Japan national football team

Last updated

Japan
Japan national football team crest.svg
Nickname(s) サムライ・ブルー
(Samurai Blue)
Association Japan Football Association (JFA)
Confederation AFC (Asia)
Sub-confederation EAFF (East Asia)
Head coach Hajime Moriyasu
Captain Maya Yoshida
Most caps Yasuhito Endō (152)
Top scorer Kunishige Kamamoto (80) [1]
Home stadium New National Stadium (Tokyo)
FIFA code JPN
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First colours
Kit left arm jpn18a.png
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Kit body jpn18a.png
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Kit right arm jpn18a.png
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Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 28 Steady2.svg(19 December 2019) [2]
Highest9 (March 1998)
Lowest62 (December 1992)
Elo ranking
Current 29 Increase2.svg 6 (25 November 2019) [3]
Highest8 (August 2001, March 2002)
Lowest123 (September 1962)
First international
Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg  Japan 0–5 China  Flag of the Republic of China 1912-1928.svg
(Tokyo, Japan; 9 May 1917) [4]
Biggest win
Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg  Japan 15–0 Philippines  Flag of the Philippines (navy blue).svg
(Tokyo, Japan; 27 September 1967)
Biggest defeat
Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg  Japan 2–15 Philippines  US flag 48 stars.svg
(Tokyo, Japan; 10 May 1917) [5]
World Cup
Appearances6 (first in 1998 )
Best resultRound of 16 (2002, 2010, 2018)
Asian Cup
Appearances9 (first in 1988 )
Best resultChampions (1992, 2000, 2004, 2011)
Copa América
Appearances2 (first in 1999 )
Best resultGroup stage (1999, 2019)
Confederations Cup
Appearances5 (first in 1995 )
Best resultRunners-up (2001)

The Japan national football team (Japanese: サッカー日本代表, Hepburn: Sakkā Nippon Daihyō), nicknamed the Samurai Blue (サムライ・ブルー), represents Japan in international football and is controlled by the Japan Football Association (JFA), the governing body for football in Japan. The current head coach is Hajime Moriyasu, who is also the current coach of the Japan U-23 team.

Contents

Japan was not a major football force until the end of 1980s with its team just a small and amateur team, but since 1990s when Japanese football became fully professionalized, Japan has quickly emerged as the most successful teams in Asia, having qualified for the last six consecutive FIFA World Cups with second round advancements in 2002, 2010, and 2018, and having won the AFC Asian Cup a record four times, in 1992, 2000, 2004 and 2011. The team has also finished second in the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2019 AFC Asian Cup. Their principal continental rivals are South Korea, North Korea, China and most recently, Australia; though they also develop rivalries against Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

Japan was the first team from outside the Americas to participate in the Copa América, having been invited in 1999, 2011, 2015, and 2019 editions of the tournament, although they only played in the 1999 and 2019 events. [6]

History

Pre-war Era (1910s–1930s)

Japan's earliest international matches were at the 1917 Far Eastern Championship Games in Tokyo, where it was represented by a team from the Tokyo Higher Normal School. Although Japan made strong showings in swimming, baseball, and track and field, its football team suffered resounding defeats to the Republic of China and the Philippines. [7] Nevertheless, the game was promoted in Japanese schools in the 1920s. [8] The Japan Football Association was formed in 1921, [9] and Japan joined FIFA in May 1929. [8]

Japan's first "true" national team (as opposed to a university team chosen to represent the country) was fielded at the 1930 Far Eastern Championship Games, and drew with China for the championship title. [8] Shigeyoshi Suzuki coached the national team to its first Olympic appearance at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. [9] Japan was an entrant for the 1938 FIFA World Cup qualification, but withdrew before its scheduled qualifying match against the Dutch East Indies. [10]

After World War II began in earnest, Japan did not play in international competition, except for a handful of matches against Manchuria and other colonies. [8] Its last prewar match for purposes of Elo ratings was a friendly against the Philippines in June 1940. [11]

While Korea was under Japanese rule, several Koreans played in international competition for Japan, including Kim Yong-sik (1936–40), Kim Sung-gan (1940) and Lee Yoo-hyung (1940).

Post-war Era (1950s–1980s)

Japan playing Argentine club Racing de Cordoba at the 1981 President's Cup Racingcba-PresidentCup1981.png
Japan playing Argentine club Racing de Córdoba at the 1981 President's Cup

Japan's postwar debut was in the 1951 Asian Games in India. [11] Japan re-joined FIFA in 1950 and played in qualifiers for the 1954 FIFA World Cup, but lost the AFC qualifying berth to South Korea after two matches, beginning an intense rivalry. [9] Japan also joined the Asian Football Confederation in 1954. [8]

Dettmar Cramer joined the Japan national team as coach in 1960, and helped lead the team to the round of eight at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. [12] Japan's first major achievement in international football came in the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, where the team won the bronze medal. Although this result earned the sport increased recognition in Japan, the absence of a professional domestic league hindered its growth and Japan would not qualify for the FIFA World Cup until 30 years later. [13]

Japan made its first appearance in the Asian Cup in 1988, where they were eliminated in the group stage following a draw with Iran and losses to South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

The late 1980s saw concrete moves to professionalize the sport in Japan. JFA introduced a Special Licensed Player system in 1986, allowing a limited number of professional players to compete in the domestic semi-professional league. Action committees were held in 1988 and 1989 to discuss the introduction of a full professional league in Japan. [12]

1990s: rise

In 1991, the owners of the semi-professional Japan Soccer League agreed to disband the league and re-form as the professional J.League, partly to raise the sport's profile and to strengthen the national team program. The following year Japan hosted and won the Asian Cup in their second appearance, defeating Saudi Arabia 1–0 in the final. The J.League was officially launched in 1993, causing interest in football and the national team to grow.

