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7. Kansai International Airport fully reopens

Kansai International Airport in Osaka Prefecture, western Japan, fully reopened on Friday morning. The airport was severely damaged by a powerful typhoon earlier this month, forcing the suspension of most of its operations.

All services resumed at the North Wing of Terminal 1, which includes the departure lobby for international flights. Part of the terminal and Terminal 2 as well as 2 runways had already reopened.

Passengers formed lines at the check-in counters.

A 61-year-old man heading for Hong Kong said he has been closely following the news to see if his flight would be affected. He said the reopening is good for tourism and other economic activities in the region.

Apprentice geishas, the landladies of local inns and mascots from the region's 6 prefectures welcomed tourists at the arrival lobby.

The airport operator, Kansai Airports, says 471 domestic and international flights are scheduled to use the airport on Friday. That's almost equal to its normal operating capacity.

Kansai Airports CEO Yoshiyuki Yamaya welcomed the reopening, saying it marks a great step forward.

Some lanes of the road section of the access bridge to the airport are still closed, but trains are running fully again.

Powerful winds and waves from the typhoon pushed an oil tanker into the bridge, causing severe damage. The government says it hopes the road can be fully reopened before the holiday season in early May.
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