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Japan Meeting & Incentive News    -July 2013-

JNTO News

JNTO will attend the 2013 China Incentive, Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition (CIBTM)
Over four days starting September 2nd, 2013, CIBTM will be held in Beijing, PRC. JNTO's Beijing Office, in conjunction with the Japan Tourism Agency, ...
2014 Kiwanis International Convention to be held in Chiba
In July 2014, Chiba will host the Kiwanis International Convention....
Yokohama to host the 2017 World Conference on Lung Cancer
The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) recently announced that ...

What's up in Japan

Andaz Tokyo Sets to Open in 2014
Hyatt Hotels are bringing their Andaz brand to Japan in 2014 with the opening of Andaz Tokyo. ...
Low Cost Carriers Expanding
Japan's low cost carriers are rolling out new flights to domestic and international destinations. ...
Bring Kabuki to Your Event in Kyoto with Minamiza
One of Kyoto’s oldest kabuki theatres, Minamiza, has made itself available to meeting and event planners...
Sendai City Prepares for United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction with Construction of New Convention Facility
Sendai, the political, economic and cultural centre of Japan’s Tohoku region...

Case Study

The International Conference on Climate Change and Coral Reef Conservation (ICCCCRC)
On June 29th and 30th, 2013, the International Conference on Climate Change and Coral Reef Conservation (ICCCCRC)...

4 Hours in Hiroshima

Sightseeing in Hiroshima: Double World Heritage Sites!
Start at[Peace Memorial Park・Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum] Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites: 60 minutes....

JNTO NEWS

JNTO will attend the 2013 China Incentive, Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition (CIBTM)

Over four days starting September 2nd, 2013, CIBTM will be held in Beijing, PRC. JNTO's Beijing Office, in conjunction with the Japan Tourism Agency, will have a Japan booth at the event. CIBTM has been held annually in Beijing since 2005, and Japan has been participating since 2009. Please visit to the Japan booth (#F18) at CIBTM.

Following on from CIBTM, JNTO plans to take its booth to IMEX AMERICA in October, EIBTM in November, and AIME in February 2014. We look forward to welcoming many buyers and providing all the information you need about Japan.

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2014 Kiwanis International Convention to be held in Chiba

In July 2014, Chiba will host the Kiwanis International Convention. The Kiwanis are one of the world's "big three" international service organizations along with the Lions Club and the Rotary Club. It will be the first time that Japan hosts the Kiwanis International Convention. More than 3,000 attendees are expected at this major conference.

At the 2013 Kiwanis International Convention from June 27th to June 30th, 2013 in Vancouver, the JNTO Toronto Office and the Chiba Convention Bureau and International Centre staffed a booth for the 2014 Convention in Chiba, providing travel information about Japan and attending next year's event.

Makuhari Messe International Convention Complex in Chiba is a state-of-the-art MICE facility located 30 minutes from Narita Airport and 30 minutes from central Tokyo with excellent access. Attendees who enjoy shopping will appreciate the major shopping mall nearby. Chiba is also within easy reach of exciting excursion destinations where Japan's history and traditional culture come alive, including Naritasan Shinshoji, with its picturesque temple and streets, and the well-preserved historic town centre of Sawara, where time seems to have stood still since the samurai age. Tokyo Disney Resort is also located in Chiba not far from the convention facility.

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Yokohama to host the 2017 World Conference on Lung Cancer

The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC) recently announced that Yokohama was selected as the site for the 2017 World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC). The Conference will be held at PACIFICO Yokohama, the city’s flagship facility, and the largest all-in-one convention complex in Japan, with a plenary capacity of 5,000. WCLC 2017 will attract some 6,000 delegates from all over the world and serve as a wonderful platform for robust networking and an exchange of ideas among doctors and researchers.

Yokohama is home to 28 universities and major medical/scientific research centres. The Japanese government has also designated Yokohama as the nation’s centre for innovation in science and technology, encouraging international associations and meeting planners to choose the city so as to add value to their next meeting.

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What's up in Japan

Andaz Tokyo Sets to Open in 2014

(c) Hyatt Corporation

Hyatt Hotels are bringing their Andaz brand to Japan in 2014 with the opening of Andaz Tokyo. The hotel will occupy eight floors – including the top six – of the new 52-story Toranomon Hills tower. Located in Toranomon, the business and embassy district of Tokyo, it will be one of the tallest buildings in Tokyo, and a new iconic landmark of the city. Andaz Tokyo will feature an open-air bar and dynamic event space with outdoor seating on the penthouse level, bringing alfresco events and entertainment to new heights in the city.

