Japan national football team

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Japan
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) サムライ・ブルー
(Samurai Blue)
Association 日本フットボール協会
(Japan Football Association)
Sub-confederation EAFF (East Asia)
Confederation AFC (Asia)
Head coach Vahid Halilhodžić
Captain Makoto Hasebe
Most caps Yasuhito Endō (152)
Top scorer Kunishige Kamamoto (80)
FIFA code JPN
FIFA ranking 50 Increase 2 (9 July 2015)
Highest FIFA ranking 9 (February 1998)
Lowest FIFA ranking 62 (February 2000)
Elo ranking 25 (6 July 2015)
Highest Elo ranking 8 (August 2001, March 2002)
Lowest Elo ranking 112 (September 1962)
First colours
Second colours
First international
 Japan 0–5 China 
(Tokyo; 9 May 1917)
Biggest win
 Japan 15–0 Philippines 
(Tokyo; 27 September 1967)
Biggest defeat
 Japan 2–15 Philippines 
(Tokyo; 10 May 1917)
World Cup
Appearances 5 (First in 1998)
Best result Round of 16: 2002 and 2010
Asian Cup
Appearances 8 (First in 1988)
Best result Champions: 1992, 2000, 2004 and 2011
Copa América
Appearances 1 (First in 1999)
Best result Group Stage: 1999
Confederations Cup
Appearances 5 (First in 1995)
Best result Runners-up: 2001

The Japan national football team (フットボール日本代表 Futtobōru Nippon Daihyō?) represents Japan in association football and is operated by the Japan Football Association (JFA), the governing body for association football in Japan. The current head coach is Vahid Halilhodžić.[1]

Japan is one of the most successful football teams in Asia, having qualified for the last five consecutive FIFA World Cups with second round advancements in 2002 & 2010, and having won the AFC Asian Cup a record four times in 1992, 2000, 2004 & 2011. The team has also finished second in the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup. Their principal continental rivals are South Korea and, most recently, Australia.

Japan is the only team from outside the Americas to participate in the Copa América, having been invited in 1999 and 2011.[2] Although they initially accepted the invitation for the 2011 tournament, the JFA later withdrew following the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.[3]

The Japanese team is commonly known by the fans and media as Futtobōru Nippon Daihyō (フットボール日本代表?), 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?).[4] Recently the team has been known or nicknamed as the "Samurai Blue", while Japanese news media still refer it to by the manager's last name, as "Halilhodžić Japan" (ハリルホジッチジャパン Hariruhojitchi Japan?), or "Halil Japan" (ハリルジャパン Hariru Japan?) in an abbreviated form.[5][6]

History[edit]

Japan against Brazil at Signal Iduna Park in Dortmund, Germany in the 2006 FIFA World Cup

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.[7] However Japan made it's 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, United Arab Emirates, and Qatar.

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 FIFA 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 defense of their continental title at the 1996 Asian Cup. The team won all their games in the group stage but were eliminated in the quarterfinals after a 2-0 loss to Kuwait.

The nation's first ever FIFA World Cup appearance was in 1998, where Japan lost all their games. The first two fixtures went 1–0 in favor of Argentina and Croatia, despite playing well in both games. Their campaign ended with a 2–1 defeat to Jamaica. 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 FIFA World Cup with South Korea. After a 2–2 draw with Belgium in their opening game, 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 June 8, 2005, Japan qualified for the 2006 FIFA 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.

During the 2010 FIFA 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.[8] Japan won its opening game of the 2010 FIFA World Cup defeating Cameroon 1–0 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 AC 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 FIFA Confederations Cup.[9]

Japan then started their road to 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil with numerous qualifiers. Throughout they suffered only two losses to Uzbekistan and Jordan, and drawing against Australia. Afterwards on October 12, Japan picked up 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 FIFA World Cup, becoming the first nation (outside of Brazil, who is hosting the tournament) to qualify.

Japan started their 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup 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 game 1–2 against Mexico and finished 4th place in Group A in the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup. 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 3rd 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 was placed into Group C at the 2014 World Cup grouped with 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 FIFA 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.