However, in its first attempt to qualify with professional players, Japan narrowly missed a ticket to the 1994 World Cup after drawing with Iraq in the final match of the qualification round, remembered by fans as the "Agony of Doha". Japan's next tournament was a defence of their continental title at the 1996 Asian Cup. The team won all their games in the group stage but were eliminated in the quarter-finals after a 2–0 loss to Kuwait.

The nation's first ever World Cup appearance was in 1998, where Japan lost all their games. The first two fixtures went 1–0 in favour of Argentina and Croatia, despite playing well in both matches. Their campaign ended with a 2–1 defeat to Jamaica.

2000s

Japan against Brazil at Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund, Germany in the 2006 FIFA World Cup WM2006 BRA-JPN2.JPG
Japan against Brazil at Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund, Germany in the 2006 FIFA World Cup

In the 2000 Asian Cup, Japan managed to reclaim their title after defeating Saudi Arabia in the final, becoming Asian Champions for the second time.

Two years later, Japan co-hosted the 2002 World Cup with South Korea. After a 2–2 draw with Belgium in their opening match, the Japanese team advanced to the second round with a 1–0 win over Russia and a 2–0 victory against Tunisia. However, they subsequently exited the tournament during the round of 16, after losing 1–0 to eventual third-place finishers Turkey.

On 8 June 2005, Japan qualified for the 2006 World Cup in Germany, its third consecutive World Cup, by beating North Korea 2–0 on neutral ground. However, Japan failed to advance to the Round of 16, losing to Australia 1–3, drawing Croatia 0–0 and losing to Brazil 1–4.

2010s

During the 2010 World Cup qualification, in the fourth round of the Asian Qualifiers, Japan became the first team other than the host South Africa to qualify after defeating Uzbekistan 1–0 away. Japan was put in Group E along with the Netherlands, Denmark and Cameroon. [14] Japan won its opening match of the 2010 World Cup 1–0 against Cameroon, but subsequently lost to the Netherlands 0–1 before defeating Denmark 3–1 to advance to the next round against Paraguay. In the first knockout round, Japan were eliminated from the competition following penalties after a 0–0 draw against Paraguay.

After the World Cup, head coach Takeshi Okada resigned. He was replaced by former Juventus and Milan coach Alberto Zaccheroni. In his first few matches, Japan recorded victories over Guatemala (2–1) and Paraguay (1–0), as well as one of their best ever results, a 1–0 victory over Argentina.

At the start of 2011, Japan participated in the 2011 AFC Asian Cup in Qatar. On 29 January, they beat Australia 1–0 in the final after extra time, their fourth Asian Cup triumph and allowing them to qualify for the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup. [15]

Japan then started their road to 2014 World Cup in Brazil with numerous qualifiers. Throughout, they suffered only two losses to Uzbekistan and Jordan, and drawing against Australia. Afterwards, on 12 October, Japan earned a historic 1–0 victory over France, a team they had never before defeated. After a 1–1 draw with Australia they qualified for the 2014 World Cup, becoming the first nation (outside of Brazil, who hosted the tournament and qualified automatically) to qualify.

Japan started their 2013 Confederations Cup campaign with a 3–0 loss to Brazil. They were then eliminated from the competition after losing to Italy 3–4 in a hard-fought match but received praise for their style of play in the match. They lost their final match 1–2 against Mexico and finished in fourth place in Group A. One month later, in the EAFF East Asian Cup, they started out with a 3–3 draw to China. They then beat Australia 3–2 and beat South Korea 2–1 in the third and final match in the 2013 EAFF East Asian Cup to claim the title. The road to Brazil looked bright as Japan managed a 2–2 draw with the Netherlands and a 2–3 victory over Belgium. This was followed by three straight wins against Cyprus, Costa Rica and Zambia.

Japan was placed into Group C at the 2014 World Cup alongside the Ivory Coast, Greece and Colombia. They fell in their first match to Ivory Coast 2–1 despite initially taking the lead, allowing two goals in a two-minute span. They drew their second game to Greece 0–0. To qualify for the second round, they needed a victory against Colombia and needed Greece to beat Ivory Coast. Greece beat Ivory Coast 2–1, but Japan could not perform well against Colombia and were beaten 4–1, eliminating them from the World Cup. Alberto Zaccheroni resigned as head coach after the World Cup. In July 2014, former Mexico and Espanyol manager Javier Aguirre took over and Japan lost 0–2 to Uruguay in the first game he managed.

Aguirre would begin a strong revamp of the team, switching out Zaccheroni's long-used 4–2–3–1 formation for his own 4–3–3 and applied this with a roster of the J.League's finest, dropping many regulars. A 2–2 draw against Venezuela was followed by a 1–0 victory over Jamaica. However, they lost their following match to Brazil 4–0, with Neymar scoring all four goals. Japan's sights turned to January and their title defense at the 2015 AFC Asian Cup.

Japan national team vs Paraguay 2008 Japan national team anthem vs Paraguay.jpg
Japan national team vs Paraguay 2008

Japan won its opening match at the 2015 AFC Asian Cup in Group D against Asian Cup debutantes Palestine 4–0, with goals from Yasuhito Endō, Shinji Okazaki, Keisuke Honda via a penalty and Maya Yoshida. Okazaki was named man of the match. They then faced Iraq and Jordan in their next group matches, which they won 1–0 and 2–0 respectively. They qualified to knockout stage as Group D winner with nine points, seven goals scored and no goals conceded. In the quarter-finals, Japan lost to the United Arab Emirates in a penalty shootout after a 1–1 draw, as Honda and Shinji Kagawa missed their penalty kicks. Japan's elimination marked their worst performance in the tournament in 19 years.

