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Rugby World Cup

Diversity strengthens Japan on and off the rugby pitch

People from different backgrounds bring new thinking and unexpected benefits

Japan's national team counts more foreign nationals as members than any previous squad.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- At a luxury hotel in Kyushu, a pair of sonorous voices singing "Kimigayo," the Japanese national anthem, echoed through the hallway.

Two members of Japan's national rugby team -- 30-year-old Pieter Labuschagne of South Africa and 26-year-old James Moore of Australia -- were struggling with the Japanese lyrics, which come from a poem roughly 1,000 years old.

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