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On a wooded lake shore in southwest Hokkaido, the government is building a modernist shrine that has divided the indigenous Ainu community whose vanishing culture it was designed to celebrate.

At a cost so far of ¥20 billion, the Symbolic Space for Ethnic Harmony is on track to open in time for the 2020 Olympics, part of a drive by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to draw millions of foreign visitors to Japan and to Sapporo, where the Olympic marathon will be held.

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