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KYOTO — The 44th annual Kansai Economic Seminar began in Kyoto Thursday, but in the opening speeches and plenary sessions, social and political concerns instead of economic issues received the lion’s share of attention.

Sounding at times like an old-fashioned nationalist, Kansai Economic Federation Chairman Yoshihisa Akiyama began the two-day session with a speech noting that Japan faces problems at home and abroad.

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