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Stuck Elevator Part of American Charm for Japanese Visitors

June 3, 1995

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) _ American wit and wisdom aside, 16 Japanese visitors on a cultural exchange trip learned that what comes down doesn’t necessarily go up _ especially a stuck elevator.

They spent 30 minutes on Friday between the eighth and ninth floors of a city-county government building, en route to a welcoming ceremony as part of America-Japan week.

The guests took it in stride.

``In Japan, our elevators never break,″ Koichi Yamamura said through an interpreter afterward. ``Does this happen often in America?″

Delegate Koji Komatsu called it ``a very precious moment.″

After the ceremony got under way, city officials shook hands, posed for pictures _ and apologized.

``Obviously, our technology does not rival yours,″ said Lawrence Rael of the mayor’s office.

The elevators are designed to carry loads of up to 2,000 pounds.

Grace Roybal, office coordinator for the division that manages the building, said weight-limit signs soon may go up, ``and maybe in different languages.″

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