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A total of 1,549 people died in fires in Japan in the first nine months of the year, one less than during the same period last year, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said Tuesday.

Of those people, about 40 percent were 5 and under or 65 and older, meaning the two groups, which comprise roughly 22 percent of the population, are almost twice as likely to die in fires, the agency said.

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