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Twenty-four years after Kansai airport’s opening, Typhoon Jebi roared through, flooding the main runway, parts of the main terminal building and dislodging a tanker in the adjacent bay that drifted into the facility’s connecting bridge.

By the end of Tuesday, Sept. 4, leaders in the Kansai region finally understood that their international manufacturing and tourism sectors were reliant on an airport just a few meters above sea level, reachable mostly via a structurally vulnerable bridge.

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