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It’s a weekday afternoon in February and men and women in dark business suits gather near five cash-register stations at one end of a cavernous convention hall in Tokyo. As music blares out, a woman wearing a white trouser-suit and sporting a headset mic steps from behind a curtain, welcomes the audience, and proclaims, “At Teraoka, we are reinventing cash-register technology and leading a checkout revolution.”

Checkout revolution isn’t a phrase that’s likely to get the ordinary shopper’s pulse racing, but it’s a big crowd-pleaser at Japan’s Sup…



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