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Japan Meeting & Incentive News    -September 2013-

JNTO News

Now accepting applications for "Meet Japan 2014"!
Are you considering Japan as a site for an international convention?Then February 28th to March 7th in 2014 are dates to save...
See you at IMEX America and EIBTM!
Following its participation at CIBTM in Beijing, JNTO will be exhibiting at IMEX America in Las Vegas...

What's up in Japan

The Seven Star Cruising Train Launches
Nanatsu-boshi, also known as Seven Stars in Kyushu, is Japan's first luxury cruise sleeper train, and it takes to the tracks on October 15th...
Renovated Prince Sakura Tower Tokyo Hotel Boosts Appeal to International Luxury Travellers
Centrally located just a 3-minute walk from Shinagawa Station, the Prince Sakura Tower Tokyo boasts a spacious Japanese garden of...
Hilton Worldwide to Open 2 New Hotels in Okinawa
Hilton Worldwide will open two new hotels in Okinawa: Hilton Okinawa Chatan and Hilton Okinawa Kin. They will offer access to the Okinawa Convention Centre...
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) chooses Tokyo for the 2020 Summer Olympics
Tokyo has been chosen as the host of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games! This will mark the fourth time that Japan hosts the Olympics...

Case Study

The 14th International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC) Global Conference
In late June 2013, Mt. Fuji, the iconic Japanese volcano that has inspired religious devotion and artistic masterpieces for centuries...

4 Hours in Takamatsu

Sightseeing in Takamatsu: Explore Contemporary Art at the Setouchi Triennale 2013
Start at[Takamatsu Station] Walk 5 minutes to Takamatsu Port ...

JNTO NEWS

Now accepting applications for "Meet Japan 2014"!

Are you considering Japan as a site for an international convention? Then February 28th to March 7th in 2014 are dates to save. That's when JNTO will hold the "Meet Japan 2014" Hosted Buyers Program, an outstanding opportunity to learn about Japan's unique value as an international convention destination. This program is a must for any congress organizer with sights set on Japan, offering an unmissable chance to visit beautiful regional cities and appreciate their superb convention and tourist amenities. So please come along and experience the warmth, hospitality and diverse charms of Japan's convention cities for yourself.

For further information, visit: http://www.japanmeetings.org/about-us/meet-japan.php

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See you at IMEX America and EIBTM!
JNTO exhibition at IMEX America and EIBTM

Following its participation at CIBTM in Beijing, JNTO will be exhibiting at IMEX America in Las Vegas (October 15-17) and EIBTM in Barcelona, Spain (November 19-21). Please stop by and get the latest information on Japan!

1)IMEX America 2013
Venue: Sands Expo @ Las Vegas
Session: October 15–17, 2013
Attendance: 1,800
URL: http://www.imexamerica.com/
Booth No.3033
Co-presenters (15):
  • Chiba Convention Bureau & International Center
  • DMC JAPAN Network
  • Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa/Shinagawa Prince Hotel
  • Hilton Worldwide Japan
  • Hiroshima Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo
  • Hotel Granvia Kyoto
  • JTB Global Marketing & Travel
  • Nippon Travel Agency
  • Okinawa Convention & Visitors Burau
  • Osaka Government Tourism Bureau
  • Osaka International Convention Center
  • Sapporo Convention Bureau
  • Tonichi Travel Service
  • Yokohama Convention & Visitors Bureau
Kyoto & Tokyo, the old and new capitals of Japan, will also have their PR booths nearby.

