Defying the Forces of Nature at the JASIS 2018 Exhibition

My arrival in Japan was set on the date that typhoon Jebi hit the country, which produced images that were sent around the world of trucks being blown over as if they were made of paper. I was lucky to land in Tokyo, which wasn’t directly hit by the typhoon and just experienced some strong winds. I arrived just in time to visit the country’s largest trade show for analytical instruments: JASIS. After a night of waking up twice from earthquakes that is.

Japan is more exposed to the forces of nature than most other countries: it sits both on the Pacific typhoon belt and on the seismic Ring of Fire. There’s a constant risk of tropical storms, earthquakes, and tsunamis. Minor tremors like the ones that kept me up my first night in Tokyo leave our Japanese colleagues utterly unimpressed—they happen all the time. It seems strange that humans settled in a place like this. But the Japanese have learned how to prepare for and respond to natural disasters to minimize the damage. A typhoon like Jebi might have put everything to a halt in other countries, but in Japan, life mostly continued as normal. And so, the JASIS trade show took place and was even well attended just one day later. Here’s a short recap of my day at the exhibition!

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