Japan national football team

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 men's international football and it is controlled by the Japan Football Association (JFA), the governing body for football in Japan.

Japan
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)サムライ・ブルー
(Samurai Blue)
Since 19 October 2009[1]
Blue Samurai[2]
Rising Sun
Blues
AssociationJapan Football Association (JFA)
ConfederationAFC (Asia)
Sub-confederationEAFF (East Asia)
Head coachHajime Moriyasu
CaptainMaya Yoshida
Most capsYasuhito Endō (152)
Top scorerKunishige Kamamoto (75)[3]
Home stadiumJapan National Stadium
FIFA codeJPN
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 26 Increase 2 (19 November 2021)[4]
Highest9 (March 1998)
Lowest62 (December 1992)
First international
As not member of FIFA
 Japan 0–5 China 
(Tokyo, Japan; 9 May 1917)
As member of FIFA
 Japan 7–2 Philippines 
(Tokyo, Japan; 25 May 1930)
Biggest win
 Japan 15–0 Philippines 
(Tokyo, Japan; 27 September 1967) [5]
Biggest defeat
As not member of FIFA
 Japan 2–15 Philippines 
(Tokyo, Japan; 10 May 1917)[6]
As member of FIFA
 Japan 0–8 Italy 
(Berlin, Germany; 7 August 1936)
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 (as guest)
Appearances2 (first in 1999)
Best resultGroup stage (1999, 2019)
FIFA Confederations Cup
Appearances5 (first in 1995)
Best resultRunners-up (2001)

Japan was not a major football force until the end of the 1980s, with a small and amateur team. Since the 1990s, when Japanese football became fully professionalized, Japan has emerged as one of the most successful teams in Asia; they have qualified for the last six FIFA World Cups with second round advancements in 2002, 2010, and 2018, and 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. Japan remains the only team from the AFC other than Australia and Saudi Arabia to have reached the final of a senior FIFA men's competition.

Japan's progression in a short period has served as an inspiration and example of how to develop football.[8][9] Their principal continental rivals are South Korea, North Korea, China and, most recently, Australia; they also developed rivalries against Iran 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, though they only played in the 1999 and 2019 events.[10]

HistoryEdit

Pre-war Era (1910s–1930s)Edit

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.[11] Nevertheless, the game was promoted in Japanese schools in the 1920s.[12] The Japan Football Association was formed in 1921,[13] and Japan joined FIFA in May 1929.[12]

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.[12] Shigeyoshi Suzuki coached the national team to its first Olympic appearance at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin.[13] Japan was an entrant for the 1938 FIFA World Cup qualification, but withdrew before its scheduled qualifying match against the Dutch East Indies.[14]

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.[12] Its last prewar match for purposes of Elo ratings was a friendly against the Philippines in June 1940.[15]

While Korea was under Japanese rule, multiple 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)Edit

 
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.[15] 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.[13] Japan also joined the Asian Football Confederation in 1954.[12]

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.[16] 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.[17] Nonetheless, Japan had come close to qualify for the 1986 FIFA World Cup, but lost to South Korea in the deciding matches.

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.[16]

1990s: RiseEdit

 
A match vs. Argentina at Toulouse in France in 1998.

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 the 1992 Asian Cup and won their first title by defeating Saudi Arabia in a 1–0 win during 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, and the campaign ended with a 2–1 defeat to Jamaica. Japan impressed in all three games, however, with all three defeats were just one goal margin.

2000sEdit

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

 
A match vs. Belgium at Saitama Stadium 2002 on 4 June 2002

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.

The 2004 AFC Asian Cup hosted by China, the Japanese managed to retain the title, though its journey had been more troubling. Facing against an entirely hostile Chinese fans, the Japanese managed to top their group after two wins over Thailand and Oman, before overcame Jordan and Bahrain, both hard-fought games for Japan, to reach the final where they beat host China 3–1.

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.

The 2007 AFC Asian Cup saw Japan failed to defend the title. Although easily topped ahead of host Vietnam and two Arab rivals, Qatar and the UAE, the Japanese were totally exhausted in their game against Australia, where Japan won only by penalty shootout. Having been exhausted for the win, Japan lost to Saudi Arabia in the semi-finals before failed in the third-place match to South Korea.