After the Asian Cup, Aguirre was sacked following allegations of corruption during a prior tenure. He was replaced by Vahid Halilhodžić in March 2015. Japan started on a rough note during qualification, losing to the UAE 1-2 at home. They then picked up the pace in their other qualifier games against Iraq, Australia, and Thailand, picking up 5 wins and 2 draws. Then, on 31 August 2017, Japan defeated Australia 2–0 at home thus qualifying them for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, making it their sixth successive World Cup. However, the Japan Football Association decided to sack Halilhodžić on 9 April 2018, only ten weeks before the World Cup finals, citing reasons of a breakdown in relationship between coach and player, and poor recent friendly results, and appoint the Technical Director, Japanese coach Akira Nishino, who had managed the Japanese Under-23 team at the 1996 Olympics, as the new manager. [16]

Japanese players before match with Iran at 2019 AFC Asian Cup IRN-JPN 20190128 03.jpg
Japanese players before match with Iran at 2019 AFC Asian Cup

Japan made history in the 2018 FIFA World Cup by defeating Colombia 2–1, their first ever victory by any AFC team against a CONMEBOL team in an official tournament, [17] as well as Japan's first ever victory at the FIFA World Cup finals in UEFA nations. Their second match ended in a draw against Senegal, with one goal scored by Takashi Inui and the other by Keisuke Honda. [18] Japan were defeated in their last group game in the Group H against Poland 0–1, [19] leaving Japan and Senegal tied for second with an identical record, however, as Japan had received two fewer yellow cards, Japan advanced to the knockout stage on the Fair Play Points tiebreaker, the first team to do so. [20] The match with Poland caused controversy; as Japan were made aware of their advantage over Senegal with ten minutes left and decided to play an extremely conservative game, passing the ball around to one another and keeping it in their own box, seeking to avoid any bookings and didn't attempt to take any serious shots on goal, despite losing 0–1, with some fans booing the players. [21] [22] [23] The match received comparison to the 1982 World Cup Disgrace of Gijón, in which a similar game was played. [24] Japan were the only AFC team to have qualified to the knockout stage. [25] In the Round of 16 against Belgium, Japan took a surprising 2–0 lead with a goal in the 48th minute by Genki Haraguchi and another in the 52nd by Takashi Inui, but yielded 3 goals afterwards, including the winner by Nacer Chadli on the counterattack in the 94th minute. This was Japan's third time having reached the last 16, equaling their best result at a World Cup. [26] Japan's defeat to eventual third-place finishers Belgium was the first time a nation had lost a knockout match at the World Cup after taking a two-goal advantage since England lost to West Germany 2–3 in extra-time in the quarter-final of the 1970 edition. [27] [28] However, Japan's impressive performance was praised by fans, pundits and medias for their fighting spirits, as demonstrated by Japan's win over Colombia, a draw to Senegal and a strong counter offensive against heavyweight Belgium. [29]

Japan participated in the 2019 AFC Asian Cup and had an almost successful tournament. The team easily topped group F after defeating Turkmenistan 3–2, [30] Oman 1–0 [31] and Uzbekistan 2–1. [32] The team, however, got criticized for its defensive approach, as Japan won the group with only one goal margin wins in all three matches and two later knockout stage's matches as Japan only beat fellow powerhouse Saudi Arabia in the round of sixteen and dark horse Vietnam in the quarter-finals both with 1–0 margin. [33] [34] The semi-finals saw Japan put the best performance up to date, thrashing rival powerhouse Iran 3–0 to reach the final. [35] However, Japan's hope to win the fifth Asian Cup in two decades shattered with the team suffered a 1–3 loss to Aspire-based Qatar and finished runners-up of the tournament. [36]

Japan were invited to the 2019 Copa America, their second appearance at the tournament, and brought a young squad to the competition. They were in Group C with Uruguay, Chile and Ecuador. They lost their opening match, 0–4 to Chile. [37] Japan, however, bounced back well and managed to unluckily draw against football giants Uruguay 2–2, who (Uruguay) were deemed to been saved by VAR. [38] Japan needed a win against Ecuador to qualify for the knockouts, however they drew 1–1 and missed out due to inferior goal differences to Paraguay. [39] Aftermath saw Japan played a friendly game against the Paraguayans, and won 2–0 at home.

Japan was grouped with Myanmar, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Mongolia in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers. In a pretty easy group, Japan proved to be the dominant force in their group, having cruised Myanmar, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan without conceding a goal so far.

In December, Japan participated in the 2019 EAFF E-1 Football Championship hosted in South Korea. Coach Moriyasu summoned a young and inexperienced squad for the competition. With the young squad, Japan only managed to win against China and Hong Kong, and lost to rival South Korea, finished second in the competition.

Rivalries

South Korea

Japan maintains a strong football rivalry with South Korea. The football rivalry is long-seated and is often seen as an extension of an overall historic rivalry between the two nations.

Australia

Japan began to develop a fierce rivalry with fellow Asian powerhouse Australia, shortly after the latter joined the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). [40] The rivalry is regarded as one of Asia's biggest football rivalries. [41] The rivalry is a relatively recent one, born from a number of highly competitive matches between the two teams since Australia joined the AFC in 2006. [42] The rivalry began at the 2006 World Cup where the two countries were grouped together, and continued with the two countries meeting regularly in various AFC competitions, such as the 2007 AFC Asian Cup, the 2011 AFC Asian Cup Final and the 2013 EAFF East Asian Cup. [43]

China

Japan also has a long-standing rivalry with China, because of historical tensions between two countries in the past. China is leading the series with 16 wins, with Japan only has 14 wins; however Japan has achieved more successes than China.

