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The Yokohama Association for International Communications and Exchanges lends a helping hand to foreigners who want to learn Japanese and become part of the community — a service essential to those struggling to survive in a land far away from home.

Wilfred Hirota, who came to Japan from Brazil almost two years ago and works at a fast food restaurant, is one of many people taking Japanese conversation lessons through the group. They sit around a table together with Japanese teachers to discuss various topics, such as their favorite foods.

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