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Low Cost Carriers Expanding

Japan's low cost carriers are rolling out new flights to domestic and international destinations. Peach Aviation just began flying from Osaka to Sendai in April 2013 and from Osaka to Ishigaki Airport in June 2013. They will launch flights from Osaka to Busan, South Korea in September 2013. Jetstar Japan launched three new routes in March 2013: Nagoya - Fukuoka, Nagoya – Sapporo and Tokyo – Oita. In May 2013 they added two more: Nagoya – Kagoshima and Tokyo – Kagoshima. One of Peach's new destinations, the island of Ishigaki, is now being served by the brand-new Ishigaki Airport, which opened in March 2013. With a longer runway than the old airport, it can now handle long-haul flights. This will enable tourists from Taiwan and South Korea to fly directly to the island, and experience its unique tropical charms. The new runway length also will make future routes to China and Hong Kong possible.

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Bring Kabuki to Your Event in Kyoto with Minamiza

(c) Shochiku Co., Ltd

One of Kyoto's oldest kabuki theatres, Minamiza, has made itself available to meeting and event planners. The theatre can now host meetings, ceremonies, receptions or product launches – making it easy for planners to incorporate the atmosphere of this uniquely Japanese performing art into their events.

Minamiza was founded in the 17th century and designated as a Tangible Cultural Property of Japan in 1996. Today, Minamiza is home to a continuing kabuki performance tradition, as well as the Kabuki Museum. Catering to meeting and event organizers, the theatre can organize VIP tours of the venue as well as private kabuki performances to entertain guests.
Using Minamiza also enables organizers to qualify for a cultural grant from the Kyoto Convention Bureau and the City of Kyoto. This grant helps organizers defray costs of holding business events in Kyoto, and allows for the best of this historic destination to shine through in events.

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Sendai City Prepares for United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction with Construction of New Convention Facility

Sendai, the political, economic and cultural centre of Japan’s Tohoku region, has recently been announced as the host of the third United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction (UN-WCDRR). This major event, due to take place in March 2015, is expected to attract around 40,000 delegates from around the world.

A major element of the preparation for this event involves the construction of a new convention facility in the city’s convention zone. This zone is easily accessibly both from Sendai Station and Sendai Airport. The new, yet-to-be-named facility, connected to the existing Sendai International Centre via a covered walkway, will add an additional 3,000 square metres of exhibition space (divisible into five spaces) and four meeting rooms to the convention zone’s event capacity.

The new facility will be built next to Tohoku University in order to house the UN-WCDRR plenary session. The facility, along with the existing Sendai International Centre and Tohoku University's Kawauchi Hagi Hall will comprise the city’s expanded convention zone. It will be served by a new station on the Tozai line, now under construction, which will open in the convention zone by the spring of 2016, making access by rail incredibly convenient. Access from Sendai Airport will also be easy, with a transfer time under 30 minutes from airport to convention zone by rail.

Emiko Okuyama, mayor of the City of Sendai which will be hosting the conference, has issued a warm message of welcome for those planning to attend.

The Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011 caused serious damage across northeastern Japan. Rarely before has the world seen a city the size of Sendai, with a population exceeding one million, struck by such a powerful earthquake and massive tsunami. The City of Sendai is assiduously laying the groundwork for the 3rd United Nations World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction to share our experience and lessons learned, in order to help the world prevent and prepare for future disasters. In the disaster-affected area, recovery is proceeding through global and regional cooperation and citizen participation. I believe that Sendai can be an example to the world in building cities that are resilient in the face of disaster and ready to respond, not only to earthquakes and tsunamis, but to any natural disaster or crisis.

Concerning the conference, in addition to hosting the UN event in Sendai, we are exploring related activities in other municipalities in Miyagi, Aomori, Iwate and Fukushima Prefectures in the Tohoku region. Everyone involved is working together to make the UN-WCDRR a great success. We want to show attendees from across the globe the progress that has been made in reconstruction. And we hope that everyone will enjoy our region's delicious culinary culture and scenic beauty, which the disaster could not take away.

Right now construction is racing ahead on Sendai's new convention facilities. These facilities are positioned near the crystal waters of the Hirosegawa River that flows through Sendai. Set at the foot of the lushly forested Mt. Aoba, the facilities will enjoy an urban location that is also rich in natural beauty, offering wonderful opportunities to stroll and relax between the exciting presentations and panels of the conference.

We look forward to welcoming everyone to the 3rd United Nations World Conference on Disaster Rick Reduction in 2015.