Javier 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 game 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 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 also named as man of the match. They faced Iraq and Jordan in their next group matches which they won 1–0 and 2–0. 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 UAE 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 nineteen 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.

Rivalries[edit]

Japan possesses a strong rivalry with South Korea. Japan has played 75 matches against the South Korean football team with 40 victories, 22 draws, and 13 losses. The football rivalry is long-seated and is often seen as an extension of an overall rivalry that runs deep between the two nations. Controversies occasionally flare up between matches between the two nations, most recently at the 2013 EAFF East Asian Cup, where at the final match of the tournament, played between South Korea and Japan on 28 July, South Korean fans booed the start of the Japanese anthem and later upped the political sloganeering with a banner that covered most of the width of one end of the ground that read, in Korean, "The nation that forgets history has no future."(Korean: 역사를 잊은 민족에게 미래는 없다),[10] apparently aiming at the Japanese leaders' reluctance to admit to wrongdoings during its militaristic and colonial past, after they displayed huge pictures of Ahn Jung-geun, who assassinated the first Prime Minister of Japan and then-Japanese Resident-General of Korea Itō Hirobumi back in 1909, and Yi Sun-sin, a Korean naval commander who is famed for his victories against the Japanese navy during the Imjin war in the Joseon Dynasty back in the 16th century.[11]

Japan began to develop a fierce rivalry with fellow Asian powerhouse Australia, shortly after the latter joined the AFC.[12] The rivalry is regarded as one of Asia's biggest football rivalries.[13] The rivalry is a relatively recent one, born from a number of highly competitive matches between the two teams since Australia joined the Asian Football Confederation in 2006.[14] The rivalry began at the 2006 FIFA World Cup where the two countries were grouped together. The rivalry 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.[15]

Team image[edit]

Fan Chanting[edit]

Japanese national team supporters are known for chanting "Nippon Ole" (Nippon is the Japanese term for Japan) at home matches.[16]

Kits and colours[edit]

Japan's current kit is provided by German company Adidas, the team's official apparel sponsor since 1986. The current contract with Adidas is set to end on December 31, 2015.[17]

The current home kit consists of a blue jersey with Japan's crest and flag on the chest, blue shorts with bright pink patches on the side and blue socks with pink tops. The away kit is neon yellow, accented with navy blue and orange. In 2011, Japan temporarily switched the color of the numbers from white to gold.

Prior to Adidas, Asics and Puma had been the team's official apparel sponsor. The national team kit design has gone through several alterations in the past. In the early 80s, the kit was white with blue trim. When Japan was coached by Kenzo Yokoyama (1988–1991) the kits were red and white, matching the colors of Japan's national flag. The kits worn for the 1992 AFC Asian Cup consisted of white stripes (stylized to form a wing) with red diamonds. During Japan's first World Cup appearance 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).

Japan uses blue and white rather than red and white due to a superstition. In its first major international competition, the 1936 Summer Olympics, Japan used a blue kit in the match against Sweden and Japan won the match by a score of 3–2.[18]

Home
1917
1950-1975
1975-1979
1979-1980
1980-1983
1983-1986
1986-1987
1988–91
1991-1992
1992–96
1996–98
1998–99
1999–2000
2001
2002–03
2004–05
2006–07
2008–09
2010–11
2012–13
2014–
Away
1980-1981
1984-1985
1985
1999–2000
2001
2002–03
2004–05
2006–07
2008–09
2010–11
2012–13
2014–

Sponsorship[edit]

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, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance, Sony, Asahi Shinbun, Konami, Mizuho Financial and Audi.[19]

Mascot[edit]

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

For the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the Pokémon character Pikachu served as the mascot.[20]

Competitive record[edit]

All time results[edit]

Recent results and fixtures[edit]

