...in computing, that is.
Slightly old news here but for the past couple months there has been lots of arguing in the Diet about whether to approve a 1.3 billion dollar(USD) project for creating the new world's fastest super computer.
Since 1993, Japan has almost always been home to the fastest super computers in the world until 2004, when the US started taking over. (According to Wikipedia here)
Since then, Japan has slipped and now the world's top 10 super computers are held by 8 in the U.S., 1 in Germany(#4) and 1 in China(#5).
Some Japanese apparently don't want to loose face over this and the high ranking bureaucrats have decided that it is best to spend millions of tax dollars (despite the trillion dollar national deficit) to regain the title of home of world's fastest computer!.... for the sole purpose of....... well, to be fast!
There were many people against this foolish decision reminding them that there is nothing new that could be accomplished that can't be done now by creating a faster computer.... but apparently that logic was too complex for enough people to understand and too many people just heard in their heads "We need to be #1!!" (They almost were able to convince them but the project has seemed to be approved just with a reduction on the budget for now)
And so that is how the story goes.
Although I think it is a waste for foolish pride purposes, I am kind of happy as they are building it literally 20 minutes from where I live, in Port Island, Kobe!!
So hopefully in the next couple years when it is finished I can go look through the glass walls at it and think "Wow...it's probably not doing anything particularly useful but it's probably doing it really really fast!!"