2010sEdit

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, and was not expected highly due to unimpressive results in friendlies.[18] Despite this criticisms, Japan went on to shock its opening match of the 2010 World Cup with a 1–0 win against Cameroon, before subsequently lost to the Netherlands 0–1. Then, Japan resoundingly beat Denmark 3–1 to advance to the next round against Paraguay, making it the first time ever Japan progressed from the group stage without hosting the World Cup. In the first knockout round, Japan were eliminated from the competition following penalties after a 0–0 draw against Paraguay, but received praises for its outstanding performances.

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.[19]

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 in 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.[20]

 
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,[21] 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.[22] Japan were defeated in their last group game in the Group H against Poland 0–1,[23] 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.[24] 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.[25][26][27] The match received comparison to the 1982 World Cup Disgrace of Gijón, in which a similar game was played.[28] Japan were the only AFC team to have qualified to the knockout stage.[29] 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.[30] 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.[31][32] 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.[33]

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,[34] Oman 1–0[35] and Uzbekistan 2–1.[36] 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.[37][38] The semi-finals saw Japan put the best performance up to date, thrashing rival powerhouse Iran 3–0 to reach the final.[citation needed] 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.[39]

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.[40] 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.[41] 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.[42] 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.

Team imageEdit

NicknamesEdit

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).[43] 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).[44][45]

Kits and crestEdit

KitsEdit

 
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 first used blue shirts in the 1930 Far Eastern Championship Games, where a team of the Tokyo Imperial University (whose color is light blue) represented Japan wearing light blue shirts,[46] and then in a 3–2 victory over Sweden in the first game of its maiden major international competition, the 1936 Summer Olympics.[47] 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.[48] Before that, Asics and Puma had been the team's official apparel sponsor alongside Adidas.

On 3 June 2021, Japan has released the special 100th anniversary kit for friendly match against Jamaica, but the match was cancelled and replaced with against U-24 team, and the kit also used by U-24 team against U-24 Ghana on 5 June 2021.

Kit suppliersEdit
Kit provider Period Ref
None 1936–1978
  Mizuno 1979
  Puma 1980–1985
  Adidas 1986
  Mizuno 1987–1988
  Adidas 1989–1992
  Asics 1993–1998
  Adidas 1999–present

CrestEdit

The crest or emblem of the national team was adopted in late 2017 as part of a larger rebranding by the Japan Football Association.[49] The crest features the Yatagarasu, a three-legged crow from Japanese mythology that is a symbol for the sun, holding a solid red ball that is like the sun from national flag. 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.[50][51]

The previous crest used from 1996 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.[50]

Before 1988, Japan used the national flag outlined in red (and with JFA written in black on the lower left corner of the flag) on the shirts.

The Yatagarasu was first seen on the Japan shirts in 1988, where it was on a yellow circle with a blue outline with "JAPAN FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION" written around it. In 1991, the emblem changed to a white shield with a red vertical stripe on the center with the crow on it and "JFA" written in a green Gothic typeface. This crest was used until 1996.

Home stadiumEdit

Japan plays its home matches among various stadiums, in rotation, around the country. However, in majority in the final round of every FIFA World Cup qualification, plays at the Japan National Stadium.

RivalriesEdit

South KoreaEdit

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 2 nations. Japan have met South Korea 80 times, trailing the statistic at 15 wins, 23 draws, and 42 losses. Japan have scored 73 goals and conceded 153. Both countries have made themselves unrivalled in both Asian Cup and World Cup records, being the two most successful Asian countries, and they hosted the 2002 FIFA World Cup in a joint bid.

AustraliaEdit

Japan began to develop a fierce rivalry with fellow Asian powerhouse Australia, shortly after the latter joined the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).[52] The rivalry is regarded as one of Asia's biggest football rivalries.[53] 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.[54] 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.[55] Likewise, Australia and Japan also share a World Cup and continental records that is nearly unrivaled in Asia, and also similar that football is not the main sport in both nations until recently; yet hold an indistinguishable record that being the only three members from the AFC to have reached the final of any senior FIFA competition, the other being Saudi Arabia, both in the defunct FIFA Confederations Cup, albeit Australia achieved it when the country was still belonged to the OFC.[56]

ChinaEdit

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.

