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Japan's tech startups thrive in small, custom niches

Ingenious use of IT key to success as '4th industrial revolution' gathers steam

Bocco, Yukai Engineering's "communication robot," helps parents keep in touch with their children.

TOKYO -- Critics fault Japan for having failed to produce world-impacting innovations in recent years, but numerous interesting ideas are emerging thanks to efforts by the nation's startups, as information technology transforms the face of its society.

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