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Neither Frankie Lafferty nor Saika Kojima ever thought they would wed a foreigner. But nine months after their first encounter in 2004, the two registered for marriage in Sayama, Saitama Prefecture.

Frankie, a 35-year-old English teacher from Ireland, first expected Japan to be completely different from his own country. But since arriving in 1997, he has never felt a big cultural gap with Japan.

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