SupportersEdit

 
Fans waving national 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.[57]

 
A match against Peru in 2007

SponsorshipEdit

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.

Official partnerEdit

Company Period
Kirin Company 1 April 2015 – 31 December 2022
Dentsu 2007–2015, 20??–present

Official supplierEdit

Supplier Period
Adidas Japan April 2007 – March 2015, 1 April 2015 – present

Supporting companyEdit

CurrentEdit
Company Period
Credit Saison 5 November 2001 – 31 March 2022
Daito Trust Construction 1 November 2016 – 31 December 2022
FamilyMart 1 April 2001 – 31 March 2022
Japan Airlines 1999 – 31 March 2022
KDDI 25 August 2016 – 31 December 2022
Mizuho Financial Group 1 April 2013 – 31 March 2022
MS&AD Insurance Group 2 May 2008 – 31 March 2022
The Asahi Shimbun 1 April 2007 – 31 March 2022
Toyo Tires 1 May 2021 – 31 November 2022
FormerEdit
Company Period
Nissan April 2001 – March 2007
Daiwa Securities Group June 2007 – 20??
Sony Marketing Inc. 1 April 2007 – 31 March 2015
Audi Japan 26 May 2011 – 31 March 2015
Konami Digital Entertainment 25 March 2013 – 31 March 2015

Apparel providerEdit

CurrentEdit
Provider Period
Richemont Japan 2000 – 31 March 2019, 20??–present
FormerEdit
Provider Period
World Co. 1 April 2015 – 31 March 2017

ProviderEdit

CurrentEdit
Provider Period
Nishikawa Sangyo 1 April – 31 December 2015
FormerEdit
Provider Period
Hublot 1 October 2015 – 30 September 2016

MascotEdit

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.[58]

Media coverageEdit

FIFA World CupEdit

Television channel Period Ref.
Japan Consortium (NHK General TV, Fuji TV, Nippon TV, TBS and TV Asahi; all matches in live telecast) 2018

AFC Asian CupEdit

Television channel Period Ref.
TV Asahi 2019

Friendly and QualifiersEdit

FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC Third RoundEdit
Television channel Period Ref.
DAZN (all Group A and B matches), TV Asahi (Japan home matches only) 2021 [59]

Results and fixturesEdit

The following is a list of match results in the last 12 months, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.

Historical results

Legend

  Win   Draw   Loss   Void or postponed   Fixture

2021Edit

25 March FIFA International Friendly Japan   3–0   South Korea Yokohama, Japan
19:20 UTC+9
Report (JFA)
Report (JFA)
Report (SW)
Stadium: Nissan Stadium
Attendance: 8,356
Referee: Rowan Arumughan (India)
30 March 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Mongolia   0–14   Japan Chiba, Japan[note 1]
19:30 UTC+9 Report (FIFA)
Report (AFC)
Report (JFA)
Report (SW)
Stadium: Fukuda Denshi Arena
Referee: Omar Mohamed Al-Ali (United Arab Emirates)
28 May 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Japan   10–0   Myanmar Chiba, Japan
19:30 UTC+9
Report (FIFA)
Report (AFC)
Report (JFA)
Report (JFA)
Report (SW)
Stadium: Fukuda Denshi Arena
Attendance: 0
Referee: Hasan Akrami (Iran)
3 June Unofficial friendly Japan   3–0   Japan U-23 Hokkaido, Japan
19:30 UTC+9
Report (JFA)
Report (JFA)
Stadium: Sapporo Dome
Attendance: 0
Referee: Mohamed Darwish (UAE)
7 June 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Japan   4–1   Tajikistan Suita, Japan
19:30 UTC+9
Report (FIFA)
Report (AFC)
Report (JFA)
Report (JFA)
Report (SW)
Stadium: Panasonic Stadium Suita
Attendance: 0
Referee: Abdulrehman Al Jassim (Qatar)
11 June Kirin Challenge Cup Japan   1–0   Serbia Kobe, Japan
19:25 UTC+9
Report (JFA)
Report (JFA)
Report (SW)
Stadium: Noevir Stadium Kobe
Attendance: 0
Referee: Payam Heidari (Iran)
12 October 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Japan   2–1   Australia Saitama, Japan
19:10 UTC+9
Report (FIFA)
Report (AFC)
Report (JFA)
Report (JFA)
Report (SW)
Stadium: Saitama Stadium 2002
Attendance: 14,437
Referee: Abdulrahman Al-Jassim (Qatar)

