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NEWS JAPAN


MOBILE@PHONES@AMONG@US

Mobile phones are pretty popular among not only adults, but also high school students.  It is a very convenient way to communicate with each other and to exchange or get information.  The telephone charges are getting cheaper, so about 80% of my friends have mobile phones.

Mobile phones are used for communication.  The way we communicate can be changed with mobile phones.  Of course, I can talk to people face to face at school.  But when I'm away from my friends or when I don't have anything important to talk to them about, I can use my mobile phone.  When I am lonely, I get happy when my friends call me or send me mail.  I think, “Oh!  My friends are thinking of me!

Sometimes it is said that mobile phones are used for bad things such as selling drugs.  I often see high school students talking loudly on their mobile phones while they are on the train.  We can prevent these bad with our sense of individual responsibility.  We must obey the rules when using them.  Now, when mobile phones have become so popular, do we need to reflect on the way they are being used?

By Kanako Ohno

MINE-DETECTING@ROBOT

Finding and removing landmines is a very important job.  Every day many innocent people are killed or horribly injured when they step on these mines.  Finding these hidden mines is a very dangerous job.  Brave volunteers risk their lives everyday. A group at Chiba University is hoping to make it much safer to find these mines.

They have made a robot that looks like a spider.  The robot is remote control operated.  It has sensors in its feet that are used to detect landmines.  When it finds a mine it carefully marks the ground so that the mine can be safely removed later.  Volunteers will still have to remove the mines themselves, but the robot makes finding them much safer.