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Winter whiteouts, freezing weather and power outages everywhere from Europe to Washington and Beijing have been making headlines these last few months, but as fingers by the million have been going numb, Japan has one nifty weapon of mass defrostation to alleviate the seasonal problem: self-warming pads.

Popularly known as kairo, literally meaning “fire inside the pocket,” these pads emitting neither flames nor smoke nonetheless warm the cockles of many a Japanese heart when the mercury takes its seasonal dive.

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