2)EIBTM 2013 (The European Incentive & Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition)
Venue: Fira Gran via, Barcelona, Spain
Session: November 19–21, 2013
URL: http://www.eibtm.com/
Booth No.i80
Co-presenters (11):
  • DMC JAPAN Network
  • HANKYU TRAVEL INTERNATIONAL
  • Hilton Worldwide Japan
  • Hotel Chinzanso Tokyo
  • JTB Global Marketing & Travel
  • Nippon Travel Agency
  • Okinawa Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Osaka International Convention Center
  • Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa/Shinagawa Prince Hotel
  • Tokyo Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • Tonichi Travel Service

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What's up in Japan

The Seven Star Cruising Train Launches

Nanatsu-boshi, also known as Seven Stars in Kyushu, is Japan's first luxury cruise sleeper train, and it takes to the tracks on October 15th, 2013. The meticulously designed interior appointments of the train, as well as a fascinating itinerary, will make this a very special experience. The finest woods and fabrics have been selected to fuse traditional and modern, Japanese and Western, creating a new dimension in elegance and grace. Your group will enjoy their journey in refined and dignified passenger suites, and in the lounge car with its sofas and rotating chairs, where passengers can socialize or just watch the scenery through the panoramic windows. At night the lounge car becomes a bar featuring live piano performances.

The slogan of Seven Stars in Kyushu is, "A journey to discover a new way of life." Over four days aboard this train, your group will experience the allure of Kyushu, Japan's main southern island. You will see Kyushu's natural wonders, local cuisines, and hot springs, with stopovers at several stations along the route. Stroll the cosy hot spring resort village of Yufuin, or the historic port of Nagasaki. Take in the expansive views of sea and sky and the remarkable scenic landscape of the Aso area, shaped by ancient volcanic forces. It is also possible to charter this exclusive eight-carriage train, which can accommodate a maximum of 30 passengers.

For more information, please visit the English website:
http://www.cruisetrain-sevenstars.jp/en/index.html

(c)Kyushu Railway Company

(c)Kyushu Railway Company

(c)Kyushu Railway Company

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Renovated Prince Sakura Tower Tokyo Hotel Boosts Appeal to International Luxury Travellers

(c)The Prince Sakura Tower Tokyo

Centrally located just a 3-minute walk from Shinagawa Station, the Prince Sakura Tower Tokyo boasts a spacious Japanese garden of approximately 2 hectares (5 acres). Guests can enjoy the ever-changing natural beauty of the garden from season to season. Aptly, the garden features cherry blossom trees, the "sakura" in the hotel's name, a treasured symbol of Japanese culture. The banquet rooms on the conference floor have large windows looking out over the Japanese garden. Hold a meeting here, and attendees can enjoy a serene setting even in the bustling heart of Tokyo!

(c)The Prince Sakura Tower Tokyo

The renovated Prince Sakura Tower Tokyo reopened on September 14th, 2013. Extensive renovation work began in July 2013 under the direction of interior designer Ryu Kosaka of Aoyama Nomura Design, whose work is highly acclaimed both in Japan and overseas. He has worked on several high-profile restaurants and hotels, and the environmental design for the Shin-Marunouchi Building in central Tokyo. All of the Prince Sakura Tower Tokyo’s rooms, as well as its lobby, restaurants, and other areas have been reborn with a contemporary sense of harmony, blended with the seasonal landscapes of the hotel’s Japanese garden.

Meeting the expectations of international travelers, the renovation has infused the hotel with a tasteful Japanese aesthetic, showcasing the Japanese garden to full effect and employing traditional Japanese design touches. There are now more double rooms, which feature large international-standard beds (W2200xL2000xH610) with premium Simmons BeautyRest mattresses and headboards of traditional Japanese latticework. Artwork highlighting Japan's fine craftsmanship and carpeting with a motif of falling cherry blossoms complete the decor. All rooms offer free Wi-Fi and spacious desks, and every bathroom features a whirlpool bathtub. Banquet rooms have been redecorated with carpeting and wallpaper that complement the garden views, creating soothing spaces for really successful meetings and events.

