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Photo Journal: End of an era

The Kobe Steel Kobe Works plant is seen in the city's Nada Ward from a Mainichi Shimbun helicopter on Oct. 18, 2017. On Oct. 31, the fires in the furnaces of this iconic symbol of recovery after the Great Hanshin Earthquake were extinguished. Only two and a half months after the January 1995 tremor, the factory was back in operation. But four years ago, it was decided to concentrate the company's crude steel production at Kakogawa Works in the western part of Hyogo Prefecture to cut costs. In the afternoon, a closing ceremony was overseen by roughly 140 workers and others. The taphole that once released processed melted iron was shut, punctuating an end to the almost 59 years the company supported Japan's iron and steel industry. (Mainichi)

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