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Saitama Prefecture has always been overshadowed by Tokyo, its bigger and glitzier neighbor to the south that is also the capital of Japan. But Saitama, sometimes referred to by its unflattering nickname Dasai-tama (dasai means uncool), is in fact home to a number of small manufacturing businesses developing innovative medical tools and equipment.

According to health ministry statistics, Saitama ranked fourth in 2015 for the value of its medical equipment output among Japan’s 47 prefectures, at ¥116 billion. That is quite a feat considering that Saitama has no major player such as Terumo Corp. — which has large manufacturing bases in Shizuoka Prefecture. Shizuoka ranks No. 1 for medical equipment output, valued at ¥370 billion the same year.

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