For more information, please visit the English website:
http://www.princehotels.com/en/sakuratower/

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Hilton Worldwide to Open 2 New Hotels in Okinawa
(c) Hilton Worldwide

Hilton Okinawa Chatan

Hilton Worldwide will open two new hotels in Okinawa: Hilton Okinawa Chatan and Hilton Okinawa Kin. They will offer access to the Okinawa Convention Centre, the Bankoku Shinryokan MICE facility, and a variety of sightseeing spots, including Churaumi Aquarium, Okinawa National Ocean Park, Shuri Castle (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), and Kokusai Street, Naha’s main boulevard, which is lined with boutiques and restaurants. Each hotel will have an all-day dining restaurant, a specialty restaurant and a lounge in the lobby.

Scheduled to open in July 2014, the 346-room Hilton Okinawa Chatan is located in Mihama. It faces the Mihama American Village, one of the largest shopping complexes in Okinawa, and is close to Chatan Park and Sunabe/Sunset Beach. Hotel guests can enjoy beautiful sunset views, shopping, scuba diving and surfing. The hotel will also offer a full service spa and fitness gym, indoor and outdoor pools, banquet hall, meeting room, and car park facilities.

The 12-story, 190-room Hilton Okinawa Kin, which is scheduled to open in 2016, will be located approximately one hour’s drive from Naha International Airport, with excellent access to the Kin-Okinawa Expressway. Kin is a destination offering traditional Okinawan culture. Visitors can enjoy beautiful scenery and get into eco-tourism activities such as kayaking and bird watching. The hotel will offer a business lounge, meeting rooms, boardrooms, a ballroom, and a car park, plus recreational facilities including a fitness club, spa, and swimming pool.

The DoubleTree by Hilton Naha, which opened in May 2012, is another hotel with a tremendous amount to offer anyone organizing an incentive tour with great sightseeing.

For more details on the latest hotel openings and planned hotel openings by Hilton Worldwide, please visit:
http://news.hilton.com/openings

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The International Olympic Committee (IOC) chooses Tokyo for the 2020 Summer Olympics

Tokyo has been chosen as the host of the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games! This will mark the fourth time that Japan hosts the Olympics. The 1964 Summer Olympics also took place in Tokyo, and Japan subsequently hosted two Winter Olympics: the 1972 Sapporo and 1998 Nagano Games.

JNTO President Ryoichi Matsuyama issued the following message:

Ryoichi Matsuyama President,
Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO)

It was my greatest pleasure to hear that Tokyo has won the honor to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020.

On behalf of the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), which has been involved in this long-term bidding activity, I wish to convey my sincere appreciation to all the people who have worked very hard to make our dream come true.

JNTO was established in 1964, when the 16th Olympic Games were successfully held in Tokyo for the first time. The announcement of our successful bid has occurred in an epoch-making year when we are aiming to achieve the goal of 10 million foreign visitors to Japan for the first time. Therefore, the news has given enormous encouragement to all of us, including JNTO and other organizations engaged with Japan’s inbound tourism businesses who are working together with the aim to attract 20 million visitors to Japan in the 2020s. This exciting news of success has surely given us a great opportunity and encouragement to shape a better tourism-oriented and even more visitor-friendly nation.

As Tokyo and Japan will enjoy a greater focus of attention during the 7-year period before the Games, we wish to make our best efforts to make Japan and our capital city of Tokyo an even more attractive travel and meetings destination in the future. I hope, most importantly, that Japan’s newly energized dynamism will demonstrate its vigor and charms to the world before, during and after the Games.

We at JNTO wish to take advantage of this precious opportunity given by the IOC to disseminate detailed information and updates regarding the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games in greater partnership with the Japanese Government, local municipalities and tourism-related private sector businesses to expand Japan’s inbound tourism.

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Case Study

The 14th International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC) Global Conference

(c)ONSHIRIN Regional Public Organization

(c)ONSHIRIN Regional Public Organization

(c)ONSHIRIN Regional Public Organization

(c)ONSHIRIN Regional Public Organization

(c)ONSHIRIN Regional Public Organization

(c)ONSHIRIN Regional Public Organization

(c)ONSHIRIN Regional Public Organization

Bon festival dance

In late June 2013, Mt. Fuji, the iconic Japanese volcano that has inspired religious devotion and artistic masterpieces for centuries, was recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. Three weeks earlier, from the 3rd to 7th of June, the 14th Global Conference of the International Association for the Study of the Commons (IASC) was held at the northern foot of the soon-to-be-honoured mountain. The event drew 420 researchers from 57 countries.

