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Japan kick-started its bid for a spot at next year’s Athens Olympics with a comfortable 3-0 win over Argentina in its opening match at the women’s volleyball World Cup in Tokyo on Saturday.

Roared on by a fiercely partisan crowd at Yoyogi Gymnasium, Japan comfortably won the first set 25-16 and despite a brave fight from the South Americans did enough to win the next two sets 25-20, 25-23. In other matches China came from behind to defeat Brazil 3-1, the United States needed five sets to see off South Korea, Italy trounced Egypt 3-0 and Cuba overcame the Dominican Republic 3-1.

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