2022Edit

21 January Friendly Japan   v   Uzbekistan Saitama, Japan
TBD Report (JFA)
Report (SW)
Stadium: Saitama Stadium 2002
27 January 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Japan   v   China PR
Report (FIFA)
Report (AFC)
Report (JFA)
Report (SW)
1 February 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Japan   v   Saudi Arabia
Report (FIFA)
Report (AFC)
Report (JFA)
Report (SW)
24 March 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Australia   v   Japan
Report (FIFA)
Report (AFC)
Report (JFA)
Report (SW)
29 March 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Japan   v   Vietnam
Report (FIFA)
Report (AFC)
Report (JFA)
Report (SW)

Coaching staffEdit

Current coaching staffEdit

As of 4 November 2021[61]
 
Hajime Moriyasu, current head coach of Japan
Role Name
Head coach   Hajime Moriyasu
Assistant coach   Akinobu Yokouchi
Assistant coach   Toshihide Saito
Assistant coach   Yusaku Ueno
Physical coach   Ryoichi Matsumoto
Goalkeeping coach   Takashi Shimoda

Manager historyEdit

Manager Period Record
Matches Won Draw Lost Win %
  Masujiro Nishida 1923 2 0 0 2 0%
  Goro Yamada 1925 2 0 0 2 0%
Vacant 1925 2 1 0 1 50%
  Shigeyoshi Suzuki (1st) 1930 2 1 1 0 50%
  Shigemaru Takenokoshi (1st) 1934 3 1 0 2 33.33%
  Shigeyoshi Suzuki (2nd) 1936 2 1 1 0 50%
  Shigemaru Takenokoshi (2nd) 1940 1 1 0 0 100%
  Hirokazu Ninomiya 1951 3 1 1 1 33.33%
  Shigemaru Takenokoshi (3rd) 1954–56 12 2 4 6 16.66%
  Taizo Kawamoto 1958 2 0 0 2 0%
  Shigemaru Takenokoshi (4th) 1958–59 12 4 2 6 33.33%
Vacant 1960 1 0 0 1 0%
  Hidetoki Takahashi 1961–1962 14 3 2 9 21.43%
  Ken Naganuma (1st) 1963–1969 31 18 7 6 58.06%
  Shunichiro Okano 1970–1971 19 11 2 6 57.90%
  Ken Naganuma (2nd) 1972–1976 42 16 6 20 38.09%
  Hiroshi Ninomiya 1976–1978 27 6 6 15 22.22%
  Yukio Shimomura 1979–1980 14 8 4 2 57.14%
  Masashi Watanabe 1980 3 2 0 1 66.67%
  Saburō Kawabuchi 1980–1981 10 3 2 5 30%
  Takaji Mori 1981–1985 43 22 5 16 51.16%
  Yoshinobu Ishii 1986–1987 17 11 2 4 64.70%
  Kenzo Yokoyama 1988–1991 24 5 7 12 20.83%
  Hans Ooft 1992–1993 27 16 7 4 59.25%
  Paulo Roberto Falcão 1994 9 3 4 2 33.33%
  Shu Kamo 1994–1997 46 23 10 13 50%
  Takeshi Okada (1st) 1997–1998 15 5 4 6 33.33%
  Philippe Troussier 1998–2002 50 23 16 11 46%
  Zico 2002–2006 71 37 16 18 52.11%
  Ivica Osim 2006–2007 20 13 5 3 65%
  Takeshi Okada (2nd) 2007–2010 50 26 13 11 52%
  Hiromi Hara (caretaker) 2010 2 2 0 0 100%
  Alberto Zaccheroni 2010–2014 55 30 12 13 54.54%
  Javier Aguirre 2014–2015 10 7 1 2 70%
  Vahid Halilhodžić 2015–2018 38 21 9 8 55.26%
  Akira Nishino 2018 7 2 1 4 28.57%
  Hajime Moriyasu 2018– 44 31 5 8 71.05%
Manager Period Record
Matches Won Draw Lost Win %
As of 16 November 2021 after the match against   Oman.

