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Japan umbrella-sharer hopes when it rains, it pours yen

iKasa thinks it has found a formula to succeed where others failed

An iKasa user in Tokyo's Shibuya district: The service's umbrellas are sturdier than Japan's ubiquitous plastic ones. (Photo by Jada Nagumo)

TOKYO -- It is a Japanese rainy-day ritual: When the first droplets fall, pedestrians dash into the nearest convenience store to pick up a plastic umbrella. These umbrellas are sold by the tens of millions every year, and untold numbers are left on trains, forgotten in pubs or otherwise tossed in the trash.

An up-and-coming startup wants to put a stop to this.

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