(c)Sendai City

New convention facility (Image)

(c)Sendai City

Ms. Emiko Okuyama, the Mayor of Sendai City, giving a presentation at the Sendai Dialog of the 2012 IMF - World Bank Group Annual Meetings Programme.

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Case Study

The International Conference on Climate Change and Coral Reef Conservation (ICCCCRC)

(c)Okinawa Prefectural Government

(c)Okinawa Prefectural Government

(c)Okinawa Prefectural Government

Minister of the Environment Nobuteru Ishihara

On June 29th and 30th, 2013, the International Conference on Climate Change and Coral Reef Conservation (ICCCCRC) was hosted at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST*), drawing 700 attendees on each of the event's two days.

When Japan's Ministry of the Environment was planning the ICCCCRC, it looked for candidate sites on Japanese islands most affected by global warming. Okinawa offered an island location with coral reefs, as well as the presence of OIST, where the world's first genomic analysis of coral was conducted. In addition, the University of the Ryukyus in Okinawa is well-known for its research programmes addressing the subtropics. Fitting the site criteria of "a subtropical marine climate" and "having academic institutions where leading research in relevant fields is conducted" made Okinawa a logical choice to host the ICCCCRC.

In Okinawa, a public-private partnership is working to preserve and protect coral reefs. Serious efforts to maintain healthy coral reefs that can survive global warming are under way. The partnership is making an effort to offer participation in a coral reef monitoring and planting programme to tourists, as well as to any individuals or companies, whether local or foreign, that wish to take part. The programme could address the emerging demand in the MICE market for community service opportunities.

In his speech, Minister of the Environment Nobuteru Ishihara noted that Okinawa was selected partly because OIST and the University of the Ryukyus are known for their environmental studies programmes, and also because even within Japan as an island nation, Okinawa represents the essence of an "island society."

Dr. Mariyam Shakeela, Minister of Environment and Energy of the Republic of the Maldives, participated in an excursion to Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium**, which boasts one of the world's largest aquarium tanks. "Not only is this aquarium delightful to visit," commented the Minister, "but I am also impressed by its extensive research activities."

OIST is a leading-edge research institution that draws researchers from around the world, making it a suitable host site for international scientific conferences. The Japanese government is also positioning the prefecture to host international convention business from Asia, as Okinawa is the closest part of Japan to the booming metropolises of Japan's Asian neighbours. It is projected that 72 international conferences will be held in Okinawa over the five-year period beginning in 2013 (of which 60 are still under consideration, and three already completed).

In 2013, 12 international workshops will be held, including workshops hosted by OIST, with a further eight under consideration.

So if you are looking for a destination in Asia to host your international scientific or environmental meeting, please take a close look at Okinawa!

*The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology(OIST) is an interdisciplinary graduate school with a mission to "conduct internationally outstanding education and research in science and technology, and thus contribute to the sustainable development of Okinawa, and promote and sustain the advancement of science and technology in Japan and throughout the world." OIST is home to researchers doing multi-disciplinary research in neuroscience, molecular sciences, environmental and ecological sciences, physical sciences, and mathematical computational sciences. Over half of the faculty and students come from outside Japan, and English is the working language for all education and research. OIST is also delighted to host meetings at affordable prices.

For more information, please visit the English website: http://www.oist.jp/oist-nutshell

**Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium is located at Ocean Expo Park, also home to many other popular attractions. The Aquarium presents the fascinating marine life of Okinawa displayed in spectacular displays. For example, the Coral Sea display features 800 different coral colonies representing 70 different species of coral in a roofless 300m³ tank that allows natural sunlight to flood in. The biggest sight to see is the gigantic Kuroshio Sea Tank, one of the world's largest, which houses two whale sharks (the largest fish in the world), and the first manta rays successfully bred in captivity anywhere. There is also a deep sea feature showcasing the bizarre life forms found in Okinawa's ocean depths. The Aquarium is a great place to hold a private reception.

For more information, please visit the English website: http://oki-churaumi.jp/en/

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4 Hours in Hiroshima

Sightseeing in Hiroshima: Double World Heritage Sites!
Start at
[Peace Memorial Park・Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum ]

Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites: 60 minutes

Walk one minute to

[River Cruise]

Take the river cruise: 45 minutes (One way ticket: 1,900 yen)

Walk 15 minutes through a park full of friendly deer to

[Itsukushima Shrine]

Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site: 30 minutes (Admission: 300 yen)

(c)JTA

Walk 5 minutes to

[Momijidani Park]

Stroll the park: 10 minutes

Walk 5 minutes to

[Miyajima Omotesando Street]

Browse the shops and buy souvenirs: 30 minutes

(c)Akimasa Yuasa

Lunch

Eat a deep-fried oyster set: 40 minutes (1,500 yen)

Estimated Total Budget: 3,700 yen

[Option A: Art Tour]

Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art (Admission:360 yen)
Hiroshima Museum of Art (Admission:1,000 yen)

[Option B: Hands-on Handicrafts (culture)]

Wood Egg Okonomiyaki Museum (Factory tour and museum: free; Okonomiyaki-making class: 700-1,000 yen, 3 hours)

*Okonomiyaki is a kind of savory pancake with meat and vegetables.

