2015年4月16日 (木)

How News About Japan is Delivered

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the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan

How News about Japan is Delivered to the World and English-Speakers Living in Japan

A few decades ago, a lot of media companies established a bureau in Tokyo as a base for Asian news coverage. However, quite a few have now moved their bureau to other cities such as Hong Kong, Singapore, and Beijing. One of the reasons for this is that the importance of news on Japan is decreasing in accordance with the declining Japanese economy. The high cost rent and personal expenses might be other causes of this. However, the importance of Japanese news begins to increase because of the recovery of the Japanese economy and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympics Games. In view of this, I investigated and interviewed staff at several media institutions and companies to learn how news about Japan is delivered to the world and to English-speakers living in Japan.

One of the most important organizations among those that distribute news about Japan to the world is the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan. Since 1945 the FCCJ has been at the center of Japanese news coverage and has been an essential platform for politicians, diplomats, industrial and business leaders, academics and figures from the arts, sports and entertainment worlds - that is, the people who make the news.  

Japanese journalists are sometimes criticized for their “Kisha-Kurabu” or press clubs, whose membership has historically been tightly restricted to reporters who work for major Japanese newspapers, TV stations and wire-service companies. Most of the clubs don’t allow questions from outsiders, like foreign or independent journalists, and even now some of these latter aren’t allowed to attend press conferences. In Japan most press conferences are sponsored by press clubs, so it’s difficult for foreign correspondents to cover Japan on a regular basis.
 However, the FCCJ opens its door to every foreign and Japanese journalist. At present the FCCJ has about 2,200 members, including around 300 regular journalists from about 25 countries. Around 70 percent of the journalists are from Western countries, including some from big media organizations such as the BBC and CNN. They report news on Japan back to their countries.

The FCCJ holds news conferences 150 times a year on average. This is convenient for foreign correspondents, who usually cover a wider area and range of genres than Japanese reporters in Japan. The efficient staffs at the FCCJ are always ready to provide assistance, including interpretation services, to club members. There are usually, about 20 translators available.
 Interest in Japan from international media has been growing towards the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. The FCCJ has started a new business in corporation with the Tokyo Metropolitan Government that involves inviting reporters from overseas to visit Tokyo, and to report their views and experiences in their countries’ media. “It’s a good opportunity to promote Tokyo and Japan,” said the FCCJ Reception Manager Michiko Kobayashi, who is in charge of this project. Current FCCJ member Dr. Yoshio Murakami, who is former international news editor at Ashahi Shimbun and worked as a foreign correspondent, said “Freedom of expression or freedom of press is the most important for journalists. Club members expressing that the merit of the FCCJ is you can always ask questions freely to the people who make the news”.

Several international organizations for journalists help them to cover news about Japan. Asian American Journalists Association, which is a nonprofit educational and professional organization with more than 1,700 members, offers a variety of educational, skills training and professional development program for its students and professional members, according to its Internet site. ICFJ or International Center for Journalists provides opportunity for journalists to report on Japan. Three U.S.-based journalists will be selected for about 20-day reporting trips in Japan, to be conducted throughout the summer and fall of this year, in the third year of IFJ’s “Illuminating Today’s Japan for American Audiences” program. According to ICFJ’s article, they will work with a Japanese interpreter and fixer, and are expected to dig into the economic, social, cultural, environmental and energy-policy challenges facing Japan. Former participants have produced stories for media including McClatchy, NPR, Al Jazeera America and more.

The Japanese TV Stations

The Japanese media organization that most emphasizes international broadcasting is Nippon Hoso Kyokai, or NHK, which is a public TV broadcaster funded by wide range of programs not only at home but also abroad. NHK’s audience is the second largest in the world. A total of 280 million households around the world watch NHK WORLD, lower than the BBC’s 350 million but surpassing the 271 million viewers of CNN, and the 270 million of France24. NHK WORLD RADIO JAPAN is a radio service with broadcasts in 18 languages, including Arabic, Hindi, Persian and Russian.

Other private TV stations emphasize international broadcasting programs and systems. Recently Fuji Media Holdings Inc., which has the Fuji TV station, contracted some big translation companies to promote programs around 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

The Japanese Newspapers

 

There are two major English-language newspapers in Japan, the Japan Times and the Japan News. The Japan Times publishes English version, but the Japan News is published by the Yomiuri Shimbun, and has circulation of about 10 million. The Japan Times was founded in 1897 and is today Japan’s only independent English-language newspaper. Known as the Daily Yomiuri until it was renamed in April 2013, the Japan News draws on the Yomiuri’s global news-gathering network to present the latest developments in a wide variety of domestic and international areas. The Japan Times cooperates with the New York Times, while Japan News cooperates with the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal. Other major Japanese newspaper companies such as Ashahi Shimbun, which is a leading newspaper in Japan, and Mainich Shimbun, run English articles only on the Internet, although both used to publish a paper version.

