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NARITA, Chiba Pref. — About 1,000 guests and reporters toured the refurbished South Wing at Narita International Airport’s Terminal 1 during a ceremony Monday held ahead of the grand reopening later in the week.

With the new South Wing, the nation’s main international gateway will have the largest floor space of any terminal in Japan.

“One of the challenges Japan is now facing is how to maintain and boost its global competitiveness,” transport minister Kazuo Kitagawa told the audience in his opening speech.

“Reinforcing the function of Japan’s main gateway is inevitable for it to compete against other major airports in the world.”

Masahiko Kurono, president of Narita International Airport Corp., the airport’s operator, said, “We take pride in having made this airport a place where passengers can feel comfortable.”

The renovation and extension of Terminal 1, which has been ongoing for more than a decade, is part of Narita International Airport Corp.’s effort to boost convenience to maintain its international competitiveness.

The grand reopening of the wing will be Friday.

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