In recent years, Fujiyoshida City and two other villages in Yamanashi Prefecture have energetically set out to brand their area on the north slope of Mt. Fuji not only as an international tourist destination, but specifically as an attractive MICE destination, under the name Kita Fuji.

It was against this backdrop that the Onshirin Regional Public Organization (a local public entity) and the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (which is part of Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology) hosted the 14th IASC Global Conference. The Onshirin Regional Public Organization helps to enforce rights of common (“iriai-ken”) around the northern foot of Mt. Fuji, and they put together the committee that organized the conference, which included researchers and others with expertise regarding rights of common issues, as well as local government officials.

More than 400 participants gathered in Kita Fuji over a period of five days. No international meeting on this scale had been held here before, but the expertise of the Japanese sponsors in promoting the area, and the warm hospitality of the local people, ensured that the conference was a success.

Kita Fuji does not have the kind of dedicated international conference facilities, spacious university campuses and research institutions that typically attract large international meetings. But by linking four existing facilities in the area using shuttle buses, this compact locale was able to host an international meeting amid stunning natural surroundings. With trips between venues of five to ten minutes factored into the scheduling of conference sessions, the separate venues functioned as one.

Attendees raved about how the short drives allowed them to observe the daily rhythms of local life and the ever-shifting appearance of Mt. Fuji through the bus windows. The shuttle buses also provided transport between the venues and the accommodations. A wide range of accommodations was offered, catering to the diverse demands of the participants. These ranged from luxury hotels used by VIPs to business hotels, privately-run inns and B&Bs.

During the conference, attendees from around the globe enjoyed a warm welcome from the Japanese organizers and local residents. Appreciating the best of local cuisine was a running theme. Breakfasts and lunches featured seasonal, locally produced meats, vegetables, breads and full dishes from popular local shops, including traditional recipes.

Local Fujiyama cloth was used to make bags for carrying conference reference materials, and the bags were distributed free to the attendees. The welcome party on the first day featured a traditional open-air festival stage. This Japanese "matsuri" atmosphere gave attendees a taste of Japan's boisterous festival tradition.

Local people taught attendees the Bon festival dance. There were festival food stalls serving dishes like tofu made with Mt Fuji spring water, as well as locally brewed beer, sake and the region's distinctive Koshu wine. Attendees also tried their hand at yo-yo fishing. Through a program to involve the local community in this international conference, the main nightlife district of Kita Fuji, called Nishiura, held a "Nishiura Night" where restaurants offered special dishes, and attendees had a real chance to interact with locals.

Kita Fuji mobilized available resources to draw attention to a charm that is very different from a big city's. Attendees loved the breathtaking natural scenery at Mt. Fuji, the unspoiled rural beauty, the compact urban infrastructure, and the easy accessibility from Tokyo. They relished the area's long tradition of making all visitors feel at home, the wholesome and hearty local food, and the hospitality of the hosting organizations and local people. This warm, welcoming spirit is called “omotenashi” in Japanese. Everything came together to create a really successful international conference. Consider what Japan's regional cities could offer you as a MICE destination!

