China–Japan football rivalry

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China–Japan football rivalry
Teams China PR
First meetingJapan 0–5 China
Far East Asian Games
(9 May 1917)
Latest meetingJapan 2–1 China
2017 EAFF E-1 Championshop
(12 December 2017)
Next meetingTBD
Meetings total37
Most winsChina (15), Japan (14)
Largest victory Japan 0–5 China
Far East Asian Games
(9 May 1917)

China 5–0 Japan
Nehru Cup
(31 January 1983)

China–Japan football rivalry is a competitive sports rivalry that exists between the national football teams of the two countries, as well as their respective sets of fans.

The rivalry has a long history exists between China and Japan. One of the main reason defining the heat of the serious rivalry exists between two countries is due to historical grievances throughout history of two nations.[1] Two national teams faced up for the first time in 1917, and since then, had played against each other 38 times. Historical tensions had also stemmed the rivalry into one of the most heated rivalry in Asia and a bitter rivalry in the world.


China and Japan shared a relatively long and complicated history. Japan used to be under heavy Chinese influence throughout history, and is part of Sinosphere world. However, Japan often had desires to conquer China and to become new Asian leader. The Japanese tried to invade China via. Korea during the Japanese invasion to Korea, but no avail. In 19th century, Japan transformed from a feudal state into an empire with modern industries, defeating China in the First Sino-Japanese War. This made Japan the dominant Asian power.

Japan and China's tensions escalated into the Second Sino-Japanese War, which Japan invaded and occupied entire of Eastern and Southern China, committing horrible atrocities such as Nanking Massacre. As for the result, relations between two nations has been tense since and with the recent rise of China after years of humiliation, rivalry has become tenser.

Thus, football is not an exception, when both fans used football to fuel the nationalistic ideas.


Prior to 1990s, China was one of Asia's dominant teams while Japan's football development was still limited in amateur level, partly due to little interests of development for football in Japan and high American influence. Thus, Japan often suffered defeats to China. But with the rapid rise of Japan since 1990s, the tie has changed from China to Japan, and since 1998, China has not beaten Japan again.

Despite China is leading the record with 16 wins comparing to 14 wins of Japan, Japan is far more successful than China, winning four AFC Asian Cup and has played in every FIFA World Cup since 1998; while China only won silver medals in two Asian Cup and qualified for just one World Cup.

