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On Nov. 12, in the city of Tachikawa in western Tokyo, an 83-year-old female driver — while reaching out her car window to insert a parking ticket into the toll gate machine in a hospital parking lot — accidentally pushed down on the accelerator and lost control of her vehicle. It crossed the road and ran down a man and woman, killing them both.

Coincidentally, or perhaps not, four days later Prime Minister Shinzo Abe presided over an emergency conference to discuss accidents by elderly drivers, which were described as an “urgent issue.”

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