• Kyodo

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Japan will face Saudi Arabia, North Korea and Thailand in Group B at the Asian Under-23 Championship following the draw on Saturday for the competition that doubles as the continent’s final qualifier for next year’s Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Japan, semifinalist at the 2012 London Games, will be aiming to qualify for a sixth consecutive Olympics and 10th overall at the 16-team tournament in Qatar in January.

The top two teams from each of the four groups advance to the quarterfinals, with the top three teams from the knockout tournament earning their spots in Rio.

Qatar, Syria, Iran and China will face off in Group A. Iraq, South Korea, Uzbekistan and Yemen are in Group C, while Jordan, Australia, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam have been drawn in Group D.

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