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Despite a decline in the handmade craft industry, especially with a lack of young people to pass the baton to in recent years, the Expo Milano 2015 that kicked off May 1 is a big chance for densan, or traditional Japanese handcrafted products, to promote their charm and elaborate workmanship to the world.

“The key is innovation. With a touch of innovation, traditional crafts can live on, making products that can appeal to a changing society, both in Japan and abroad,” said Masaaki Sakai, managing director of the Association for the Promotion of Traditional Craft Industries in Tokyo’s Minato Ward.

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