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Japanese journalist visits Grantham to gather information for feature on Margaret Thatcher

By kay_kelly  |  Posted: December 03, 2012

Japanese journalist Wataru Sawamura with South Kesteven district councillor Ray Wootten

Japanese journalist Wataru Sawamura with South Kesteven district councillor Ray Wootten

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A Japanese journalist has spent time in Grantham to tour the town's historic links with one of its famous former residents.

Wataru Sawamura, from Asahi Shimbun newspaper, visited the town on Friday to gather information for a feature on Baroness Margaret Thatcher.

Wataru is the London bureau chief and European editor of the paper, which has the world's second largest daily circulation of 8.3 million.

He visited Grantham Museum, where one of Baroness Thatcher's famous blue suits was on display.

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Then, accompanied by South Kesteven district councillor Ray Wootten, Wataru was guided to her birthplace at the former grocery store on North Parade and spent time where she studied at Kesteven and Grantham Girls' School.

Wataru explained the former Prime Minister is still a popular figure in Japan because of the similarities in the way the UK and his country's industries grew during the 1980s and 90s.

He said: "She was the first female Prime Minister and a lot of the now older generation of Japanese society looked on with interest when she came into office.

"It was her leadership, her character and her strength that people looked up to and they could relate to how she was trying to change the state.

"It seems a lot of British people are still talking about her, whether they like her or dislike her, they are still interested in what she changed and why.

"It has been very interesting to visit Grantham to see where she grew up and was schooled."

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