TOKYO - President Tony Tan Keng Yam on Tuesday (Nov 29) got a glimpse of Japan's vaunted technology on a visit to the futuristic National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation.
The 40,000 sq m museum, which is an initiative by Japan's Science and Technology Agency, is located in Tokyo's Odaiba district. It is known in Japanese simply as the Miraikan, or Future Museum.
During his hour-long visit, Dr Tan saw the museum's numerous exhibits - including a mock-up of the International Space Station's space habitation module - and interacted with an android.
His visit comes as Singapore embarks on a quest to be a Smart Nation where a vast array of sensors will provide the Government with feedback used to shape policy and the day-to-day living of Singaporeans.
One of the museum's main exhibits is Mission Survival: 10 Billion, a physical representation of the hazards facing the earth, including natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis, and manmade ones such as the aftermath of a nuclear disaster.
Another is the Geo-Cosmos spherical globe that projects how Earth looks like in space - replete with almost real-time data of changing weather patterns - with a resolution of more than 10 million pixels.
Dr Tan on Tuesday watched a science video on water conservation and Singapore's Newater water purification technology, produced by the Singapore Science Centre with Singapore's Nanyang Girls' High School.
He also watched a demonstration by a group called the Superhuman Sports Society at the museum. The group focuses on developing measures that help people with disabilities, as well as the elderly, lead active sporty lives.
Some of their innovations include a soccer ball that rattles, as well as specially-modified wheelchairs that encourage users to "dance" according to a beat.
"Japan is an ageing country. With this type of technology we are trying to establish a new type of industry to assist elder people and people with disabilities. And then everybody can enjoy playing sports and exercise and connecting each other," said the spokesman for the society conducting the briefing.
Dr Tan, in turn, said: "I believe this is very useful for Singapore which is ageing, to help old people to walk and get around."
He was received by the museum's executive director, former astronaut Mamoru Mohri, on his arrival.
Later on Tuesday, Dr Tan will visit the Panasonic Center, which is a showcase of the Japanese tech giant's latest innovations.