For more information, please visit the English website:
http://www.iasc-commons.org/conferences/global/iasc-2013
http://www.onshirin.jp/en/

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4 Hours in Takamatsu

Sightseeing in Takamatsu: Explore Contemporary Art at the Setouchi Triennale 2013
Start at

[Takamatsu Station]

Walk 5 minutes to

[Takamatsu Port]

Take ferry Meon via Megishima to Ogi Port: 40 minutes (One-way ticket: 500 yen)

Disembark Ogi Port

[Ogijima Community Hall designed by Jaume Plensa]

[Setouchi Triennale 2013]

Stroll the village and see the Setouchi Triennale 2013 artworks: 2 hours (300 yen each for indoor works; outdoor installations free)

Takashi Nishibori's "Corridor of Time"
Onba Factory's "Onba Factory"
Sayaka Ishizuka's "Water Mirror"
Takeshi Kawashima & Dream Friends' "Time Tube"
Haruki Takahashi's "Sea Vine"
Mayumi Kuri's "Memory Bottle"
Maison de Urushi Project's "Maison de Urushi"

Option: Megishima

[Megishima]

Harumi Yukutake’s "Equipoise"
Leandro Erlich's "The Presence of Absence"
Shinro Ohtake's "Mecon"
Yasuyoshi Sugiura's "Terrace Winds"

[Ogi Port]

Take ferry Meon via Megishima to Ogi Port: 40 minutes (One-way ticket: 500 yen)

[Takamatsu Port]

Walk 3 minutes to

[Lunch in JR Takamatsu Station District (Nishinomaru)]

Eat Sanuki udon noodles: 30 minutes (about 500 yen)

Estimated Total Budget: 3,300 yen

Option: Gardens Tour

[Gardens Tour]

Ritsurin Garden: 400 yen
Tamamo Park: 200 yen

A chance to see works of art in the Setouchi Triennale 2013... without spending much money. These artworks draw on the distinctive landscape of the Seto Inland Sea and its islands to convey the timeless allure of the area's natural beauty and way of life.

Ogijima

The Seto Inland Sea is Japan's largest sheltered expanse of water, protected by three of Japan's main islands: Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu. The waters of the Seto Inland Sea are placid and dotted with many scenic islands, whose white sand beaches are framed by pine forests and terraced fields. Ogijima is a more or less circular island located 7 km from Takamatsu Port. It is 1.37 square kilometres in area and has a population of 200. It is largely mountainous, with almost no flat land. Most of the houses are clustered on slopes above Ogi Harbour on the southern end of the island. The narrow, winding, hilly streets give the island's village a picturesque charm. At the northern tip of the island is beautiful granite Ogijima Lighthouse, one of Japan's most picturesque lighthouses.

For more information, please visit the English website:
http://setouchi-artfest.jp/en/artworks/island/venue-ogijima

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Meon Ferry/ Ogijima Community Hall

Meon is the name of the ferry connecting Takamatsu Port with Megishima and Ogijima. During the winter it makes five round trips per day. In the summer and during the Setouchi Triennale 2013, service is more frequent.

As the ferry arrives at Ogijima, the Ogijima Community Hall, a large portal-like structure which doubles as a ferry terminal, comes into view. The building was designed by Jaume Plensa, a leading Spanish artist who exhibited in the first Setouchi Triennale in 2010. It is titled "Ogijima's Soul" and has a roof composed of the intersecting shapes of letters and characters from many languages, including Japanese, Arabic, Hebrew, and Chinese. As it casts shadows of these jumbled letters in the midday sun, the work expresses the diversity of our world.

For more information about Jaume Plensa, please visit his website:
http://jaumeplensa.com/web/index.php/works-and-projects/projects-in-public-space/item/253-ogijimas-soul-2010

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Setouchi Triennale 2013

Maison de Urushi
Maison de Urushi Project
Photo: Kimito Takahashi

The Setouchi Triennale is a contemporary art festival held every three years. 12 islands in the Seto Inland Sea, along with two ports (Takamatsu and Uno), present three seasonal exhibitions: spring, summer and fall. The fall exhibition runs from October 5th to November 4th, 2013.

For the Setouchi Triennale 2013, the entire village of Ogijima has been transformed into an art gallery. Walking its hilly, crooked lanes, you will encounter murals on the walls of houses, sculptures decorating railings, a mysterious network of tubes carrying views and sounds... all the work of a group of exciting contemporary artists.

