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Banks and exchange counters at two international airports in Japan will start handing out euro bank notes on the morning of Jan. 1, 2002 — before the currency becomes legal tender in Europe several hours later.

The banks and exchange counters at Narita and Kansai international airports will be the only places in Japan where the notes will be available on the first days of the New Year, as bank branches in the rest of the country will not reopen until Jan. 4.

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