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Tokyo 2020 Olympics

A tale of Japan in two Olympics

Tokyo 1964 helped lay the foundation for country's growth to 2021

Left, a woman walks by a replica of gold medal for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Right, a neon sign advertises the 1964 Summer Games in Tokyo. (Source photos by Reuters and Getty Images)

TOKYO -- The opening ceremony of the Tokyo Olympic Games is set to be held on July 23, the second time that the capital city is hosting the world's biggest sports event after its first in 1964. Between then and now, Japan has changed dramatically.

In 1964, The Beatles released "A Hard Day's Night" and Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali) was crowned world heavyweight champion. It was also only 19 years since Japan suffered a crushing defeat in World War II and the country was just emerging from the subsequent devastation.

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