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The 1964 Tokyo Olympics had a profound impact on the capital city and the nation. In the second installment of a five-part series that will run during the next two weeks, best-selling author Robert Whiting, who lived in Japan at the time, examines the excitement surrounding the Opening Ceremony.

Finally, on Oct. 1, the putative crown jewel of the Olympic effort, the Japanese bullet train, started operations between Tokyo and Osaka. The shinkansen transported its passengers 515 km in about four hours, less than half the time it took before, reaching peak speeds of 210 kph to make it the fastest train in the world.

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