PlayersEdit

Current squadEdit

The following 27 players were called up for the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC Third Round Group B matches against   Vietnam on 11 November and   Oman on 16 November 2021.[61]

Caps and goals as of 16 November 2021, after the match against   Oman.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Eiji Kawashima (1983-03-20) 20 March 1983 (age 38) 93 0   Strasbourg
12 1GK Shūichi Gonda (1989-03-03) 3 March 1989 (age 32) 28 0   Shimizu S-Pulse
23 1GK Kosei Tani (2000-11-22) 22 November 2000 (age 21) 0 0   Shonan Bellmare

2 2DF Miki Yamane (1993-12-22) 22 December 1993 (age 27) 6 1   Kawasaki Frontale
3 2DF Shogo Taniguchi (1991-07-15) 15 July 1991 (age 30) 5 0   Kawasaki Frontale
4 2DF Ko Itakura (1997-01-27) 27 January 1997 (age 24) 5 1   Schalke 04
5 2DF Yuto Nagatomo (1986-09-12) 12 September 1986 (age 35) 131 4   FC Tokyo
16 2DF Takehiro Tomiyasu (1998-11-05) 5 November 1998 (age 23) 28 1   Arsenal
19 2DF Hiroki Sakai (1990-04-12) 12 April 1990 (age 31) 68 1   Urawa Red Diamonds
20 2DF Yūta Nakayama (1997-02-16) 16 February 1997 (age 24) 9 0   PEC Zwolle
22 2DF Maya Yoshida (captain) (1988-08-24) 24 August 1988 (age 33) 113 11   Sampdoria
2DF Sei Muroya (1994-04-05) 5 April 1994 (age 27) 16 0   Hannover 96
2DF Reo Hatate (1997-11-21) 21 November 1997 (age 24) 0 0   Kawasaki Frontale

6 3MF Wataru Endo (1993-02-09) 9 February 1993 (age 28) 34 2   VfB Stuttgart
7 3MF Gaku Shibasaki (1992-05-28) 28 May 1992 (age 29) 55 3   Leganés
8 3MF Genki Haraguchi (1991-05-09) 9 May 1991 (age 30) 66 11   Union Berlin
9 3MF Daichi Kamada (1996-08-05) 5 August 1996 (age 25) 16 4   Eintracht Frankfurt
10 3MF Takumi Minamino (1995-01-16) 16 January 1995 (age 26) 35 16   Liverpool
13 3MF Kaoru Mitoma (1997-05-20) 20 May 1997 (age 24) 1 0   Union SG
14 3MF Junya Ito (1993-03-09) 9 March 1993 (age 28) 29 7   Genk
17 3MF Ao Tanaka (1998-09-10) 10 September 1998 (age 23) 5 1   Fortuna Düsseldorf
21 3MF Ritsu Dōan (1998-06-16) 16 June 1998 (age 23) 21 3   PSV

11 4FW Kyogo Furuhashi (1995-01-20) 20 January 1995 (age 26) 12 3   Celtic
15 4FW Yuya Osako (1990-05-18) 18 May 1990 (age 31) 55 24   Vissel Kobe
18 4FW Takuma Asano (1994-11-10) 10 November 1994 (age 27) 32 6   VfL Bochum
4FW Ayase Ueda (1998-08-28) 28 August 1998 (age 23) 6 0   Kashima Antlers
4FW Daizen Maeda (1997-10-20) 20 October 1997 (age 24) 2 0   Yokohama F. Marinos

(Players are listed within position group by order of seniority, kit number, caps, goals, and then alphabetically)

Recent call-upsEdit

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

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Daniel Schmidt (1992-02-03) 3 February 1992 (age 29) 7 0   Sint-Truiden v.   Kyrgyzstan, 15 June 2021
GK Kosuke Nakamura (1995-02-27) 27 February 1995 (age 26) 6 0   Portimonense v.   Kyrgyzstan, 15 June 2021
GK Shusaku Nishikawa (1986-06-18) 18 June 1986 (age 35) 31 0   Urawa Red Diamonds v.   Mongolia, 30 March 2021
GK Daiya Maekawa (1994-09-08) 8 September 1994 (age 27) 0 0   Vissel Kobe v.   Mongolia, 30 March 2021

