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Japan will be placed in Pool A along with South Korea and six other teams in the first-round Asian qualifying tournament for the 2006 World Cup in Germany, Japan Football Association (JFA) executive Takeo Hirata said Wednesday.

According to Hirata, the Asian Football Confederation contacted the JFA to notify it that the pools for the tournament — which kicks off Feb. 18, 2004 — were determined by the results from the most recent World Cup and the qualifiers that preceded it.

The qualifying draw for all groups will be conducted by FIFA in Frankfurt on Dec. 5.

Japan will play its first match at home against a Pool B team, comprised of Qatar led by former Japan coach Phillippe Troussier and seven other teams, on the opening day.

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