Team image

Names

The Japanese team is commonly known by the fans and media as Sakkā Nippon Daihyō (サッカー日本代表), Nippon Daihyō (日本代表), or Daihyō (代表) as abbreviated expressions. Although the team does not have an official nickname as such, it is often known by the name of the manager. For example, under Takeshi Okada, the team was known as Okada Japan (岡田ジャパン, Okada Japan). [44] Recently, the team has been known or nicknamed as the "Samurai Blue", while Japanese news media during the 2018 FIFA World Cup still referred it to by the recently departed manager's (Akira Nishino) last name, as "Nishino Japan" (西野ジャパン, Nishino Japan). [45] [46]

Fan chanting

Fans waving flags in support of the Japanese national team. Japan national football team fans with rising sun flag.JPG
Fans waving flags in support of the Japanese national team.

Japanese national team supporters are known for chanting "Nippon Ole" (Nippon is the Japanese word for Japan) at home matches. [47]

Kits

Boeing 777-289 Samurai Blue Jet JAL JA8979 Boeing 777-289 Samurai Blue Jet 2018 No.1 (Starboard) at Haneda.jpg
Boeing 777-289 Samurai Blue Jet

The national team kit design has gone through several alterations in the past. In the early 1980s, the kit was white with blue trim. The kits worn for the 1992 Asian Cup consisted of white stripes (stylized to form a wing) with red diamonds. During Japan's first World Cup appearance in 1996 Asian Cup and in 1998, the national team kits were blue jerseys with red and white flame designs on the sleeves, and were designed by JFA (with the sponsor alternating each year between Asics, Puma, and Adidas). The 1996 design was reproduced in a special kit used against Syria on 7 June 2017.

Japan uses blue and white rather than red and white due to a superstition. Japan used blue shirts in a 3–2 victory over Sweden in the first game of its maiden major international competition, the 1936 Summer Olympics. [48] When Japan was coached by Kenzo Yokoyama (1988–1992) the kits were red and white, matching the colours of Japan's national flag. After failures at 1990 FIFA World Cup and 1992 Summer Olympics qualifications, the red shirt was scrapped.

In the 2013 Confederations Cup and the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, Japan temporarily switched the colour of the numbers from white to gold.

Japan's kit is provided by German company Adidas, the team's exclusive kit supplier since April 1999. [49] Before that, Asics and Puma had been the team's official apparel sponsor alongside Adidas.

Kit suppliers

Kit supplierPeriodNotes
Asics, Puma, Adidas –April 1999
Adidas April 1999–presentExclusive kit supplier

Kit deals

Kit supplierPeriodContract
announcement
Contract
duration
ValueNotes
Adidas
1999–present
7 November 2014
2015–2022 (8 years) [50] Disclosed [51]

Crest

JFA logo used on the kits (2009-2017) JFA Logo.svg
JFA logo used on the kits (2009–2017)

The crest or emblem of the national team was adopted in late 2017 as part of a larger rebranding by the Japan Football Association. [52] The crest features the Yatagarasu, a three-legged crow from Japanese mythology, holding a solid red football. The text "JFA" (for the Japan Football Association) is inscribed at the bottom of the crow. A red stripe is also present at the center of the shield behind the crow. The shield has a metallic gold trim and has a thicker black outline. The name of the country represented by the national team "Japan" is also inscribed within the black border. [53] [54]

The previous crest had a shield with a more complex shape. The ball held by the Yatagarasu had white details. The text "Japan" is absent and "JFA" is written in a different typeface. [53]

Sponsorship

Japan has one of the highest sponsorship incomes for a national squad. In 2006 their sponsorship income amounted to over 16.5 million pounds.

Primary sponsors include Adidas, Kirin, Saison Card International, FamilyMart, JAL, MS&AD Insurance Group, Asahi Shinbun, Mizuho Financial, Daito Trust Construction and KDDI.

Mascot

The mascots are "Karappe" (カラッペ) and "Karara" (カララ), two Yatagarasu wearing the Japan national football team kit. The mascots were designed by Japanese manga artist Susumu Matsushita. Each year when a new kit is launched, the mascots change uniforms.[ clarification needed ]

For the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the Pokémon character Pikachu served as the mascot. [55]

Recent results and fixtures

2019

2020

Coaching staff

Hajime Moriyasu, current head coach of Japan Hajime Moriyasu.jpg
Hajime Moriyasu, current head coach of Japan
PositionName
Head Coach Flag of Japan.svg Hajime Moriyasu
Assistant Coach Flag of Japan.svg Akinobu Yokouchi
Assistant Coach Flag of Japan.svg Toshihide Saito
Goalkeeping Coach Flag of Japan.svg Takashi Shimoda
Physical Coach Flag of Japan.svg Ryoichi Matsumoto

Players

Current squad

The following players were called-up for the 2019 EAFF E-1 Football Championship, held in December 2019.
Caps and goals as of 18 December 2019 after the match against South Korea.

No.Pos.PlayerDate of birth (age)CapsGoalsClub
11 GK Kosuke Nakamura (1995-02-27) 27 February 1995 (age 24)60 Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Cercle Brugge
231 GK Keisuke Osako (1999-07-28) 28 July 1999 (age 20)20 Flag of Japan.svg Sanfrecce Hiroshima
121 GK Ryosuke Kojima (1997-01-30) 30 January 1997 (age 22)00 Flag of Japan.svg Oita Trinita

52 DF Genta Miura (1995-03-01) 1 March 1995 (age 24)101 Flag of Japan.svg Gamba Osaka
192 DF Sho Sasaki (1989-10-02) 2 October 1989 (age 30)90 Flag of Japan.svg Sanfrecce Hiroshima
42 DF Shinnosuke Hatanaka (1995-08-25) 25 August 1995 (age 24)70 Flag of Japan.svg Yokohama F. Marinos
222 DF Daiki Hashioka (1999-05-17) 17 May 1999 (age 20)20 Flag of Japan.svg Urawa Red Diamonds
22 DF Daiki Suga (1998-09-10) 10 September 1998 (age 21)11 Flag of Japan.svg Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo
212 DF Taiyo Koga (1998-10-28) 28 October 1998 (age 21)10 Flag of Japan.svg Kashiwa Reysol
152 DF Tsuyoshi Watanabe (1997-02-05) 5 February 1997 (age 22)10 Flag of Japan.svg FC Tokyo

