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Japan mountain retreat anointed as new smart city

Mount Rokko woos tech startups and workers seeking refuge from crowded Tokyo

KOBE, Japan -- A picturesque vacation getaway in the western Japanese city of Kobe has been named the site of a planned smart city as the pandemic stirs interest in country living.

Mount Rokko is popular with wealthier residents of the greater Osaka region and was once home to hundreds of corporate recreational facilities. But many such buildings were abandoned after Japan's bubble economy burst.

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