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2014年12月 3日 (水)

Tokyo Victory

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Tokyo Tower  Octorber 15, 2013          ⒸMotoya Tamaki  the same shall apply hereafter

     The Olympic Games are going to be held in Tokyo in 2020. The main stadium for this biggest sports events in the world has already been decided: National Stadium in the Meiji Jingu Gaien area in Shinjyuku and Minato Wards. This stadium was opened in 1958, and was used for the previous Tokyo Olympic Games held in 1964. It's familiar as the  "Hooly place for high school soccer" because final and semi-final games of the All Japan High School Soccer Tournament are held there every year. However, the stadium has a limited capacity, about 50,000, not to mention that it's old, so it's now under reconstruction. Although there were twists and turns over the reconstruction, including the expense and the design, the new stadium going to be ready for the first time in 2019, with a capacity of 80,000.

     You can't go in there yet, but can see the outside of the old stadium for a while. In the Meiji Jingu Gaien, which literally the outside of the Meiji Shinto Shrine, there are other venues for sports such as table tennis, and handball. The opening and closing ceremonies, soccer, and fugby games are going to be held in the main stadium. How about taking a walk around there before the Olympiv Games?

◆National Stadium◆

http://www.jpnsport.go.jp/corp/english/tabid/382/Default.aspx

National_stadium

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Women's soccer game  September 04, 2012

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National Stadium   November 18, 2014

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Under demolition

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London Olympic Stadium  November 14, 2012

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Olympic village near Olympic Studiam    November 14, 2012





 

2014年12月 2日 (火)

Stairway to Heaven

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Toranomon Hills  November 17, 2014   ⒸMotoya Tamaki

     The word "Hills-zoku"(the Hills gang) was  popular in the 2000s. It refer to people who lived or worked at Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, which has offices and a residential area. Most of them were entrepreneurs and became super-rich during the so-called IT bubble. A lot of people adored their "celebrity lifestyle". A few decades later, a new "Hills" has been born in Tokyo. It's the Toranomon Hills.

     Toranomon Hills is actually a skyscraper complex building built by Mori Building near the Kasumigaseki bureaucrat district. It opened in June this year, and a lot of people have been visiting there. It's marketed as a new stylish spot in Tokyo.

     The building is 247m high, which makes it the second-tallest building in Tokyo after Midtown Tower. "MacArthur Road" is alongside the building, which is named after General Douglas MacArthur, who led the Allied liberation of Japan following World War Ⅱ. For the sake of constructing this building, this road was rebuilt under the skyscraper. This road will be one of the main streets in the Tokyo Olympics, so Tokyo municipal government plans to develop this area as a Japanese version of the Avenue des Champs-Elysees, by building fashionable open cafes.

◆Toranomon Hills◆

http://toranomonhills.com/en/

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Office

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MacArthur Road

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Tunnel under the building

2014年12月 1日 (月)

Fun to Drive


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Toyota's car "theme park", MEGA WEB   This car is a MIRAI (Future) , which is a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle (FCV). Sales in Japan will begin 15 December, 2014 at a price of US$57,400

November 28, 2014  ⒸMotoya Tamaki  The same shall apply hereafter

     Japanese cars are one of the things Japanese people can be pround of. Sales of Toyota cars are number one in the global market. The New York city authorities decided to choose Nissan as an official brand for taxies, so Nissan taxi vans will rule NYS's streets. Since Honda participated in the Formula One Race, lots of people consider Honda a fast and cool car brand. Sales of Mazda and Subaru cars are increasing in the North American market. It's said that the Japanese car industry now ranks with Germany, the U.S and the U.K.

     Although Japanese road are narrow and crowded, I think it's easier to drive in Japan than in other Asian countries. For taravelers who are't British, the annoying thing is driving on the left side. My car is a German, but i get confused and make mistakes every time I drive in foreign countries. As a results, you should be careful when driving in Japan. There are a lot of rent-a -car shops in Japan, and they're generally good.

     Anyway, it's fun to see new cutting-edge model cars. Japanese car makers have showrooms in Tokyo or outside of it, and their staffs exhibit there cars and explain them. You may even be able to do a test run free of charge.