83 MF Yosuke Ideguchi (1996-08-23) 23 August 1996 (age 23)152 Flag of Japan.svg Gamba Osaka
183 MF Kento Hashimoto (1993-08-16) 16 August 1993 (age 26)70 Flag of Japan.svg FC Tokyo
63 MF Ryota Oshima (1993-01-23) 23 January 1993 (age 26)70 Flag of Japan.svg Kawasaki Frontale
163 MF Yuki Soma (1997-02-25) 25 February 1997 (age 22)30 Flag of Japan.svg Kashima Antlers
73 MF Keita Endo (1997-11-22) 22 November 1997 (age 22)20 Flag of Japan.svg Yokohama F. Marinos
143 MF Tsukasa Morishima (1997-04-25) 25 April 1997 (age 22)20 Flag of Japan.svg Sanfrecce Hiroshima
103 MF Teruhito Nakagawa (1992-07-27) 27 July 1992 (age 27)20 Flag of Japan.svg Yokohama F. Marinos
173 MF Ao Tanaka (1998-09-10) 10 September 1998 (age 21)20 Flag of Japan.svg Kawasaki Frontale
33 MF Shunta Tanaka (1997-05-26) 26 May 1997 (age 22)10 Flag of Japan.svg Osaka University

94 FW Musashi Suzuki (1994-02-11) 11 February 1994 (age 25)71 Flag of Japan.svg Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo
134 FW Ayase Ueda (1998-08-28) 28 August 1998 (age 21)60 Flag of Japan.svg Kashima Antlers
114 FW Kyosuke Tagawa (1999-02-11) 11 February 1999 (age 20)21 Flag of Japan.svg FC Tokyo
204 FW Koki Ogawa (1997-08-08) 8 August 1997 (age 22)13 Flag of Japan.svg Mito HollyHock

Recent call-ups

The following players have been called up to the Japan squad in the last 12 months.

Pos.PlayerDate of birth (age)CapsGoalsClubLatest call-up
GK Eiji Kawashima (1983-03-20) 20 March 1983 (age 36)910 Flag of France.svg Strasbourg v. Flag of Venezuela (state).svg  Venezuela , 19 November 2019
GK Shūichi Gonda (1989-03-03) 3 March 1989 (age 30)160 Flag of Portugal.svg Portimonense v. Flag of Venezuela (state).svg  Venezuela , 19 November 2019
GK Daniel Schmidt (1992-02-03) 3 February 1992 (age 27)50 Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Sint-Truiden v. Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg  Kyrgyzstan , 14 November 2019
GK Masaaki Higashiguchi (1986-05-12) 12 May 1986 (age 33)80 Flag of Japan.svg Gamba Osaka v. Flag of Bolivia (state).svg  Bolivia , 26 March 2019

DF Sei Muroya (1994-04-05) 5 April 1994 (age 25)100 Flag of Japan.svg FC Tokyo 2019 EAFF E-1 Football Championship INJ
DF Naomichi Ueda (1994-10-24) 24 October 1994 (age 25)110 Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Cercle Brugge v. Flag of Venezuela (state).svg  Venezuela , 19 November 2019
DF Shintaro Kurumaya (1992-04-05) 5 April 1992 (age 27)40 Flag of Japan.svg Kawasaki Frontale v. Flag of Venezuela (state).svg  Venezuela , 19 November 2019
DF Hayato Araki (1996-08-07) 7 August 1996 (age 23)00 Flag of Japan.svg Sanfrecce Hiroshima v. Flag of Venezuela (state).svg  Venezuela , 19 November 2019
DF Ryosuke Shindo (1996-06-07) 7 June 1996 (age 23)00 Flag of Japan.svg Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo v. Flag of Venezuela (state).svg  Venezuela , 19 November 2019
DF Yuto Nagatomo (1986-09-12) 12 September 1986 (age 33)1224 Flag of Turkey.svg Galatasaray v. Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg  Kyrgyzstan , 14 November 2019
DF Maya Yoshida (captain) (1988-08-24) 24 August 1988 (age 31)10011 Flag of England.svg Southampton v. Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg  Kyrgyzstan , 14 November 2019
DF Hiroki Sakai (1990-04-12) 12 April 1990 (age 29)611 Flag of France.svg Marseille v. Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg  Kyrgyzstan , 14 November 2019
DF Koki Anzai (1995-05-31) 31 May 1995 (age 24)40 Flag of Portugal.svg Portimonense v. Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg  Kyrgyzstan , 14 November 2019
DF Takehiro Tomiyasu (1998-11-05) 5 November 1998 (age 21)181 Flag of Italy.svg Bologna v. Flag of Mongolia.svg  Mongolia , 10 October 2019 INJ
DF Daiki Sugioka (1998-09-08) 8 September 1998 (age 21)30 Flag of Japan.svg Kashima Antlers 2019 Copa América U23
DF Tomoki Iwata (1997-04-07) 7 April 1997 (age 22)20 Flag of Japan.svg Oita Trinita 2019 Copa América
DF Teruki Hara (1998-07-30) 30 July 1998 (age 21)10 Flag of Japan.svg Sagan Tosu 2019 Copa América
DF Yugo Tatsuta (1998-06-21) 21 June 1998 (age 21)10 Flag of Japan.svg Shimizu S-Pulse 2019 Copa América U23
DF Tomoaki Makino (1987-05-11) 11 May 1987 (age 32)384 Flag of Japan.svg Urawa Red Diamonds v. Flag of El Salvador.svg  El Salvador , 9 June 2019
DF Gen Shoji (1992-12-11) 11 December 1992 (age 27)181 Flag of France.svg Toulouse v. Flag of El Salvador.svg  El Salvador , 9 June 2019 INJ
DF Ryosuke Yamanaka (1993-04-20) 20 April 1993 (age 26)21 Flag of Japan.svg Urawa Red Diamonds v. Flag of El Salvador.svg  El Salvador , 9 June 2019
DF Daigo Nishi (1987-08-28) 28 August 1987 (age 32)20 Flag of Japan.svg Vissel Kobe v. Flag of Bolivia (state).svg  Bolivia , 26 March 2019
DF Tsukasa Shiotani (1988-11-05) 5 November 1988 (age 31)71 Flag of the United Arab Emirates.svg Al-Ain 2019 AFC Asian Cup

