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Colourful Yosakoi dance festival held in Kochi

About 18,000 dancers from Japan and abroad performed in the annual Yosakoi festival in the western city of Kochi.

Two hundred and seven teams are taking part in the 66th staging of the event which kicked off on Saturday.

One of the 16 venues was set up on a shopping street in central Kochi.

Many people gathered to watch the dancers, who wore colourful costumes and performed with wooden "naruko" hand clappers.

Despite the scorching temperatures, the performers danced with enthusiasm.

A dancer from Tokyo said she was taking part for the second time and was looking forward to a day of dancing.

The main event will continue through Sunday evening.

Teams that receive awards will perform with others from across the country on Monday.