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Japan’s baseball team will take on the winner of a four-nation preliminary league on Nov. 5 in Sapporo in its first appearance in the Asian regional qualifier for next year’s Athens Olympics, the Asian Baseball Federation said Monday.

The Japanese team, seeded in the preliminary round, will face the winner of the league contested among the Philippines, Indonesia, China and Pakistan at Sapporo Dome starting Oct. 31.

The team will then play against Taiwan on Nov. 6 and South Korean on Nov. 7.

Both Taiwan and South Korea will also be seeded in the preliminary round. The top two teams in the round-robin final league will get Olympic berths, according to the federation.

After announcing 22 Japanese players, including some professional players by mid-July, the Japanese team, led by former Yomiuri Giants manager Shigeo Nagashima, is scheduled to begin training at Fukuoka Dome on the day after the best-of-seven Japan Series, which will start Oct. 18.

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