MF Genki Haraguchi (1991-05-09) 9 May 1991 (age 28)5311 Flag of Germany.svg Hannover 96 v. Flag of Venezuela (state).svg  Venezuela , 19 November 2019
MF Hotaru Yamaguchi (1990-10-06) 6 October 1990 (age 29)483 Flag of Japan.svg Vissel Kobe v. Flag of Venezuela (state).svg  Venezuela , 19 November 2019
MF Gaku Shibasaki (1992-05-28) 28 May 1992 (age 27)453 Flag of Spain.svg Deportivo La Coruña v. Flag of Venezuela (state).svg  Venezuela , 19 November 2019
MF Takuma Asano (1994-11-10) 10 November 1994 (age 25)204 Flag of Serbia.svg Partizan v. Flag of Venezuela (state).svg  Venezuela , 19 November 2019
MF Shoya Nakajima (1994-08-23) 23 August 1994 (age 25)195 Flag of Portugal.svg Porto v. Flag of Venezuela (state).svg  Venezuela , 19 November 2019
MF Kyogo Furuhashi (1995-01-20) 20 January 1995 (age 24)10 Flag of Japan.svg Vissel Kobe v. Flag of Venezuela (state).svg  Venezuela , 19 November 2019
MF Takumi Minamino (1995-01-16) 16 January 1995 (age 24)2211 Flag of England.svg Liverpool v. Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg  Kyrgyzstan , 14 November 2019
MF Wataru Endo (1993-02-09) 9 February 1993 (age 26)221 Flag of Germany.svg VfB Stuttgart v. Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg  Kyrgyzstan , 14 November 2019
MF Junya Ito (1993-03-09) 9 March 1993 (age 26)172 Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Genk v. Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg  Kyrgyzstan , 14 November 2019
MF Daichi Kamada (1996-08-05) 5 August 1996 (age 23)41 Flag of Germany.svg Eintracht Frankfurt v. Flag of Kyrgyzstan.svg  Kyrgyzstan , 14 November 2019
MF Ritsu Doan (1998-06-16) 16 June 1998 (age 21)183 Flag of the Netherlands.svg PSV v. Flag of Tajikistan.svg  Tajikistan , 15 October 2019
MF Takefusa Kubo (2001-06-04) 4 June 2001 (age 18)70 Flag of Spain.svg Mallorca v. Flag of Tajikistan.svg  Tajikistan , 15 October 2019
MF Ko Itakura (1997-01-27) 27 January 1997 (age 22)30 Flag of the Netherlands.svg Groningen v. Flag of Tajikistan.svg  Tajikistan , 15 October 2019
MF Koji Miyoshi (1997-03-26) 26 March 1997 (age 22)32 Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Antwerp 2019 Copa América
MF Hiroki Abe (1999-01-28) 28 January 1999 (age 20)30 Flag of Spain.svg Barcelona B 2019 Copa América
MF Yuta Nakayama (1997-02-16) 16 February 1997 (age 22)10 Flag of the Netherlands.svg PEC Zwolle 2019 Copa América
MF Tatsuya Ito (1997-06-26) 26 June 1997 (age 22)00 Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Sint-Truiden 2019 Copa América
MF Taishi Matsumoto (1998-08-22) 22 August 1998 (age 21)00 Flag of Japan.svg Sanfrecce Hiroshima 2019 Copa América U23
MF Kota Watanabe (1998-10-18) 18 October 1998 (age 21)00 Flag of Japan.svg Yokohama F. Marinos 2019 Copa América
MF Shinji Kagawa (1989-03-17) 17 March 1989 (age 30)9731 Flag of Spain.svg Zaragoza v. Flag of El Salvador.svg  El Salvador , 9 June 2019
MF Yuki Kobayashi (1992-04-24) 24 April 1992 (age 27)81 Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Waasland-Beveren v. Flag of El Salvador.svg  El Salvador , 9 June 2019
MF Hidemasa Morita (1995-05-10) 10 May 1995 (age 24)30 Flag of Japan.svg Kawasaki Frontale v. Flag of El Salvador.svg  El Salvador , 9 June 2019
MF Takashi Inui (1988-06-02) 2 June 1988 (age 31)366 Flag of Spain.svg Eibar v. Flag of Bolivia (state).svg  Bolivia , 26 March 2019
MF Takashi Usami (1992-05-06) 6 May 1992 (age 27)273 Flag of Japan.svg Gamba Osaka v. Flag of Bolivia (state).svg  Bolivia , 26 March 2019
MF Toshihiro Aoyama (1986-02-22) 22 February 1986 (age 33)121 Flag of Japan.svg Sanfrecce Hiroshima 2019 AFC Asian Cup