◆MEGA WEB◆

http://www.megaweb.gr.jp/about/english.html

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◆Nissan Global Head office◆

http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/

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MIRAI's test drive

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Inside of FCV

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MEGA WEB

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Inside of the MEGA WEB

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NISSAN GLOBAL HEADQUATERS GALLARY in Yokohama city   Octorber 4, 2014

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Future NYC taxi   NISSAN showroom in Ginza, Tokyo  Octorber 19, 2013

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BMW showroom  in Munich, Germany    December 06, 2012

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Inside of BMW showroom

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Mercedes-Benz showroom in Munich, Germany December 06, 2012

2014年11月26日 (水)

Back to the Showa Era

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Showa Street   November 05, 2014     ⒸMotoya Tamaki  The same shall apply hereafter

     There are two ways of referring to a year in Japan, which are the Christian system and rengo or gengo. Nengo indicates the number of years since the era began. For example, the current era,"Heisei", began in 1989, so this year is Heisei 26. The previous era was the Showa period, which corresponded to the reign of Showa Emperor, Hirohito, from 1926 through 1989. The Showa era is special in a sense, because Japan changed drastically after World War Ⅱ during this period. The high growth of the Japanese economy was called a miracle of the world. War-torn Japan became the second largest economy (although China has recetly overtaken Japan).

     People age 27 and older were born during Showa, so they may have nostalgic feeling about it, even though 26 years have passed since it ended.

     If you want to get in touch with Showa culture, I recommend that you go to the Odaiba Ichome Shopping Street. It's actually street on the fourth floor of Tokyo Beach Deck's Seaside Mall. The street reproduces Japan in the 30's. You can surely experience another Japan.

◆Daiba 1-Chome Shopping Street◆

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Shinlansen Bullet Train

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Jukebox

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Bowling game

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Shooting game

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Car at the Showa era

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Pictures

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School at the early Showa

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Mail Post at Showa era

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A lot of "Showa people" come to there

2014年11月17日 (月)

Let's Go to the TV stations

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Fuji TV   Octorber 10, 2014       ⒸMotoya Tamaki 

     The TV industry in Japan is huge. Although the Internet and social media are popular, the average Japanese person watches TV about 4 hours per day (number one in the world). There are four big private stations and public one (NHK) in Japan. The four big stations are called “key stations”, and consist of groups of local stations that are established in almost every prefectures. Most programes produced by key stations are aired on local stations too., so key stations are sometimes called national broadcasting networks. These key stations are Nihon TV (Channel 4 in the Tokyo Metoropolitan area), TV Asahi (Channel 5), TBS (Channel 6), TV Tokyo (Channel 7), and Fuji TV (Channel 8). All of them are in Tokyo, and strangely enough, all are in Minato Ward. These stations were established mainly by the national newspapers, as they're related to the Yomiuri, Asahi, Mainichi, NIkkei, and Sankei Shimbun (newspaper), respectively.

     Most stations have part of their facilities open to the public, and hold big festivals and annual events depending on the season., so it may be fun to visit them. I lived near one of them, Fuji TV, just 500 meters away, so I sometimes go there. It's fun.

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TV Asahi    November 17, 2014    ⒸMotoya Tamaki  the same shall apply hereafter

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TV Asahi

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TV Asahi

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Nihon TV  November 17, 2014

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Nihon TV

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TBS  Octorber 27, 2014

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TV Tokyo  November 17, 2014

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TV Tokyo

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Fuji TV Odaiba Gasshukoku   December 04, 2013

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Fuji TV  July 14,2012

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Fuji TV  January 25, 2014

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ABC TV at Washington   December 21,2013     ⒸMotoya Tamaki

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BBC in London    November 06, 2012        ⒸMotoya Tamaki

 

2014年11月15日 (土)

HANABI--Fireworks

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     Japan has fourdistinct seasons, and fireworks are a Japanese summer tradition. Lots of fireworks shows are held throughout Japan during this season every year. In Tokyo, there are natinally renowned fireworkes such as the Sumida River Fireworks Festival and Tokyo Bay Grand Fireworks Festival. I think Japanese people likes fireworks and cherry blossams, because both shin for a moment and disappea instantly.

     I don't like fireworks so much, but I go to see them because I want to know why Japanese people likes fireworks. In recent years, I've been to the Sumida River and Tokyo Bay festivals. It was hard because there were too many people. At the Sumida River Festival, I had to stand in line line for three hours to see fireworks for a few minutes. On the other hand, the Tokyo Bay fireworks are easy to see because my apartment is the best location to watch them from. For that reason, my place is full booked by my friends on that day for next three years. Anyway, even though it's winter, similar displays called the “Odaiba Rainbow Fireworks” will be held every Saturday in December. How about coming to Odaiba?

