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Earlier this month, when the nation’s Olympic bid ambassador Christel Takigawa referred to “omotenashi” (the spirit of Japanese-style hospitality) in her speech to the International Olympic Committee, the term quickly turned into a buzzword in Japan.

Now that Tokyo’s preparations for the 2020 Summer Olympics are in full swing, one of its urgent tasks, it seems, is to get its citizens to open up to people from different cultures, with 8.5 million visitors, many from abroad, expected to flood the city during the Games. Can Tokyoites be truly welcoming hosts, demonstrating their deep and sincere hospitality?

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