DF Naomichi Ueda (1994-10-24) 24 October 1994 (age 27) 16 1   Nîmes v.   Australia, 12 October 2021
DF Daiki Hashioka (1999-05-17) 17 May 1999 (age 22) 2 0   Sint-Truiden v.   Australia, 12 October 2021
DF Gen Shoji (1992-12-11) 11 December 1992 (age 28) 20 1   Gamba Osaka v.   China PR, 7 September 2021
DF Sho Sasaki (1989-10-02) 2 October 1989 (age 32) 13 1   Sanfrecce Hiroshima v.   China PR, 7 September 2021
DF Ryoya Ogawa (1996-11-24) 24 November 1996 (age 25) 5 0   FC Tokyo v.   Kyrgyzstan, 15 June 2021
DF Shinnosuke Nakatani (1996-03-24) 24 March 1996 (age 25) 3 0   Nagoya Grampus v.   Kyrgyzstan, 15 June 2021
DF Yukinari Sugawara (2000-06-28) 28 June 2000 (age 21) 1 0   AZ v.   Myanmar, 28 May 2021
DF Shinnosuke Hatanaka (1995-08-25) 25 August 1995 (age 26) 8 0   Yokohama F. Marinos v.   Mongolia, 30 March 2021
DF Ken Matsubara (1993-02-16) 16 February 1993 (age 28) 1 0   Yokohama F. Marinos v.   Mongolia, 30 March 2021

MF Hidemasa Morita (1995-05-10) 10 May 1995 (age 26) 12 2   Santa Clara v.   Vietnam, 11 November 2021 SUS
MF Kōji Miyoshi (1997-03-26) 26 March 1997 (age 24) 5 2   Antwerp v.   Australia, 12 October 2021
MF Takefusa Kubo (2001-06-04) 4 June 2001 (age 20) 13 0   Mallorca v.   China PR, 7 September 2021
MF Kento Hashimoto (1993-08-16) 16 August 1993 (age 28) 13 1   Rostov v.   Kyrgyzstan, 15 June 2021
MF Hayao Kawabe (1995-09-08) 8 September 1995 (age 26) 4 1   Grasshoppers v.   Kyrgyzstan, 15 June 2021
MF Tatsuhiro Sakamoto (1996-10-22) 22 October 1996 (age 25) 2 0   Cerezo Osaka v.   Kyrgyzstan, 15 June 2021
MF Keita Endo (1997-01-22) 22 January 1997 (age 24) 2 0   Union Berlin v.   Myanmar, 28 May 2021
MF Sho Inagaki (1991-12-25) 25 December 1991 (age 29) 1 2   Nagoya Grampus v.   Mongolia, 30 March 2021
MF Ataru Esaka (1992-05-31) 31 May 1992 (age 29) 1 0   Urawa Red Diamonds v.   Mongolia, 30 March 2021
MF Yasuto Wakizaka (1995-06-11) 11 June 1995 (age 26) 1 0   Kawasaki Frontale v.   Mongolia, 30 March 2021
MF Riki Harakawa (1993-08-18) 18 August 1993 (age 28) 0 0   Cerezo Osaka v.   South Korea, 25 March 2021 INJ

FW Ado Onaiwu (1995-11-08) 8 November 1995 (age 26) 3 3   Toulouse v.   Australia, 12 October 2021

INJ Withdrew due to injury
PRE Preliminary squad / standby
RET Retired from the national team
SUS Serving suspension
WD Player withdrew from the squad due to non-injury issue.

(Players are listed within position group by order of latest call-up, seniority, caps, goals, and then alphabetically)

Previous squadsEdit

*Bold indicates winning squads

Individual recordsEdit

Player recordsEdit

As of 16 November 2021[62]
*Players in bold are still active with Japan.

