Japan national basketball team

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Japan Japan 日本
Japan Basketball Association.gif
FIBA ranking 34 Decrease1
Joined FIBA 1936
FIBA zone FIBA Asia
National federation Japan Basketball Association
Coach Kenji Hasegawa
Olympic Games
Appearances 6 (First in 1936)
Medals None
FIBA World Cup
Appearances 4 (First in 1963)
Medals None
Asian Championships
Appearances 24 (First in 1960)
Medals Gold medal asia.svg Gold: 1965, 1971
Silver medal asia.svg Silver: 1969, 1975, 1979, 1983, 1997
Bronze medal asia.svg Bronze: 1960, 1967, 1977, 1981, 1987, 1991, 1995
Asian Games
Appearances 16 (First in 1951)
Medals Silver medal asia.svg Silver: 1951, 1962
Bronze medal asia.svg Bronze: 1954, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994
Kit body thinsidesonwhite.png
Light jersey
Kit shorts blanksides2.png
Team colours
Kit body thinredsides.png
Dark jersey
Kit shorts redsides.png
Team colours
Former logo of the Japan Basketball Association JABBA
Takuya Kawamura has drawn the interest of scouts worldwide
Kosuke Takeuchi has been the face of the national team for many years

The Japanese national basketball team represents Japan in international basketball competitions. It is governed by the Japan Basketball Association (JBA). (Japanese: 日本バスケットボール協会)[1] A 1936 founding member of FIBA Asia, Japan has one of Asia's longest basketball traditions.

Japan has one of the most successful basketball teams in Asia. It has won the Asian Basketball Championships twice and is the second leading nation in qualifications to the event. The team qualified for the Olympic Games six times and for the FIBA World Cup four times.

In the last decades, Japan brought forth several of Asia's elite basketball players who competed in the NBA and in Europe. These players include Yuta Tabuse, J.R. Sakuragi, Takuya Kawamura, Takumi Ishizaki and others. However, they rarely play for the national team, which caused Team Japan to fall behind Asia's elite competition from Iran, South Korea, Philippines and China.


Japan's national team had its first international tournament at the 3rd Far Eastern Games held in Tokyo in 1917. Japan representative at this time was the team of the Kyoto YMCA. Later, the team was a founding member of the Olympics Basketball competition in Berlin 1936. Henceforth, they participated almost every time until 1976. Team Japan was a regular at world tournaments. It had its debut at the FIBA World Championship in 1963. It was the top team in Asia, as it won the championship there in 1965 and 1971. Since the rise of China, Japan declined a little bit and appearances at global events became scarcer.

As runner-up at the Fukuoka Universiade in 1995, Team Nippon (as the Japanese are also called) had a streak of success and qualified for the 1998 FIBA World Championship, its first qualification in over 30 years. Coached by the Croat Željko Pavličević, the team played well but did not make it out of the primary round, where it lost its fourth-place battle against former Semi-finalist New Zealand.

In recent years, Japan played against more intense competition from the Middle East. Combined with many player absences from the team, Team Nippon struggled to win medals at the Asian Championships since its silver medal in 1997. At the 2008 event in their home country (Tokushima), the team finished at the 8th position and missed qualification for both the Beijing Olympic Tournament and qualification to the 2010 FIBA World Championship. At the 2009 FIBA Asia tournament the team sank to No. 10 position, its worst performance. This was partly due to the change of the head coach just before the tournament.

To better the results, the American coach Tom Wisman took over the management of the team in 2010 and made some considerable improvements. Wisman just came off a phenomenal year in the Japanese Basketball League (JBL) where he had led Tochigi Brex to its first and only national title. At the FIBA Asia Stankovic Cup in 2010, Team Nippon was defeated by host Lebanon but exceeded expectations as it finished as runner-up. At the 2011 FIBA Asia Championship, the listed goal of the Final Four was missed as the team reached the 7th position out of 15. The team managed to defeate finalists, Jordan, but then had to play Korea in the first playoff round and were defeated.

In March 2012, the Japan Association dismissed Wissmann and the country's coaching legend Kimikazu Suzuki took over the reigns of the team. Suzuki, concurrently coaching the Aisin Seahorses had initial success as Team Nippon finished Runner-up at the next FIBA Asian Cup which was held in Tokyo in September 2012. Aimed at the acquisition of a 2014 FIBA World Cup berth, the team finished the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship at the 9th position where it lost its last three games.


