There are lots of tech talks recently in Japan.
A while ago, I think Japanese engineers didn't give much speech- CEOs or the marketing type people made more speeches. (Correct me if I'm wrong...)
However there are so many Tech Talks recently, all over Japan.
This is the IT tech talk / study group calendar.
You can see there is something, somewhere going on everyday.
You also can see iCommons Summit 2008 at the top of 7/30 calendar events :)
I think 1000speakers project started by a young IT engineer-Amachang- pushed this move. 1000 speakers is a program to enhance engineers who hasn't spoken in front of the audience much- to forget their shyness and expose their tech stuff. Therefore, they limit the number of people who can join each time, to speakers12- listners18 or so. Therefore, every time they announce the dates of the new event, people rush to their wiki to sign up- and sometimes line up in the waiting list. They had 5 1000speakers event so far, and the next one is planned on 8/9. They stream live using ustream, so people who can't go to the venue can learn via the streaming. Also, they archive the videos on Nico Nico Douga. I think it is extremely important that those talks are shared and archived- kudos to Coji Mizoguchi who always carries his equipments to a bunch of tech talks and shoots videos as well as do streaming for them.
Coji started his website a while ago called "techtalk.jp" where you can keep track of a bunch of videos he shooted at various techtalk events.
I always felt the need to learn programming and such talk events and videos stimulate me -that I really should take some time to learn :)