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The business of city twinning throws up some unlikely couples. None more so – superficially at least – than Kagoshima, a city at the southern end of the Japanese island of Kyushu, and its Italian sibling, Naples. Guide books to Japan trot out the obvious similarities – the balmy climate, blue waters and the proximity of a simmering volcano. They could also mention the distinctive cuisine, the unpretentious, loquacious residents and a sun-bleached quality that gives summer afternoons a quiet, almost lethargic atmosphere.

Kagoshima pays homage to its…



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