Olympic Games[edit]

Year Position Tournament Host
1936 9 Basketball at the 1936 Summer Olympics Berlin, Germany
1956 10 Basketball at the 1956 Summer Olympics Melbourne, Australia
1960 15 Basketball at the 1960 Summer Olympics Rome, Italy
1964 10 Basketball at the 1964 Summer Olympics Tokyo, Japan
1972 14 Basketball at the 1972 Summer Olympics Munich, Germany
1976 11 Basketball at the 1976 Summer Olympics Montreal, Canada
2016 TBD Basketball at the 2016 Summer Olympics Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

FIBA World championship[edit]

Year Position Tournament Host
1963 13 1963 FIBA World Championship Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
1967 11 1967 FIBA World Championship Uruguay
1998 14 1998 FIBA World Championship Athens, Greece
2006 20 2006 FIBA World Championship Japan

FIBA Asia championship[edit]

Year Position Tournament Host
1960 3rd 1960 ABC Championship Manila, Philippines
1963 1963 ABC Championship Taipei City, Chinese Taipei
1965 1st 1965 ABC Championship Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
1967 3rd 1967 ABC Championship Seoul, South Korea
1969 2nd 1969 ABC Championship Bangkok, Thailand
1971 1st 1971 ABC Championship Tokyo, Japan
1973 4 1973 ABC Championship Manila, Philippines
1975 2nd 1975 ABC Championship Bangkok, Thailand
1977 3rd 1977 ABC Championship Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
1979 2nd 1979 ABC Championship Nagoya, Japan
1981 3rd 1981 ABC Championship Calcutta, India
1983 2nd 1983 ABC Championship Hong Kong
1985 5 1985 ABC Championship Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
1987 3rd 1987 ABC Championship Bangkok, Thailand
1989 4 1989 ABC Championship Beijing, China
1991 3rd 1991 ABC Championship Kobe, Japan
1993 7 1993 ABC Championship Jakarta, Indonesia
1995 3rd 1995 ABC Championship Seoul, South Korea
1997 2nd 1997 ABC Championship Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
1999 5 1999 ABC Championship Fukuoka, Japan
2001 6 2001 ABC Championship Shanghai, China
2003 6 2003 ABC Championship Harbin, China
2005 5 2005 FIBA Asia Championship Doha, Qatar
2007 8 2007 FIBA Asia Championship Tokushima, Japan
2009 10 2009 FIBA Asia Championship Tianjin, China
2011 7 2011 FIBA Asia Championship Wuhan, China
2013 9 2013 FIBA Asia Championship Manila, Philippines

Current roster[edit]

Japan men's national basketball team - 2014 Asian Games roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Name Age – DOB Ht. Club
PG 4 Takumi Ishizaki (C) 30 – (1984-07-06)July 6, 1984 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
PF 5 Ryumo Ono 26 – (1988-01-06)January 6, 1988 1.97 m (6 ft 6 in) Chiba Jets Japan
SF 6 Makoto Hiejima 22 – (1992-04-02)April 2, 1992 2.00 m (6 ft 7 in) Aisin Seahorses Japan
SG 7 Takatoshi Furukawa 26 – (1987-10-20)October 20, 1987 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in) Link Tochigi Brex Japan
C 8 Atsuya Ota 30 – (1984-06-04)June 4, 1984 2.06 m (6 ft 9 in) Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix Japan
PG 9 Naoto Tsuji 25 – (1989-09-08)September 8, 1989 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in) Toshiba Brave Thunders Japan
PF 10 Kosuke Takeuchi 29 – (1985-01-29)January 29, 1985 2.06 m (6 ft 9 in) Hiroshima Dragonflies Japan
SG 11 Daiki Tanaka 23 – (1991-09-03)September 3, 1991 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in) Toyota Alvark Japan
SF 12 Tenketsu Harimoto 22 – (1992-01-08)January 8, 1992 1.98 m (6 ft 6 in) Toyota Alvark Japan
PG 13 Yuki Togashi 21 – (1993-07-30)July 30, 1993 1.67 m (5 ft 6 in) Texas Legends United States
SG 14 Kosuke Kanamaru 25 – (1989-03-08)March 8, 1989 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in) Aisin Seahorses Japan
PF 15 Joji Takeuchi 29 – (1985-01-29)January 29, 1985 2.07 m (6 ft 9 in) Hitachi SunRockers Japan
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

  • (C) Team captain
  • Club – describes last
    club before the tournament
  • Age – describes age
    on September 19, 2014

Head coaches[edit]

Past Rosters[edit]