Date Opponent Result Score* Venue Competition
12 January 2015  Palestine 4–0 (W) Endo (8'), Okazaki (25'), Honda (44', pen.), Yoshida (50') Australia Newcastle Stadium, Newcastle, Australia 2015 AFC Asian Cup
16 January 2015  Iraq 1–0 (W) Honda (23', pen.) Australia Brisbane Stadium, Brisbane, Australia 2015 AFC Asian Cup
20 January 2015  Jordan 2–0 (W) Honda (24'), Kagawa (82') Australia Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Melbourne, Australia 2015 AFC Asian Cup
23 January 2015  United Arab Emirates 1–1, pen: 4–5 (D) Shibasaki (81') Australia Stadium Australia, Sydney, Australia 2015 AFC Asian Cup
27 March 2015  Tunisia 2–0 (W) Okazaki (78'), Honda (83') Japan Ōita Bank Dome, Ōita, Japan International Friendly (Kirin Challenge Cup 2015)
31 March 2015  Uzbekistan 5–1 (W) Aoyama (6'), Okazaki (55'), Shibasaki (79'), Usami (83'), Kawamata (90') Japan Ajinomoto Stadium, Tokyo, Japan International Friendly (JAL Challenge Cup 2015)
11 June 2015  Iraq 4–0 (W) Honda (5') Makino (9') Okazaki (33') Haraguchi (84') Japan Nissan Stadium, Yokohama, Japan International Friendly (Kirin Challenge Cup 2015)
16 June 2015  Singapore 0–0 (D) Japan Saitama Stadium 2002, Saitama, Japan 2018 FIFA World Cup (AFC) and 2019 Asian Cup qualification
2 August 2015  North Korea China Wuhan Sports Center Stadium, Wuhan, China 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup
5 August 2015  South Korea China Wuhan Sports Center Stadium, Wuhan, China 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup
9 August 2015  China PR China Wuhan Sports Center Stadium, Wuhan, China 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup
3 September 2015  Cambodia Japan Saitama Stadium 2002, Saitama, Japan 2018 FIFA World Cup (AFC) and 2019 Asian Cup qualification
8 September 2015  Afghanistan Iran Azadi Stadium, Iran 2018 FIFA World Cup (AFC) and 2019 Asian Cup qualification
8 October 2015  Syria Oman TBD, Oman 2018 FIFA World Cup (AFC) and 2019 Asian Cup qualification
13 October 2015  Iran Iran Azadi Stadium, Iran International Friendly
12 November 2015  Singapore Singapore National Stadium, Singapore, Singapore 2018 FIFA World Cup (AFC) and 2019 Asian Cup qualification
17 November 2015  Cambodia Cambodia Olympic Stadium, Phnom Penh, Cambodia 2018 FIFA World Cup (AFC) and 2019 Asian Cup qualification
24 March 2016  Afghanistan Japan Saitama Stadium 2002, Saitama, Japan 2018 FIFA World Cup (AFC) and 2019 Asian Cup qualification
29 March 2016  Syria Japan Saitama Stadium 2002, Saitama, Japan 2018 FIFA World Cup (AFC) and 2019 Asian Cup qualification
5 June 2016 TBA Japan Kashima Soccer Stadium, Kashima, Japan International Friendly (Kirin Challenge Cup 2016)

* Japan score always listed first

      Win       Draw       Loss

Coaching[edit]

Position Name
Head Coach Bosnia and Herzegovina Vahid Halilhodžić
Assistant Coach France Jacky Bonnevay
Assistant Coach Japan Makoto Teguramori
Fitness Coach France Cyril Moine
Goalkeeping Coach Spain Ricardo
Goalkeeping Coach Japan Yukiya Hamano
Fitness Coach Japan Naoki Hayakawa

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The following players were called in a 23-players list for 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup on 2-9 August.[21]
Caps and goals as of 16 June 2015, after the match against Singapore.

