KYODO (Japan)

SENDAI – Kenichi Yamamoto, 63, was driving through Tagajo prefecture, in northeastern Japan, when the March 11, 2011 tsunami struck. The former Toyota employee, a science and engineering professor at Ishinomaki University, narrowly escaped death. "His car immediately started filling with water, tipping it 45 degrees. He barely managed to escape by breaking one of the vehicle's windows by hand," reports Kyodo news agency.

After speaking with 16 other drivers who had also survived the tsunami by breaking their cars' windows, he began to think about designing a car that would be able to float "for long periods." Many of the survivors reported their cars flooding and sinking almost immediately after being struck by the giant wave.

Yamamoto's research team will conduct experiments by sinking cars in a pond, to see which components remain functional underwater and how to improve airtightness.

Read the full article in Japanese.

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Coronavirus

Why U.S. Vaccine Diplomacy In Latin America Makes "Good" Sense

Echoing its cultural diplomacy of the early 20th century, the United States is gifting vaccines to Latin America as part of a renewed "good neighbor'' policy.

Waiting to get the vaccine in Nezahualcoyotl, Mexico

Andrea Matallana

-Analysis-

BUENOS AIRES — Just before and during World War II, the United States' Good Neighbor policy proved a very effective strategy to improve ties with Latin America. Initiated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the policy's main goal was non-interference and non-intervention. The U.S. would instead focus on reciprocal exchanges with their southern neighbors, including through art and cultural diplomacy.

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