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The bullet train driver who fell asleep at the controls earlier this week continued to operate the train without supervision for more than 20 minutes after leaving Okayama Station, where he was shaken from his slumber, transport ministry officials revealed Friday.

The revelation came to light during a meeting between Kenzo Tokuoka, senior general manager of the railway operations headquarters of West Japan Railway Co., and Kenji Shiratori, assistant vice minister for engineering affairs at the ministry secretariat.

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