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A government panel Thursday selected archaeological sites in northern Japan from the Jomon Period as potential UNESCO World Cultural Heritage candidates in 2020.

The ancient sites in Hokkaido, Aomori, Iwate and Akita prefectures, representing a culture that occupied the archipelago for nearly 10,000 years, will vie for the candidacy against a chain of islands in the prefectures of Kagoshima and Okinawa.

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