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Everything changed for Yogendra “Yogi” Puranik the day he attended a committee meeting in 2016 discussing a plan to create a version of Singapore’s Little India district in Nishikasai, an area of Tokyo’s Edogawa Ward that boasts a sizable Indian population.

As he tells it, Yogi was the “only Indian from a professional background” taking part, the rest of the Indian representation being made up of restaurant owners, a reflection of the “old diaspora.”

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