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In a move to help mend political ties with China, the Japan Football Association said Tuesday the two nations and South Korea will play Under-21 international friendlies from August on a home-and-away format.

Japan will play the opener away to China on Aug. 7 and have the three other matches by the end of the year in the trilateral event aimed at meeting a request from Japanese business leaders, who are concerned about relations with China damaged by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s visits to the war-related Yasukuni Shrine.

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