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Snowy Hokkaido is hot in Thailand

Bangkok locals at an exhibition of Hokkaido food in the Thai capital on Feb. 7.

TOKYO -- Businesses on Japan's northernmost island Hokkaido are stepping up efforts to woo the growing number of Thai tourists visiting the region for its fresh produce and snowy winters. 

     Last Friday, Yuta Umeki, director of web production company Gear8 based in Sapporo, was discussing business at a Bangkok hotel with counterparts from local publisher Atitta Publication.

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