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URUMA, Okinawa Pref. — For 21-year-old Elza Sasaki, Japan’s representative for the Miss World contest in December, winning the beauty pageant is not just about opening doors to achieve her childhood dream of becoming a super model, but also about generating media exposure to help her find her long-lost American grandfather.

Discovering the whereabouts of the former U.S. Air Force officer, who was stationed in Okinawa shortly after the end of the war and would be around 80 if still alive, is a desire that Elza — who beat some 3,000 contestants last October to represent Japan at the pageant in Johannesburg — inherited from her mother Tammy Sasaki, 57.

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