2013 FIBA Asia Championship squad
Head Coach: Kimikazu Suzuki
Assistant Coach:

# Name Date of birth Height Pos Club
4 KJ Matsui 16 October 1985 188cm SG Toyota Alvark
5 Daiki Tanaka 3 September 1991 191cm F Tokai University
6 Makoto Hiejima 11 August 1990 190cm G Aisin Seahorses
7 Atsuya Ohta 4 June 1984 206cm C Higashimikawa Phoenix
8 Yuta Watanabe 13 October 1994 201cm SF George Washington University
9 Takahiro Kurihara 6 November 1987 192cm G Toshiba BraveThunders
10 Kosuke Takeuchi 29 January 1985 206cm PF Toyota Alvark
11 Ryota Sakurai 13 March 1983 194cm PG Levanga Hokkaido
12 J.R. Sakuragi 30 October 1976 203cm C Aisin Seahorses
13 Naoto Tsuji 8 September 1989 185cm PG Toshiba BraveThunders
14 Kosuke Kanamaru 8 March 1989 192cm F Aisin Seahorses
15 Sean Hiroshi Hinkley 3 April 1991 200cm PF Toyota Alvark

1936 Olympic Games: finished 13th among 21 teams

Riichi Cho, T.Nakae, S.Ri, K.Yokoyama, T.Kanakogi, M.Maeda, U.Munakata, S.Matsui

1956 Olympic Games: finished 10th among 15 teams

Setsuo Nara, Jose Rodriguez, Kenichi Imaizumi, Hiroshi Saito, Reizo Ohira, Hitoshi Konno, Takashi Itoyama, Manabu Fujita, Takeo Sugiyama, Tetsuro Noborisaka, Riichi Arai (Coach: M.Maeda)

1960 Olympic Games: finished 15th among 16 teams

Setsuo Nara, Shutaro Shoji, Hiroshi Saito, Takashi Itoyama, Takeo Sugiyama, Kenichi Imaizumi, Yasukuni Oshima, Shoji Kamata, Masashi Shiga, Takashi Masuda, Kaoru Wakabayashi, Hideo Kanekawa (Coach: M.Maeda)

1963 World Championship: finished 13th among 13 teams

Setsuo Nara, Takashi Masuda, Masashi Shiga, Yasukuni Oshima, Kaoru Wakabayashi, Keizo Okayama, Isamu Yamaguchi, Yoshikuni Awano, Fumihiko Moroyama, Katsuji Tsunoda, Kunihiko Nakamura, Yo****aka Egawa (Coach: Shiro Yoshii)

1964 Olympic Games: finished 10th among 16 teams

Takashi Masuda, Setsuo Nara, Masashi Shiga, Kaoru Wakabayashi, Fumihiko Moroyama, Katsuji Tsunoda, Kunihiko Nakamura, Yo****aka Egawa, Nobuo Kaiho, Akira Kodama, Katsuo Bai, Seiji Fujie (Coach: Marco Antonio de Venetis)

1967 World Championship: finished 11th among 13 teams

Kaoru Wakabayashi, Fumihiko Moroyama, Kunihiko Nakamura, Yo****aka Egawa, Akira Kodama, Masatomo Taniguchi, Nobuo Hattori, Kenji Soda, Masahiko Yoshida, Isao Kimura, Seiji Igarashi (Coach: Shutaro Shoji)

1972 Olympic Games: finished 14th among 16 teams

Kenji Soda, Masatomo Taniguchi, Nobuo Hattori, Kunihiko Yokoyama, Atsushi Somamoto, Hirofumi Numata, Shigeaki Abe, Mineo Yoshikawa, Kazufumi Sakai, Nobuo Chigusa, Satoshi Mori, Katsuhiko Sugita (Coach: S.Kasahara)

1976 Olympic Games: finished 11th among 12 teams

Hirofumi Numata, Shigeaki Abe, Satoshi Mori, Norihiko Kitahara, Hideki Hamaguchi, Kiyohide Kuwata, Koji Yamamoto, Yutaka Fujimoto, Shigeto Shimizu, Fumio Saito, Nobuo Chigusa, Shoji Yuki (Coach: Masahiko Yoshida)

1998 World Championship: finished 14th among 16 teams

Kenichi Sako, Maikeru Takahashi, Akifumi Yamasaki, Hiroshi Nagano, Makoto Hasegawa, Takehiko Orimo, Satoshi Sakumoto, Hiroyuki Tominaga, Takahiro Setsumasa, Makoto Minamiyama, Takeshi Yuki, Satoru Furuta (Coach: Mototaka Kohama)

2006 World Championship: finished 20th among 24 teams

Takehiko Orimo, Satoru Furuta, Takahiro Setsumasa, Shunsuke Ito, Joji Takeuchi, Kei Igarashi, Shinsuke Kashiwagi, Daiji Yamada, Ryota Sakurai, Kosuke Takeuchi, Takuya Kawamura, Tomoo Amino (Coach: Zeljko Pavlicevic)

See also[edit]