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Masaaki Higashiguchi (1986-05-12) 12 May 1986 (age 29) 0 0 Japan Gamba Osaka
12 1GK Shūsaku Nishikawa (1986-06-18) 18 June 1986 (age 29) 15 0 Japan Urawa Red Diamonds
23 1GK Shūichi Gonda (1989-03-03) 3 March 1989 (age 26) 3 0 Japan FC Tokyo
3 2DF Kōsuke Ōta (1987-07-23) 23 July 1987 (age 28) 5 0 Japan FC Tokyo
4 2DF Hiroki Mizumoto (1985-09-12) 12 September 1985 (age 29) 6 0 Japan Sanfrecce Hiroshima
5 2DF Tomoaki Makino (1987-05-11) 11 May 1987 (age 28) 17 2 Japan Urawa Red Diamonds
6 2DF Masato Morishige (1987-05-21) 21 May 1987 (age 28) 23 1 Japan FC Tokyo
14 2DF Hiroki Fujiharu (1988-11-28) 28 November 1988 (age 26) 1 0 Japan Gamba Osaka
15 2DF Daiki Niwa (1986-01-16) 16 January 1986 (age 29) 0 0 Japan Gamba Osaka
21 2DF Wataru Endo (1993-02-09) 9 February 1993 (age 22) 0 0 Japan Shonan Bellmare
22 2DF Koki Yonekura (1988-05-17) 17 May 1988 (age 27) 0 0 Japan Gamba Osaka
2 3MF Shōgo Taniguchi (1991-07-15) 15 July 1991 (age 24) 1 0 Japan Kawasaki Frontale
7 3MF Gaku Shibasaki (1992-05-28) 28 May 1992 (age 23) 8 3 Japan Kashima Antlers
8 3MF Yōsuke Kashiwagi (1987-12-15) 15 December 1987 (age 27) 3 0 Japan Urawa Red Diamonds
16 3MF Hotaru Yamaguchi (1990-10-06) 6 October 1990 (age 24) 17 0 Japan Cerezo Osaka
17 3MF Takuji Yonemoto (1990-12-03) 3 December 1990 (age 24) 2 0 Japan FC Tokyo
18 3MF Yūki Mutō (1988-11-07) 7 November 1988 (age 26) 0 0 Japan Urawa Red Diamonds
9 4FW Kensuke Nagai (1989-03-05) 5 March 1989 (age 26) 3 0 Japan Nagoya Grampus
10 4FW Shinzō Kōroki (1986-07-31) 31 July 1986 (age 28) 12 0 Japan Urawa Red Diamonds
11 4FW Takashi Usami (1992-05-06) 6 May 1992 (age 23) 4 1 Japan Gamba Osaka
13 4FW Shū Kurata (1988-11-26) 26 November 1988 (age 26) 0 0 Japan Gamba Osaka
19 4FW Takuma Asano (1994-11-10) 10 November 1994 (age 20) 0 0 Japan Sanfrecce Hiroshima
20 4FW Kengo Kawamata (1989-10-14) 14 October 1989 (age 25) 2 1 Japan Nagoya Grampus

Recent call-ups[edit]

