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A consortium of companies is to enter exclusive talks with the land ministry over operating New Chitose and six other airports in Hokkaido, the ministry said Wednesday.

The move is part of plans to privatize the operations of New Chitose, Wakkanai, Kushiro, Hakodate, Asahikawa, Obihiro and Memanbetsu airports. They are currently operated by the central government or local authorities.

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