FW Kensuke Nagai (1989-03-05) 5 March 1989 (age 30)123 Flag of Japan.svg FC Tokyo v. Flag of Venezuela (state).svg  Venezuela , 19 November 2019
FW Ado Onaiwu (1995-11-08) 8 November 1995 (age 24)00 Flag of Japan.svg Oita Trinita v. Flag of Venezuela (state).svg  Venezuela , 19 November 2019
FW Yuya Osako (1990-05-18) 18 May 1990 (age 29)4515 Flag of Germany.svg Werder Bremen v. Flag of Myanmar.svg  Myanmar , 10 September 2019
FW Shinji Okazaki (1986-04-16) 16 April 1986 (age 33)11950 Flag of Spain.svg Huesca 2019 Copa América
FW Daizen Maeda (1997-10-20) 20 October 1997 (age 22)10 Flag of Portugal.svg Marítimo 2019 Copa América
FW Yoshinori Mutō (1992-07-15) 15 July 1992 (age 27)293 Flag of England.svg Newcastle United 2019 AFC Asian Cup
FW Koya Kitagawa (1996-07-26) 26 July 1996 (age 23)80 Flag of Austria.svg Rapid Wien 2019 AFC Asian Cup INJ

INJ Withdrew due to an injury.
PRE Preliminary squad.
RET Retired from national team.
U23 Included in the U-23 National Team.
.

Most caps and goals

Statistics below are from matches which the Japan Football Association consider as official. [1] [56] [57] [58]

Updated to 14 November 2019:

Rosters

Coaches

As of 10 December 2019
ManagerPeriodRecord
MatchesWonDrawLostWin %
Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg Masujiro Nishida 192320020%
Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg Goro Yamada 192520020%
Vacant1925210150%
Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg Shigeyoshi Suzuki (1st)1930211050%
Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg Shigemaru Takenokoshi (1st)1934310233.33%
Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg Shigeyoshi Suzuki (2nd)1936211050%
Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg Shigemaru Takenokoshi (2nd)19401100100%
Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg Hirokazu Ninomiya 1951311133.33%
Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg Shigemaru Takenokoshi (3rd)1954–561224616.66%
Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg Taizo Kawamoto 195820020%
Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg Shigemaru Takenokoshi (4th)1958–591242633.33%
Vacant196010010%
Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg Hidetoki Takahashi 1961–19621432921.43%
Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg Ken Naganuma (1st)1963–196931187658.06%
Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg Shunichiro Okano 1970–197119112657.90%
Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg Ken Naganuma (2nd)1972–1976421662038.09%
Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg Hiroshi Ninomiya 1976–197827661522.22%
Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg Yukio Shimomura 1979–19801484257.14%
Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg Masashi Watanabe 1980320166.67%
Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg Saburō Kawabuchi 1980–19811032530%
Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg Takaji Mori 1981–1985432251651.16%
Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg Yoshinobu Ishii 1986–198717112464.70%
Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg Kenzo Yokoyama 1988–199124571220.83%
Flag of the Netherlands.svg Hans Ooft 1992–199327167459.25%
Flag of Brazil.svg Paulo Roberto Falcão 1994934233.33%
Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg Shu Kamo 1994–19974623101350%
Flag of Japan (1870-1999).svg Takeshi Okada (1st)1997–19981554633.33%
Flag of France.svg Philippe Troussier 1998–20025023161146%
Flag of Brazil.svg Zico 2002–20067137161852.11%
Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Ivica Osim 2006–200720135365%
Flag of Japan.svg Takeshi Okada (2nd)2007–20105026131152%
Flag of Japan.svg Hiromi Hara (caretaker)20102200100%
Flag of Italy.svg Alberto Zaccheroni 2010–20145530121354.54%
Flag of Mexico.svg Javier Aguirre 2014–20151071270%
Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Vahid Halilhodžić 2015–201836218757.58%
Flag of Japan.svg Akira Nishino 2018721428.57%
Flag of Japan.svg Hajime Moriyasu 2018–26184469.23%
ManagerPeriodRecord
MatchesWonDrawLostWin %

Competitive record

*Denotes draws includes knockout matches decided on penalty shootouts. Red border indicates that the tournament was hosted on home soil. Gold, silver, bronze backgrounds indicate 1st, 2nd and 3rd finishes respectively. Bold text indicates best finish in tournament.

FIFA World Cup

FIFA World Cup record Qualifications record
Hosts / yearResultPositionGPWD*LGSGAGPWDLGSGA
Flag of Uruguay.svg 1930 Did not enterNo qualification
Flag of Italy (1861-1946).svg 1934 Did not enter
Flag of France (1794-1815, 1830-1958).svg 1938 WithdrewWithdrew
Flag of Brazil (1889-1960).svg 1950 Suspended from FIFASuspended from FIFA
Flag of Switzerland.svg 1954 Did not qualify201137
Flag of Sweden.svg 1958 Did not enterDid not enter
Flag of Chile.svg 1962 Did not qualify200214
Flag of England.svg 1966 Did not enterDid not enter
Flag of Mexico.svg 1970 Did not qualify402248
Flag of Germany.svg 1974 410354
Flag of Argentina.svg 1978 401305
Flag of Spain.svg 1982 420242
Flag of Mexico.svg 1986 8512155
Flag of Italy.svg 1990 623173
Flag of the United States.svg 1994 13931356
Flag of France.svg 1998 Group stage31st300314159515112
Flag of South Korea (1997-2011).svg Flag of Japan.svg 2002 Round of 169th421153Qualified as hosts
Flag of Germany.svg 2006 Group stage28th301227121101255
Flag of South Africa.svg 2010 Round of 169th42114214842239
Flag of Brazil.svg 2014 Group stage29th30122614833308
Flag of Russia.svg 2018 Round of 1615th411267181332447
Flag of Qatar.svg 2022 To be determinedTo be determined
Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg Flag of the United States.svg Flag of Mexico.svg 2026
TotalRound of 166/21215511202912068262624785

AFC Asian Cup

Head-to-head records against other countries

As of 19 November 2019.

