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When the puck drops on the Beijing 2022 men’s ice hockey tournament on Feb. 9, it will mark 24 years since Japan last participated — as the host nation of the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano — and 42 years since it qualified outright for Lake Placid in 1980.

If Nikko Ice Bucks COO Takayuki Hioki has his way, 2030 will mark the end of that drought for good.

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