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

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Yūji Rokutan (1987-04-10) 10 April 1987 (age 28) 0 0 Japan Vegalta Sendai 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup preliminary squad
GK Akihiro Hayashi (1987-05-07) 7 May 1987 (age 28) 0 0 Japan Sagan Tosu 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup preliminary squad
GK Masatoshi Kushibiki (1993-01-29) 29 January 1993 (age 22) 0 0 Japan Shimizu S-Pulse 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup preliminary squad
GK Eiji Kawashima (1983-03-20) 20 March 1983 (age 32) 72 0 Unattached v.  Singapore, 16 June 2015
DF Yasuyuki Konno (1983-01-25) 25 January 1983 (age 32) 87 2 Japan Gamba Osaka 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup preliminary squad
DF Tsukasa Shiotani (1988-12-05) 5 December 1988 (age 26) 2 0 Japan Sanfrecce Hiroshima 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup preliminary squad
DF Gen Shōji (1992-12-11) 11 December 1992 (age 22) 1 0 Japan Kashima Antlers 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup preliminary squad
DF Yuto Takeoka (1986-06-24) 24 June 1986 (age 29) 0 0 Japan Kawasaki Frontale 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup preliminary squad
DF Shintarō Kurumaya (1992-04-05) 5 April 1992 (age 23) 0 0 Japan Kawasaki Frontale 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup preliminary squad
DF Shun Ōbu (1992-11-24) 24 November 1992 (age 22) 0 0 Japan Nagoya Grampus 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup preliminary squad
DF Ken Matsubara (1993-02-16) 16 February 1993 (age 22) 0 0 Japan Albirex Niigata 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup preliminary squad
DF Naoki Kawaguchi (1994-05-24) 24 May 1994 (age 21) 0 0 Japan Albirex Niigata 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup preliminary squad
DF Takuya Iwanami (1994-06-18) 18 June 1994 (age 21) 0 0 Japan Vissel Kobe 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup preliminary squad
DF Naomichi Ueda (1994-10-24) 24 October 1994 (age 20) 0 0 Japan Kashima Antlers 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup preliminary squad
DF Yūto Nagatomo (1986-09-12) 12 September 1986 (age 28) 82 3 Italy Internazionale v.  Singapore, 16 June 2015
DF Maya Yoshida (1988-08-24) 24 August 1988 (age 26) 56 4 England Southampton v.  Singapore, 16 June 2015
DF Gōtoku Sakai (1991-03-14) 14 March 1991 (age 24) 24 0 Germany Hamburg v.  Singapore, 16 June 2015
DF Hiroki Sakai (1990-04-12) 12 April 1990 (age 25) 22 0 Germany Hannover 96 v.  Singapore, 16 June 2015
DF Atsuto Uchida (1988-03-27) 27 March 1988 (age 27) 75 2 Germany Schalke 04 v.  Uzbekistan, 31 March 2015
DF Daisuke Suzuki (1990-01-29) 29 January 1990 (age 25) 2 0 Japan Kashiwa Reysol v.  Tunisia, 27 March 2015 PRE
DF Kazuhiko Chiba (1985-06-21) 21 June 1985 (age 30) 1 0 Japan Sanfrecce Hiroshima v.  Tunisia, 27 March 2015 PRE
DF Tatsuya Sakai (1990-11-19) 19 November 1990 (age 24) 1 0 Japan Matsumoto Yamaga v.  Venezuela, 9 September 2014
MF Toshihiro Aoyama (1986-02-22) 22 February 1986 (age 29) 8 1 Japan Sanfrecce Hiroshima 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup preliminary squad
MF Ryota Morioka (1991-04-12) 12 April 1991 (age 24) 2 0 Japan Vissel Kobe 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup preliminary squad
MF Kosei Shibasaki (1984-08-28) 28 August 1984 (age 30) 0 0 Japan Sanfrecce Hiroshima 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup preliminary squad