YearPldWDLGFGAGD
AFC498261104133960539+421
CAF3420685635+21
CONCACAF2716566230+32
CONMEBOL6316182963105–42
OFC6303108+2
UEFA112342355137186–49
Total7403501562341,288903+385

FIFA rankings

Last update was on 25 October 2018. Source: [63]

    Worst Ranking      Best Ranking      Worst Mover      Best Mover  

Japan's FIFA world rankings
RankYearGames
Played
WonLostDrawnBestWorst
RankMoveRankMove
28201923153526Increase2.svg 2933Decrease2.svg 7
5020181463541Increase2.svg 761Decrease2.svg 5
5720171363440Increase2.svg 757Decrease2.svg 11
4520161071245Increase2.svg 858Decrease2.svg 7
53201517115150Increase2.svg 558Decrease2.svg 8
5420141372454Increase2.svg 244Decrease2.svg 4
4720131983821Increase2.svg 248Decrease2.svg 7
2220121282219Increase2.svg 733Decrease2.svg 11
1920111595113Increase2.svg 1229Decrease2.svg 2
2920101884629Increase2.svg 1346Decrease2.svg 6
43200917113331Increase2.svg 443Decrease2.svg 9
35200819107232Increase2.svg 438Decrease2.svg 6
3420071375130Increase2.svg 746Decrease2.svg 5
    4720061994615Increase2.svg 149Decrease2.svg 13
15200520113613Increase2.svg 519Decrease2.svg 4
17200422172317Increase2.svg 429Decrease2.svg 1
2920031665522Increase2.svg 229Decrease2.svg 3
2220021355322Increase2.svg 838Decrease2.svg 4
3420011363426Increase2.svg 1144Decrease2.svg 9
    38200018106234Increase2.svg 1562Decrease2.svg 6
571999704333Increase2.svg 057Decrease2.svg 13
    201998187289Increase2.svg 1030Decrease2.svg 10
14199722117414Increase2.svg 420Decrease2.svg 2
21199613101220Increase2.svg 630Decrease2.svg 2
3119951764731Increase2.svg 741Decrease2.svg 8
361994934236Increase2.svg 1454Decrease2.svg 12
    43199316113243Increase2.svg 2344Decrease2.svg 1
661992Increase2.svgDecrease2.svg

Team records

A Japan match in 2007 Ri Ben Dai Biao VS peruDai Biao  (432439619).jpg
A Japan match in 2007
As of 23 January 2015 [64]
Biggest victory
15–0 vs Philippines, 27 September 1967
Heaviest defeat
15–2 vs Philippines, 10 May 1917
Most consecutive victories
8, 8 August 1970 vs. Indonesia – 17 December 1970 vs. India
8, 14 March 1993 vs. United States – 5 May 1995 vs. Sri Lanka
8, 26 May 1996 vs. Yugoslavia – 12 December 1996 vs. China
Most consecutive matches without defeat
20, 24 June 2010 vs. Denmark – 11 November 2011 vs. Tajikistan
Most consecutive defeats
6, 10 June 1956 vs. South Korea – 28 December 1958 vs. Malaya
Most consecutive matches without victory
11, 13 August 1976 vs. Burma – 15 June 1976 vs. South Korea
Most consecutive draws
4, 13 August 1976 vs. Burma – 20 August 1976 vs. Malaysia
Most consecutive matches scoring
13, 19 December 1966 vs. Singapore – 16 October 1969 vs. Australia
13, 7 February 2004 vs. Malaysia – 24 July 2004 vs. Thailand
Most consecutive matches without scoring
6, 18 June 1989 vs. Hong Kong – 31 July 1990 vs. North Korea
Most consecutive matches conceding a goal
28, 6 November 1960 vs. South Korea – 11 December 1966 vs. Iran
Most consecutive matches without conceding a goal
7, 19 November 2003 vs. Cameroon – 18 February 2004 vs. Oman

Honours

International

Bronze Medal: 1968
Runners-Up: 2001

Continental

Champions: 1992, 2000, 2004, 2011
Runners-up: 2019

Regional

Champions: 1992, 1995, 1998
Champions: 2013
Champions: 1930

Other

Champions: 1993, 2007
Champions: 2001

Minor-Friendly

Champions (11): 1991, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011

Individual awards

Years: 2002
Years: 2000, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2011

See also

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References

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  57. "Players Records". Japan National Football Team Database. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
  58. "El Presidente Figueredo Aguerre anunció la presencia del Japón en la Copa América Chile 2015" [President Figueredo Aguerre announced the presence of Japan at the 2015 Copa América in Chile] (in Spanish). CONMEBOL. 16 August 2013. Retrieved 1 July 2018. I want to announce that the Japan national team will participate at the 2015 Copa América.
  59. Sánchez Sandoval, Édgar (2 June 2016). "Copa América: Japón, el invitado más extraño" [Copa América: Japan, the most strange invitee] (in Spanish). Publimetro Chile. Retrieved 1 July 2018. Even in 2015, the japanese were asked to be part of the Copa América in Chile, but they withdrew again due to problems with their calendar and previously scheduled matches.
  60. González, Christian (4 May 2018). "Conmebol confirma a Japón y Qatar en la Copa América de 2019" (in Spanish). La Tercera. Retrieved 1 July 2018. CONMEBOL confirmed, via its website, what has been speculated several months ago: Japan and Qatar will be invited at the event that will be held in Brazil.
  61. "FIFA-ranking" . Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  62. "Team Records". Japan National Football Team Database. Retrieved 15 May 2014.
Preceded by
1988 Saudi Arabia  Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg
Asian Champions
1992 (1st title)
Succeeded by
1996 Saudi Arabia  Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg
Preceded by
1996 Saudi Arabia  Flag of Saudi Arabia.svg
Asian Champions
2000 (2nd title)
2004 (3rd title)
Succeeded by
2007 Iraq  Flag of Iraq (2004-2008).svg
Preceded by
2007 Iraq  Flag of Iraq (2004-2008).svg
Asian Champions
2011 (4th title)
Succeeded by
2015 Australia  Flag of Australia (converted).svg