Miyajima Traditional Handicrafts Hall (Momiji manju-making class: 735 yen, 1 hour; wooden rice scoop-making class: 315 yen, 1 hour)

*Momiji manju is a bun filled with sweet azuki bean paste.

[Option C: Historic Hiroshima]

Hiroshima Castle (Admission:360 yen)
Shukkei-Scenery Garden (Admission:250 yen)

*All-day pass for Hiroden streetcar: 600 yen

This itinerary takes you to two World Heritage sites, the A-Bomb Dome and Itsukushima Shrine, while offering the chance to experience Hiroshima in various ways (river cruise and hands-on cultural programs) in a short timeframe.

Peace Memorial Park

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is dedicated to a hope for lasting world peace. Now a tranquil, spacious refuge at the center of Hiroshima City, this was a busy commercial and residential downtown area until the atomic bomb razed everything. After World War II, famed Japanese architect Kenzo Tange's design turned the land into the Peace Memorial Park. Its buildings and monuments commemorate those who perished and express prayers for peace.

Most famously, it contains the A-Bomb Dome, symbol of the "peace city," Hiroshima. Originally the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall, it was located only around 160 meters from the hypocenter. All those inside the building died in the blast. However, the building itself was not destroyed completely because the atomic bomb exploded in midair almost directly above it, allowing the vertical columns to bear the direct downward blast without totally collapsing. It was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.

The Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum gives people an opportunity to learn the consequences of the A-bomb attack through photographs, panels, videos, artefacts and panorama models showing Hiroshima before and after the bomb attack.

For more information about the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, please visit the English website:
http://www.pcf.city.hiroshima.jp/top_e.html

Address
Nakajima-cho, Naka-ku, Hiroshima City, Hiroshima, 730-0811

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River Cruise

You can board a boat that will take you from Peace Memorial Park to Miyajima. The trip offers convenient transit between two UNESCO World Heritage Sites with views of the city of Hiroshima from the river along the way, helping you understand why Hiroshima has been called "The City of Water." Boarding is at from Motoyasu Pier, just a one minute walk (about 100 meters, in fact) from the A-Bomb Dome.
Boats run every 30 to 45 minutes, and there is a riverfront outdoor cafe where you can wait.

For schedules and other information, please visit the English website:
http://www.aqua-net-h.co.jp/modules/english_page/index.php?content_id=3

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Itsukushima Shrine

(c)JTA

Located on the island of Miyajima in Hiroshima, Itsukushima Shrine is another UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was founded in the year 598 by Empress Suiko, and given its present form in 1168 by Taira no Kiyomori, a samurai general. All the buildings of the 1,400 year old shrine are National Treasures or Important Cultural Properties of Japan. The large red torii gate that appears to float on the sea at high tide is an iconic image of the shrine. The gate with the Seto Inland Sea beyond, and the shrine's vermillion-painted wooden buildings make a unique sight even in Japan. The contrast with the lushly forested mountain of Miyajima island is extremely picturesque. At high tide, the main hall of the shrine appears to float on the water, while at low tide it is possible to walk out to the torii gate. TripAdvisor has ranked Itsukushima Shrine the No.1 attraction in Japan. At night, during high tide, there’s a boat cruise around the bay and through the illuminated torii gate.

For more information, please visit the English website:
http://www.miyajima.or.jp/english/spot/spot_itsukushima.html

Address
1-1 Miyajima-cho, Hatsukaichi City, Hiroshima, 739-0588

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Miyajima Omotesando Street

(c)Akimasa Yuasa

The street that leads up to the shrine is lined with shops selling local delicacies like broiled conger eel over rice, local pottery and other souvenirs of Miyajima. Try the momiji manju: sweet bean-paste filled buns made in the shape of maple leaves. The 20 bakeries that make them have come up with many variations: using other fillings like cream cheese or chocolate, deep-frying the cakes, and so on. The Miyajimayaki or Osunayaki pottery uses sand from around the shrine mixed in with the clay, and that's one reason why pilgrims have treasured this pottery for centuries.