MF Hidekazu Otani (1984-11-06) 6 November 1984 (age 30) 0 0 Japan Kashiwa Reysol 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup preliminary squad
MF Naoyuki Fujita (1987-06-22) 22 June 1987 (age 28) 0 0 Japan Sagan Tosu 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup preliminary squad
MF Yasushi Endō (1988-04-07) 7 April 1988 (age 27) 0 0 Japan Kashima Antlers 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup preliminary squad
MF Kotaro Omori (1992-04-28) 28 April 1992 (age 23) 0 0 Japan Gamba Osaka 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup preliminary squad
MF Ryosuke Yamanaka (1993-04-20) 20 April 1993 (age 22) 0 0 Japan Kashiwa Reysol 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup preliminary squad
MF Takuya Kida (1994-08-23) 23 August 1994 (age 20) 0 0 Japan Yokohama F. Marinos 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup preliminary squad
MF Makoto Hasebe (1984-01-18) 18 January 1984 (age 31) 90 2 Germany Eintracht Frankfurt v.  Singapore, 16 June 2015
MF Keisuke Honda (1986-06-13) 13 June 1986 (age 29) 73 29 Italy Milan v.  Singapore, 16 June 2015
MF Shinji Kagawa (1989-03-17) 17 March 1989 (age 26) 71 20 Germany Borussia Dortmund v.  Singapore, 16 June 2015
MF Hiroshi Kiyotake (1989-11-12) 12 November 1989 (age 25) 30 1 Germany Hannover 96 v.  Uzbekistan, 31 March 2015
MF Takashi Inui (1988-06-02) 2 June 1988 (age 27) 19 2 Germany Eintracht Frankfurt v.  Uzbekistan, 31 March 2015
MF Yōjiro Takahagi (1990-12-03) 3 December 1990 (age 24) 0 0 South Korea FC Seoul v.  Tunisia, 27 March 2015 PRE
MF Yasuhito Endō (1980-01-28) 28 January 1980 (age 35) 152 15 Japan Gamba Osaka 2015 Asian Cup
MF Hajime Hosogai (1986-06-10) 10 June 1986 (age 29) 30 1 Germany Hertha Berlin v.  Brazil, 14 October 2014
MF Taishi Taguchi (1991-03-16) 16 March 1991 (age 24) 3 0 Japan Nagoya Grampus v.  Brazil, 14 October 2014
MF Daigo Nishi (1987-08-28) 28 August 1987 (age 27) 1 0 Japan Kashima Antlers v.  Brazil, 14 October 2014
MF Takahiro Ōgihara (1991-10-05) 5 October 1991 (age 23) 1 0 Japan Cerezo Osaka v.  Venezuela, 9 September 2014
FW Yoshito Ōkubo (1982-06-09) 9 June 1982 (age 33) 60 6 Japan Kawasaki Frontale 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup preliminary squad
FW Yōhei Toyoda (1985-04-11) 11 April 1985 (age 30) 8 1 Japan Sagan Tosu 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup preliminary squad
FW Yu Kobayashi (1987-09-23) 23 September 1987 (age 27) 2 0 Japan Kawasaki Frontale 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup preliminary squad
FW Ken'yū Sugimoto (1992-11-18) 18 November 1992 (age 22) 0 0 Japan Kawasaki Frontale 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup preliminary squad
FW Shinji Okazaki (1986-04-16) 16 April 1986 (age 29) 93 43 England Leicester City v.  Singapore, 16 June 2015
FW Yūya Ōsako (1990-05-18) 18 May 1990 (age 25) 15 3 Germany Köln v.  Singapore, 16 June 2015
FW Yoshinori Mutō (1992-07-15) 15 July 1992 (age 23) 13 1 Germany Mainz 05 v.  Singapore, 16 June 2015
FW Genki Haraguchi (1991-05-09) 9 May 1991 (age 24) 5 1 Germany Hertha Berlin v.  Singapore, 16 June 2015
FW Yōichirō Kakitani (1990-01-03) 3 January 1990 (age 25) 18 5 Switzerland Basel v.  Tunisia, 27 March 2015 PRE
FW Mike Havenaar (1987-05-20) 20 May 1987 (age 28) 17 4 Finland HJK v.  Brazil, 14 October 2014
FW Junya Tanaka (1987-07-15) 15 July 1987 (age 28) 4 0 Portugal Sporting v.  Brazil, 14 October 2014
FW Yūsuke Minagawa (1991-10-09) 9 October 1991 (age 23) 1 0 Japan Sanfrecce Hiroshima v.  Venezuela, 9 September 2014

