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Takeshi Nagata looks out over the pitch from the back stand of Kamaishi Unosumai Memorial Stadium and tugs at the collar of his shirt. He retired from playing rugby six years ago, but his body is still in good shape and his formal clothes look uncomfortable stretched over his compact but formidable physique.

He is now an official at Kamaishi City’s Rugby World Cup headquarters, and he is busy helping with preparations for the stadium’s grand opening. In two days’ time, the local rugby club, Kamaishi Seawaves, will host Top League side Yamaha Jubilo in a game that residents of the northeastern former mining town have been looking forward to for a long time.

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