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Japan cancels soccer friendly match after earthquake


TOKYO — The Japan Football Association has canceled an exhibition game against Chile because of a powerful earthquake that struck the island of Hokkaido.

The Kirin Challenge Cup game was scheduled to be held Friday at Sapporo Dome and was to be Hajime Moriyasu’s first game in charge of the national team.

The powerful earthquake Thursday on Japan’s northernmost main island triggered dozens of landslides that crushed houses under torrents of dirt, rocks and timber, prompting frantic efforts to unearth any survivors.

At least nine people were killed, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said. Officials said at least 366 were injured, five of them seriously, and about 30 people were unaccounted for after the magnitude 6.7 earthquake jolted residents from their beds at 3:08 a.m.

Nearly 3 million households were left without power by the quake — the latest in an exhausting run of natural disasters for Japan.

Japan soccer officials said all players and staff from the Japan and Chile national teams were safe.

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