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People of Japanese descent are gearing up for their first-ever parade in New York City, taking their place among the lineup of groups that celebrate their heritage with marches through the United States’ most populous city.

Set for May 14, the Japan Day parade comes amid activism following a wave of anti-Asian attacks during the coronavirus pandemic, and solidarity is part of the parade’s message.

The parade stands to boost visibility for the New York metropolitan area’s Japanese and Japanese American community.

Counting more than 1,700 participants, the parade of dance troupes, music ensembles, martial arts groups and more is set to proceed along Manhattan’s Central Park West, a boulevard also used in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

“We have overcome so many difficulties … to bridge the gap between Japan and the United States,” said Furumoto, who now runs a real estate agency.

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