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2014年11月10日 (月)

Welcome to the Muslim world in Tokyo

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Tokyo-Jamii                ⒸMotoya Tamaki   the same shall apply hireinafter

     Tokyo is the number four ranked global city in 2014, after New York, London, and Paris, according to the American journal Foreign Policy, publishing a ranking of global cities. However, I don't think Tokyo is so “global” or international comparing with other cities, because it lacks a diversity of ethnic groups. Every time I go to cities in other countries, I soon realized that there are a lot of different ethnic groups living together. This may be because Japan is an island country.  One of the characteristics of Tokyo is that Muslim people aren't particularly noticeable. If you walk around European or American cities,  you realize there are a lot of people wearing buurqa. Some estimates show that the number of ethnic Japanese Muslimes in Japan is about 63,000, and around 70,000-100,000 foreign Muslim reside in the country. Whether you're Muslim or not, when you want to be exposed to Islamic culutre in Tokyo, I recomend you to go to Tokyo-Jamii.

     Tokyo-Jamii, also kmown as Tokyo Mosque, is a mosque with a Turkish culture center located in Shibuya Ward. You can see beautiful Ottoman religious archtecture and talk with friendly staff free of charge there.

◆Tokyo Cammi◆

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2014年11月 8日 (土)

Are you hungry? How about some Cup Noodles?

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Momofuku is surrounded by world great inventors   October 4, 2014

  ⒸMotoya Tamaki  the same shall apply hereinafter

     Do you know Cup Noodles?  Of course you do. Cup Noddles are a brand of instant ramen noodle snack manufactured by Nissin Foods Products Corporation. It's said that it was  the first cup noodle brand in the world. Because of its ease of preparation, proce, and novel commercials, Cup Noodles are sold in more than 80 countries. In 1970, they sold instant noodles in the United States, and introduced instant ramen packaged in a cup, which was known as Cup Noodles there. It's well known among New Yorkers because a Cup Noodle sign was installed in Times Square from 1996 to 2006.

     Instant noodles, which are precooked and usually in a dried noodle block, were invented by Momofuku Ando of Nissin Foods. They were launched in 1958 under the brand name Chikin (chicken) Ramen, and Cup Noodles in 1971.

     The CUPNOODLES MUSEUM provides a rich educational experience through its various exhibits. You can learn about Momofuku's achievement and his creative ideas. He was chosen for Time magazine's "60 Years of Asian Heros"  in 2006. You can also experience the making of instant noodles and the creating  of Cup Noodle pakages (extra fee is needed). The museum is actually located in Yokohama City, but it takes only 17 minutes to get from Shinagawa Station to Yokohama.

CUPNOODLES MUSEUM

http://www.cupnoodles-museum.jp/english/index.html

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Open: 10:00~18:00 (last admission 17:00)

Holidays: Tuesday ( When Tuesday is a holiday, closed the following day), year end / new year holidays

Admission: Adult 500 yen (high school age children and younger admitte free)

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Cup Noodle and Chikin Ramen

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Lots of "instant noodles" are displayed

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A building of Cup Noodles Museum in Yokohama

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Momofuku Ando was brought up on Time Magazine

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A life-size model of old times Japan's Kitchen

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Inside the kitchen

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A life-size model of factory automation

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A portable noodle stall. You can eat Chiken Ramen

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Yokohama Port view from the Museum

2014年11月 6日 (木)

Sony is on the cutting edge in Japan



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Sony building at night  octorber 31, 2014

ⒸMotoya Tamaki   the same shall be apply hereinafter

     Sony is one of Japanese leading companies, being known for its Xperia, VAIO, Playstation, and of course Walkman. "Sony actually refers to the Sony Group, which consists of the Sony Corporation, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Sony Music Entertainment, and several other companies.

     It's having a very hard time now , Sony was star of hope when I was young. The cpmpany is what Apple is for Americans. Sony provides dream products and gadgets, as well as futuristice entertainment for people of all ages.

     If you're interested in these products, how about going to the Sony Building?  It opened in 1966 in the Ginza district (Chuo Ward) for the purpose of showing its cutting edge products. The main showroom section of the building consists of split-level floors that continue up to the sixth floor. You can take products in your hand and, listen to them, watch them, and feel them. These products include High-resolution (high fidelity) audio devices and 4K ultra-high definition televisions, and you can listening to explanations of them by specialized staff members. You can also buy these products there. The building itself is worthy as an example of modernist archtecture, and various special events are carried out every season both inside and outside the building. If you get tired, there's an English pub on the first floor that's been, called the first "real" English pub in Japan.

◆Sony Building◆

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Octorber 23, 2014

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Yurakucho town through a fish tunk   August 08, 2014

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"Sony Aquarium"    August 08, 2014

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"Happy New Year"   January 19, 2013


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Personal Conclerge  October 23, 2014

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Apple Store in New York   December 25, 2013  ⒸMotoya Tamaki

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