• Kyodo

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Researchers from Japan and South Korea plan to jointly excavate two archaeological sites on Japan’s Tsushima Island, north of Kyushu, next month, local officials said Tuesday.

About 20 South Korean researchers will take part in the dig, along with a like number of Japanese, said officials of the education board of Mine, Nagasaki Prefecture, where the remains are located.

Among the South Korean researchers is Chim Pong Gun, a professor at Dong-A University in Pusan.

The board will choose some 20 Japanese participants to take part in the project, the officials said.

The dig will be the first large-scale excavation project involving the two nations, they said.

Tadashi Nishitani, a professor of East Asian archaeology at Kyushu University, called the project a landmark event reflecting the key role Tsushima played in exchanges between ancient Japan and the Korean Peninsula.

“We can expect research that incorporates perspectives from both nations,” Nishitani said. “I hope this type of event will occur more often.”

Tsushima Island lies midway between Japan and South Korea.

Participants are scheduled to excavate a total of about 80 sq. meters of remains at two sites over the course of a week starting July 14.

The remains are estimated to date back to the Yayoi Era (300 B.C. to 300) and numerous relics relating to ancient civilizations on the Korean Peninsula have already been unearthed there.

Participants from the Japanese side will include Mine officials in charge of buried cultural property, said the officials, adding the town will provide participants with meals and accommodations.

Tomotsugi Abiru, a Mine official who has previously exchanged information with Chim about artifacts unearthed in the region, said, “I hope Japan and South Korea can cooperate in coming to a new historical interpretation.”

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