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From steel to Gundam: Japan's changing exports

Forget TVs and steel, today's mix includes high-quality lipstick, rice and figurines

"Gunpla," as fans of Gundam plastic models call them, are growing in popularity overseas.

TOKYO -- While televisions and other electronics dominated Japanese exports when the yen last depreciated to current levels 20 years ago, cosmetics and figurines have now taken over to become the poster children of the country's manufacturing.

"There was a time when Japanese corporations responded to changes in currency levels by shifting factories overseas," said Masahiko Uotani, president of the health and beauty company Shiseido.

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