INJ Player withdrew from the squad due to an injury.
PRE Preliminary squad.
RET Retired from international football.

Records[edit]

Statistics below are from matches which the Japan Football Association consider as official.[22][23][24]

Rosters[edit]

Managers[edit]

As of 11 June 2015[25]
Manager Period Record
Matches Won Draw Lost Win %
Japan Masujiro Nishida 1923 2 0 0 2 0%
Japan Goro Yamada 1925 2 0 0 2 0%
Vacant 1925 2 1 0 1 50%
Japan Shigeyoshi Suzuki (1st) 1930 2 1 1 0 50%
Japan Shigemaru Takenokoshi (1st) 1934 3 1 0 2 33.33%
Japan Shigeyoshi Suzuki (2nd) 1936 2 1 1 0 50%
Japan Shigemaru Takenokoshi (2nd) 1940 1 1 0 0 100%
Japan Hirokazu Ninomiya 1951 3 1 1 1 33.33%
Japan Shigemaru Takenokoshi (3rd) 1954–56 12 2 4 6 16.66%
Japan Taizo Kawamoto 1958 2 0 0 2 0%
Japan Shigemaru Takenokoshi (4th) 1958–59 12 4 2 6 33.33%
Vacant 1960 1 0 0 1 0%
Japan Hidetoki Takahashi 1961–1962 14 3 2 9 21.43%
Japan Ken Naganuma (1st) 1963–1969 31 18 7 6 58.06%
Japan Shunichiro Okano 1970–1971 19 11 2 6 57.90%
Japan Ken Naganuma (2nd) 1972–1976 42 16 6 20 38.09%
Japan Hiroshi Ninomiya 1976–1978 27 6 6 15 22.22%
Japan Yukio Shimomura 1979–1980 14 8 4 2 57.14%
Japan Masashi Watanabe 1980 3 2 0 1 66.67%
Japan Saburō Kawabuchi 1980–1981 10 3 2 5 30%
Japan Takaji Mori 1981–1985 43 22 5 16 51.16%
Japan Yoshinobu Ishii 1986–1987 17 11 2 4 64.70%
Japan Kenzo Yokoyama 1988–1991 24 5 7 12 20.83%
Netherlands Hans Ooft 1992–1993 27 16 7 4 59.25%
Brazil Falcão 1994 9 3 4 2 33.33%
Japan Shu Kamo 1994–1997 46 23 10 13 50%
Japan Takeshi Okada (1st) 1997–1998 15 5 4 6 33.33%
France Philippe Troussier 1998–2002 50 23 16 11 46%
Brazil Zico 2002–2006 71 37 16 18 52.11%
Bosnia and Herzegovina Ivica Osim 2006–2007 20 13 5 3 65%
Japan Takeshi Okada (2nd) 2007–2010 50 26 13 11 52%
Japan Hiromi Hara (caretaker) 2010 2 2 0 0 100%
Italy Alberto Zaccheroni 2010–2014 55 30 12 13 54.54%
Mexico Javier Aguirre 2014–2015 10 7 1 2 70%
Bosnia and Herzegovina Vahid Halilhodžić 2015– 4 3 1 0 75%

Competitions[edit]

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

FIFA World Cup[edit]

FIFA World Cup Finals Record Qualifications Record
Hosts / Year Result Position GP W D* L GS GA GP W D L GS GA
Uruguay 1930 Did Not Enter - - - - - -
Italy 1934 - - - - - -
France 1938 Withdrew 3 2 1 0 8 1
Brazil 1950 Withdrew 38 30 4 4 35 12
Switzerland 1954 Did Not Qualify 2 0 1 1 3 7
Sweden 1958 Did Not Enter - - - - - -
Chile 1962 Did Not Qualify 2 0 0 2 1 4
England 1966 Did Not Enter - - - - - -
Mexico 1970 Did Not Qualify 4 0 2 2 4 8
West Germany 1974 4 1 0 3 5 4
Argentina 1978 4 0 1 3 0 5
Spain 1982 4 2 0 2 4 2
Mexico 1986 8 5 1 2 15 5
Italy 1990 6 2 3 1 7 3
United States 1994 13 9 3 1 35 6
France 1998 Group Stage 31st 3 0 0 3 1 4 15 9 5 1 51 12
South KoreaJapan 2002 Round of 16 9th 4 2 1 1 5 3 - - - - - -
Germany 2006 Group Stage 28th 3 0 1 2 2 7 12 11 0 1 25 5
South Africa 2010 Round of 16 9th 4 2 1 1 4 2 14 8 4 2 23 9
Brazil 2014 Group Stage 29th 3 0 1 2 2 6 14 8 3 3 30 8
Russia 2018 To be determined - - - - - -
Qatar 2022 To be determined - - - - - -
Total Round of 16 5/20 17 4 4 9 14 22 140 84 28 28 238 90

AFC Asian Cup[edit]