Several empty houses have been converted to accommodate art installations. Many represent the sea, like "Water Mirror," which suspends collections of household items both vintage and modern from the ceilings to suggest islands on the water, and "Sea Vine," in which a porcelain vine that evokes waves of water flows and swirls around a room. The "Maison de Urushi Project" highlights the local tradition of lacquerware by panelling an unoccupied house, which doubles as a cafe, with coloured lacquer designs. Drinks are served there in lacquered cups. Onba-Factory is an exhibit of Ogijima's ubiquitous "strollers", called onba, used mainly by elderly women to transport goods through steep, winding streets. The onba are brightly decorated to make each one unique, and these artistic "chariots" are now a much-loved symbol of the island.

For more information about the Setouchi Triennale 2013, please visit the English website:
http://setouchi-artfest.jp/en/

Access
http://setouchi-artfest.jp/en/access/islands

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Option : Megishima
Megishima

Megishima is a long, narrow island, 2.7 square kilometres in size, located 4 km fromTakamatsu Port. Villages on the island are known for the tall, roof-high stone walls that protect the houses from wind and sea spray. The island is a host site for the Setouchi Triennale 2013.

A replica of the famous Moai statues of Easter Island is located on Megishima. It was donated by a Takamatsu construction company that helped in restoring the actual Moai statues in 1995—the company had used this replica to carry out lifting tests.

For more information, please visit the English website:
http://setouchi-artfest.jp/en/artworks/island/venue-megijima

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Sanuki Udon Noodles

Sanuki udon noodles are the down-home comfort food of the Sanuki region, which encompasses modern-day Kagawa Prefecture, where Takamatsu is located. They are a quick and easy meal found throughout the area. In some places you can get a bowl for under 200 yen.

There are about 800 Sanuki udon noodles shops in Kagawa, and they come in three general types: table service, self-service and shops that make noodles for you to buy and take home.

The noodles are made from ingredients that are traditionally readily available in Kagawa: high-quality wheat, salt, and soy sauce. Local dried sardines are used for the dashi stock.

For more information, please visit the English website:
http://www.city.takamatsu.kagawa.jp/english/sightseeing/staple/sanuki-udon-noodles.html

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Option: Garden Tour
Ritsurin Garden (Admission: 400 yen)

Begun in the early decades of the 17th century, Ritsurin Garden took more than 100 years to complete. Today it is one of Japan's important cultural assets, and it has been designated a Special Place of Scenic Beauty by the government. Built by the Matsudaira clan of samurai lords, Ritsurin Garden is widely considered one of Japan's greatest daimyo strolling gardens, and its beauty has been lovingly preserved over the centuries. It is composed of the South Garden, a Japanese-style garden, and the modern, Western-style North Garden.

In 2009, the French and English editions of the Michelin Green Guide Japan awarded Ritsurin Garden the highest rating of three stars. In 2012, the American gardening magazine Journal of Japanese Gardening ranked it third among all Japanese gardens, after the gardens of the Adachi Museum of Art (Shimane) and the Katsura Detached Palace (Kyoto).

For more information, please visit the English website:
http://www.pref.kagawa.lg.jp/ritsurin/index_e.html

Access
From Takamatsu Station, board the Kotoden Kotohira Line, get off at Ritsurin Koen station, and walk five minutes.

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Tamamo Park, the ruins of Takamatsu Castle (Admission: 200 yen)

Tamamo Park is where Takamatsu Castle once stood. The castle is considered one of Japan's three greatest castles surrounded by water moats – and it is the only one whose moats are filled with water from the sea. Today, Tamamo Park is a green, serene getaway graced by many beautiful old pine and cherry trees.

The park also contains the Hiunkaku, a villa built in 1917 for the former feudal lords of Takamatsu Castle that is now a national historic landmark. Its design shows a fusion of Japanese and Western architecture and decor characteristic of the period.

For more information, please visit the English website:
http://www.city.takamatsu.kagawa.jp/english/sightseeing/spot/tamamo-park.html

Access
The park is a three-minute walk from JR Takamatsu Station.

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