# Date Venue Competition Home team Score Away team Goals (home) Goals (away)
1 9 May 1917 Shibaura Ground, Tokyo Far Eastern Championship Games Japan 0–5 China Guo Goal 3'22', Guan Goal 28', Tang Goal 30'-'
2 1 June 1921 Shanghai Far Eastern Championship Games China 4–1 Japan
3 24 May 1923 Osaka Far Eastern Championship Games Japan 1–5 China
4 20 May 1925 Rizal Memorial Stadium, Manila Far Eastern Championship Games Japan 0–2 China Lee Wai Tong Goal -'-'
5 27 August 1927 Zhonghua Stadium, Shanghai Far Eastern Championship Games China 5–1 Japan Suen Kam Shun Goal 19'30', Kai Bingfen Goal 21'-'73' Misao Tamai Goal 41'
6 30 May 1930 Meiji Jingu Gaien Stadium, Tokyo Far Eastern Championship Games Japan 3–3 China Shiro Teshima Goal 23', Tadao Takayama Goal 57', Hideo Shinojima Goal 73' Suen Kam Shun Goal 40', Chan Kwong Yiu Goal 60', Dai Linjing Goal 70'
7 20 May 1934 Rizal Memorial Stadium, Manila Far Eastern Championship Games China 4–3 Japan Tam Kong Pak Goal 6'11', Lee Wai Tong Goal 65'76' (pen.) Akira Nozawa Goal 60'72', Takeshi Natori Goal 74'
8 1 May 1966 Unknown Friendly Japan 1–2 China
9 23 June 1975 Government Stadium, Hong Kong 1976 AFC Asian Cup qualification China 2–1 Japan Li Yutie Goal 6', Ke Wushang Goal 20' Kozo Arai Goal 43'
10 11 June 1980 Tianhe Stadium, Guangzhou Friendly China 1–0 Japan Li Xiangfu Goal 67'
11 26 December 1980 Hong Kong Stadium, Hong Kong 1982 FIFA World Cup qualification China 1–0 Japan Rong Zhihang Goal 7'
12 2 June 1981 Omiya Football Stadium, Saitama Friendly Japan 0–0 China
13 30 September 1981 Singapore Lion City Cup Japan 2–0 China
14 31 January 1983 Kochi Nehru Cup China 5–0 Japan
15 31 May 1984 Omiya Football Stadium, Saitama Kirin Cup Japan 1–0 China Hisashi Kato Goal 84' (pen.)
16 27 July 1986 Merdeka Stadium, Kuala Lumpur Merdeka Cup Japan 4–2 China Hisashi Kaneko Goal 8'55', Hiromi Hara Goal 75', Satoshi Tezuka Goal 76' Li Zheng Goal 44', Wang Yong Goal 77'
17 2 June 1988 Mizuho Stadium, Nagoya Kirin Cup Japan 0–3 China Wang Baoshan Goal 24', Gao Sheng Goal 41', Ma Lin Goal 45'
18 10 May 1990 Nishigaoka Stadium, Tokyo Friendly Japan 2–2 China Tomoyuki Kajino Goal 17', Osamu Maeda Goal 56' Goal 14' (o.g.), Zhang Shaowen Goal 63'
19 13 May 1990 Okayama Stadium, Okayama Friendly Japan 2–0 China Osamu Maeda Goal 26', Mitsunori Yoshida Goal 40'
20 29 July 1990 Workers' Stadium, Beijing Dynasty Cup China 1–0 Japan Wu Qunli Goal 77'
21 24 August 1992 Workers' Stadium, Beijing Dynasty Cup China 0–2 Japan Masahiro Fukuda Goal 38', Takuya Takagi Goal 82'
22 6 November 1992 Hiroshima Stadium, Hiroshima Asian Cup Japan 3–2 China Masahiro Fukuda Goal 48', Tsuyoshi Kitazawa Goal 57', Masashi Nakayama Goal 84' Xie Yuxin Goal 1', Li Xiao Goal 70'
23 18 May 1993 Shanghai East Asian Games China 3–2 Japan
24 23 February 1995 Mong Kok Stadium, Hong Kong Dynasty Cup Japan 2–1 China Toshiya Fujita Goal 16', Hisashi Kurosaki Goal 22' Gao Feng Goal 55'
25 12 December 1996 Tahnoun bin Mohamed Stadium, Al Ain Asian Cup Japan 1–0 China Naoki Soma Goal 90'
26 7 March 1998 National Stadium, Tokyo Dynasty Cup Japan 0–2 China Li Bing Goal 9'50'
27 15 March 2000 Universiade Memorial Stadium, Kobe Friendly Japan 0–0 China
28 26 October 2000 Camille Chamoun Sports City Stadium, Beirut Asian Cup China 2–3 Japan Qi Hong Goal 30', Yang Chen Goal 48' Fan Zhiyi Goal 21' (o.g.), Akinori Nishizawa Goal 53', Tomokazu Myojin Goal 61'
29 8 October 2002 Masan Stadium, Changwon Asian Games China 0–1 Japan Satoshi Nakayama Goal 60'
30 4 December 2003 National Stadium, Tokyo EAFF Championship Japan 2–0 China Tatsuhiko Kubo Goal 4'80'
31 7 August 2004 Workers' Stadium, Beijing Asian Cup China 1–3 Japan Li Ming Goal 31' Takashi Fukunishi Goal 22', Koji Nakata Goal 65', Keiji Tamada Goal 90+1'
32 3 August 2005 Daejeon World Cup Stadium, Daejeon EAFF Championship Japan 2–2 China Teruyuki Moniwa Goal 59', Tatsuya Tanaka Goal 87' Li Jinyu Goal 37', Zhang Yonghai Goal 43'
33 20 February 2008 Chongqing Olympic Sports Center, Chongqing EAFF Championship China 0–1 Japan Koji Yamase Goal 17'
34 6 February 2010 Tokyo Stadium, Tokyo EAFF Championship Japan 0–0 China
35 21 July 2013 Seoul World Cup Stadium, Seoul EAFF Championship Japan 3–3 China Yuzo Kurihara Goal 32', Yoichiro Kakitani Goal 59', Masato Kudo Goal 60' Wang Yongpo Goal 4' (pen.)80' (pen.), Sun Ke Goal 86'
36 9 August 2015 Wuhan Sports Center Stadium, Wuhan EAFF Championship China 1–1 Japan Wu Lei Goal 10' Yuki Muto Goal 41'
37 12 December 2017 Ajinomoto Stadium, Chōfu EAFF Championship Japan 2–1 China Yu Kobayashi Goal 84', Gen Shōji Goal 88' Yu Dabao Goal 90+3'


As of 12 December 2017

Competition China wins Draws Japan wins
Total 15 8 14

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mangan, J.A.; Kim, Hyun-Duck; Cruz, Angelita; Kang, Gi-Heun (2013). "Rivalries: China, Japan and South Korea – Memory, Modernity, Politics, Geopolitics – and Sport". The International Journal of the History of Sport. 30 (10): 1130–1152. doi:10.1080/09523367.2013.800046.