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Option A: Art Tour
Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art (Admission: 360 yen. Extra for special exhibitions)

The Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art in Hijiyama Park opened in 1989 in a signature building designed by noted architect Kisho Kurokawa. Its distinctive blend of European and Asian influences evoke such diverse structures as an colonnade, agora and an old-fashioned Japanese storehouse. The building rises from a stone base to exhibit increasingly light and modern materials as it rises higher, symbolizing the ascent of civilization. The first public art museum in Japan devoted exclusively to contemporary art, its collections focus on important pieces produced since World War II, works exploring the connections between Hiroshima and modern art, and the works of promising young artists.

For directions to the museum and other information, please visit the English website:
http://www.hiroshima-moca.jp/main_e/

Address
1-1 Hijiyama koen Minami-ku, Hiroshima City, Hiroshima, 732-0815
Access
Take the street car from Hiroshima Station to Hijiyama-shita: 10 minutes. From there, it’s another 7 minute walk to the museum.

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Hiroshima Museum of Art (Admission: 1,000 yen)

The Hiroshima Museum of Art was opened in 1978 in a distinctive building in Hiroshima Central Park that features a circular gallery building surrounded by colonnades that form interior gardens. The collection consists of modern European paintings, mainly by French Impressionists, and Japanese oil paintings from the 19th century to the present. The Museum also offers special exhibitions.

For directions to the Museum and other information, please visit the English website:
http://www.hiroshima-museum.jp/en/

Address
3-2 Motomachi, Naka-ku, Hiroshima City, Hiroshima, 730-0011
Access
Take the streetcar from Hiroshima Station to Kamiya-cho Higashi: 15 minutes. From there, it's another 3 minute walk to the museum.

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Option B: Hands-on Handicrafts
Wood Egg Okonomiyaki Museum

This museum dedicated to the history of the Hiroshima-style savory pancake called okonomiyaki and the museum is located at the plant of a sauce-making company. Here you can learn how to make okonomiyaki from batter and other ingredients, then eat what you've made. The factory tour and museum visit is free and takes one hour. The class to make okonomiyaki on a hotplate is 700 yen and requires three hours; to learn on a griddle the fee is 1,000 yen instead, and advance reservations by phone are required.

For more information about Okonomiyaki in general, please visit the English website:
http://www.otafukusauce.com/e/okonomi/index.html

Address
4-5 Shoko Centre, 7 chome, Nishi-ku, Hiroshima City, Hiroshima, 733-0833
Access
From Hiroshima Station, take the JR line to Shin-Iguchi and it's a 25 minute walk (taxi 5 mins; local bus 8 mins). From Iguchi streetcar station it's a 10 minute walk.

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Miyajima Traditional Handicrafts Hall

The Miyajima Traditional Handicrafts Hall, near the Miyajima Pier, offers hands-on experiences showing the history and traditions of Miyajima. You can try your hand at making momiji manju (see above), or wooden rice scoops with the aid of instructors. There’s also a gallery where tea ceremony utensils and other handicrafts are exhibited, and craft demonstrations are offered.

For more information on times, fees, directions etc., please visit the English website:
http://www.miyajima.or.jp/english/pickup/experience.html

Address
1165-9 Miyajima-cho, Hatsukaichi City, Hiroshima, 739-0505

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Option C: Historic Hiroshima
Hiroshima Castle (Admission: 360 yen)

Hiroshima Castle was built by a high-ranking retainer of 16th century samurai warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi. It was designated a National Treasure of Japan in 1931, but destroyed by the atomic bombing and not rebuilt until 1958. In 1989 the interior was renovated for the castle's 400th anniversary, and now houses a museum of samurai culture.

For more information, please consult the English pamphlet available at:
http://www.rijo-castle.jp/rijo/pdf/eigo.pdf

Address
21-1 Motomachi, Naka-ku, Hiroshima City, Hiroshima, 730-0011
Access
Take the tram from Hiroshima Station to Kamiya-cho Higashi. From there it’s a 15 minute walk to the castle.

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Shukkei-Scenery Garden (Admission: 250 yen)

This Japanese garden was built by Asano Nagakira, lord of Hiroshima, in 1620, and designed by famous tea ceremony master Ueda Soko. It is especially famous for its plum blossom and cherry blossom trees.

For more information, please consult the English pamphlet available at:
http://shukkeien.jp/pdf/EnglishBrochure.pdf

Address
2-11 Kamihatchobori-cho, Naka-ku, Hiroshima-shi, Hiroshima-ken, 730-0014
Access
15 minute walk from Hiroshima Station.

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