investigation into two categories, “clarified” and “not clarified,” on the basis of collected data and knowledge so far, and published this interim report to provide useful information to the stakeholders, including wind power producers, plant manufacturers, national and local governments, and local residents. The Ministry, who is undertaking another study of both noise effects on people and regulations in other countries concerning wind turbine noise, in parallel to this investigation, plans to compile a final report with conclusions about the remaining challenges from the interim report. To view the report in Japanese, seehttps://www.env.go.jp/air/noise/wpg/160226huusyasouon_tyuukantorimatome.pdf.

INCE/Japan General Assembly

INCE/Japan (INCE/J) held the 2016 general assembly on May 30, 2016, in Tokyo. At the assembly, new officers and members of the board of directors were approved for the next two-year term. The new president is Yasuo Inoue (INC Engineering), and the two vice presidents are Shinichiro Iwamiya (Kyushu University) and Hiroaki Ochiai (Kobayasi Institute of Physical Research). Several awards were also presented at the assembly. The Research Achievement Award was awarded to two members for their distinguished services on transportation noise control engineering, the Environmental Design Award to a company and two nursery schools, the Publication Award to four authors of a book on “Barrier Free and Sound,” and the Young Researcher Award to six young researchers for their paper presentations at the autumn technical meeting last year. Afterward, two plenary lectures were addressed: “The Trend of the National Noise Policy” by Mimi Nameki (Ministry of the Environment), and “Similarity and Difference between Odor and Sound” by Yoshiharu Iwasaki (Japan Association on Odor Environment). As of March 2016, according to the report of annual activities of INCE/J, total membership is at 890 members and 278 organizations, and the number of paper presentations and participants at the last two technical meetings were 68/251 (September 2015) and 18/138 (May 2016) respectively. In addition, the Social Contribution Committee of INCE/J performed three social contribution activities during fiscal 2015: (1) participated in the Environmental and Recycling Festival of Chiyoda-Ward, Tokyo, to provide an experience corner to learn about sound, (2) participated in a summer event in Nagoya, under the sponsorship of Aichi Prefecture, for children to learn about the environment, and (3) hosted a training session on the stench, noise, and vibration in Tokyo under the cosponsorship of INCE/J and Odor Environment Association.

Journal of INCE/J: Sports and Sound

The first issue of this year’s bimonthly Journal of INCE-J (volume 40, no. 1) focused on sports and sound. It contains two review articles: “Sound Capturing Technique in the Sports Broadcasting” and “On Auditory Environment Surrounding Athletes,” and five technical materials: “Effect of Sports Onomatopoeias Used in Sport Scene,” “Vitality Enhancement by Utterance during the Competition,” “Referee Whistle, Timbre Adjusted According to Sporting Events,” “Acoustic Equipment of Sports Facilities,” and “Noise Problems around Sports Facilities.” The second issue of the journal (volume 40, no. 2) focused on control engineering for vibration and structure-borne sound. It contains two review articles: “Vibro-Acoustic Noise Control Introduction” and “Ship Noise Control Engineering,” and six technical materials: “Countermeasures for Ship Noise,” “Control Technology for Bridge Vibration and Infrasound Due to Running Vehicles,” “Control Technology for Vibration and Structure-Borne Sound by Railway,” “Vibration Control in the Factory,” “Internal Vibration Control for Steel Construction Housing,” and “Vibration and Structure-Borne Sound Control for Synchronous Jumping Excitation.”

Acoustical Society of Japan General Assembly

The Acoustical Society of Japan (ASJ) held its 2016 general assembly on May 28, 2016, in Tokyo. At the assembly, ASJ awarded the Achievement Award to three members for their distinguished services on research works in the fields of noise, supersonic sound, and infra and low frequency sound, and for their contributions to the Society. The Technology Development Award was given to two supporting organization members. After the meeting, a plenary lecture was addressed: “Infra-Sonic Wave Originated from Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Ocean Waves” by Kiwamu Nishida (University of Tokyo). As of March 2016, according to the report of annual activities of the Society, total membership is at 4,055 individual members and 286 organizations. In addition, the ASJ spring technical meeting was held in Yokohama March 9–11, 2016, as reported in the NNI 2015 December issue. The number of paper presentations and participants was 635 and 1,382 respectively. Among the ten structured sessions, thirteen papers were presented in the session of “Roles of Auditory Research in Clinical Issues on Hearing Difficulties,” seven papers in “Disaster Monitoring Using Infrasound,” eleven papers in “Towards the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020: From the Viewpoints of Barrier-Free Acoustics,” fourteen papers in “Development and Possibility of Sound Trademark,” eleven papers in “Current Research Topics on Outdoor Emergency Sound System,” and ten papers in “Advanced Demonstrations and Tools in Acoustics for Education and/or Research.” ASJ also awarded two technical papers (SATO Paper Prize), two researchers (Environmental Acoustics Award), one young researcher (ITAKURA Memorial Original Research Award), and five young researchers for their paper presentations at the 2015 autumn technical meeting (AWAYA Kiyoshi Young Researcher Award).

(News sources)

JAPAN: Secretariats of INCE/J and ASJ and Ichiro Yamada.