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Visitors to Japan may be surprised by the ubiquity of clear plastic umbrellas found in kiosks, drugstores and supermarkets across the country. In fact, they account for more than half of the roughly 120-130 million umbrellas sold in the nation annually.

“I do understand how tourists may find it odd to see people in Japan using umbrellas so often,” says Tsukasa Sudo, the 10th president of umbrella company White Rose Co. “All I can say is that it’s a cultural thing. A drop of rain is enough for us to open an umbrella.”

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