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Twice a week, Yukie Ushijima visits a nursing home on the outskirts of Tokyo to meet her 80-year-old mother waiting on the other side of a clear plastic sheet.

Ushijima talks to her through the transparent curtain draped over the facility’s reception desk. Her mother smiles when asked about her day, sometimes with a puzzled expression — the octogenarian has advanced dementia and often can’t recognize her daughter.

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