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Japanese Group Launches Vegetarian Restaurant Campaign

With Japan hosting the 2020 Olympics, the group hopes to get thousands of Tokyo restaurants to offer meat-free meals.

With the clock ticking toward the 2020 Summer Olympics, a vegetarian group in Tokyo has launched a campaign to get 50,000 restaurants in Tokyo to offer meat-free dishes. Tokyo Smile Veggies—the organization behind the effort—plan to offer educational workshops, recipes, and chef training across Japan's capital city so that the vegetarian welcome mat is laid out for visitors to the 2020 games. Although the city has seen a rise in the number of vegetarian and macrobiotic restaurants in recent years, animal-free food is rarely available at traditional Japanese restaurants, which Tokyo Smile Veggies hopes to change. According to co-founder Aya Karasuyama, "We want vegetarian food to be served in normal restaurants. This hardly exists at present."

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