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An 11.5-meter-tall statue of liberty was illuminated Tuesday evening on a man-made island in Tokyo Bay with French President Jacques Chirac, Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto and the Crown Prince and Princess attending a ceremony to kick off the Year of France in Japan.

The yearlong project, which follows the Year of Japan in France that began in May 1997, will continue until the end of March 1999, with more than 400 events celebrating France and the French people to take place across the country.

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