Most capped playerEdit

 
Yasuhito Endō is the Japan's most capped player with 152 appearances.
Rank Player Caps Goals Pos Career
1 Yasuhito Endō 152 15 MF 2002–2015
2 Yuto Nagatomo 131 4 DF 2008–
3 Masami Ihara 122 5 DF 1988–1999
4 Shinji Okazaki 119 50 FW 2008–
5 Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi 116 0 GK 1997–2010
6 Makoto Hasebe 114 2 MF 2006–2018
7 Maya Yoshida 113 11 DF 2010–
8 Yuji Nakazawa 110 17 DF 1999–2010
9 Shunsuke Nakamura 98 24 MF 2000–2010
Keisuke Honda 98 37 MF 2008–2018

Top goalscorersEdit

 
Kunishige Kamamoto is the Japan's top scorer with 75 goals.
Rank Player Goals Caps Ratio Career
1 Kunishige Kamamoto 75 76 0.99 1964–1977
2 Kazuyoshi Miura 55 89 0.62 1990–2000
3 Shinji Okazaki 50 119 0.42 2008–
4 Hiromi Hara 37 75 0.49 1978–1988
Keisuke Honda 37 98 0.38 2008–2018
6 Shinji Kagawa 31 97 0.32 2008–2019
7 Takuya Takagi 27 44 0.61 1992–1997
8 Kazushi Kimura 26 54 0.48 1979–1986
9 Shunsuke Nakamura 24 98 0.24 2000–2010
Yuya Osako 24 55 0.44 2013–

CaptainEdit

 
Makoto Hasebe is the Japan's most long serving captain with 8 years period.
Name Pos Period Note
Shigeo Yaegashi MF 1968 Summer Olympics bronze medalist leading captain (1968)
Aritatsu Ogi MF 1969–1974
Kunishige Kamamoto FW 1975–1977
Nobuo Fujishima MF 1978
Hiroshi Ochiai MF DF 1978–1979
Hideki Maeda MF 1980–1981
Mitsuhisa Taguchi GK 1982–1984
Kazushi Kimura MF 1986
Hisashi Kato DF 1985–1987
Hiromi Hara FW 1988
Shigetatsu Matsunaga GK 1989
Shinichi Morishita GK 1990
Tetsuji Hashiratani MF 1991–1995 AFC Asian Cup winning captain (1992)
Masami Ihara DF 1996–1999
Masashi Nakayama FW 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup runners-up leading captain (2001)
Ryuzo Morioka CB 2000–2002 AFC Asian Cup winning captain (2000)
Hidetoshi Nakata CM 2002–2004
Tsuneyasu Miyamoto CB 2003–2006 AFC Asian Cup winning captain (2004), East Asian Football Championship runners-up leading captain (2003) (2005)
Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi GK 2006–2008 East Asian Football Championship runners-up leading captain (2008)
Yuji Nakazawa CB 2008–2010 East Asian Football Championship third place leading captain (2010)
Makoto Hasebe DM 2010–2018 AFC Asian Cup winning captain (2011)
Yuichi Komano DF 2013 EAFF East Asian Cup winning captain (2013)
Gen Shoji CB 2017 EAFF E-1 Championship runners-up leading captain (2017)
Sho Sasaki LB 2019 EAFF E-1 Championship runners-up leading captain (2019)
Maya Yoshida CB 2018–present AFC Asian Cup runners-up leading captain (2019)

Other recordEdit

Updated 15 June 2021

  • Youngest player
Daisuke Ichikawa, 17 year and 322 days old, 1 April 1998 against   South Korea
  • Youngest goalscorer
Shinji Kagawa, 19 year and 206 days old, 9 October 2008 against   United Arab Emirates
  • Youngest captain
Gen Shoji, 24 year and 363 days old, 9 December 2017 EAFF E-1 Championship
  • Oldest player
Eiji Kawashima, 38 year and 87 days old, 15 June 2021 against   Kyrgyzstan
  • Oldest goalscorer
Masashi Nakayama, 33 year and 326 days old, 15 August 2001 against   Australia
  • Oldest captain
Shigeo Yaegashi, 35 year and 203 days old, 13 October 1968 Summer Olympics
  • Most hat-trick
8, Kunishige Kamamoto
  • Most goal in one match
6, Kunishige Kamamoto, 27 September 1967 against   Philippines
6, Kazuyoshi Miura, 22 June 1997 against   Macau
  • Most goal in calendar year
18, Kazuyoshi Miura, 1997

Manager recordsEdit

Most manager appearances
  Zico: 71

Manager achievementEdit

Name Tournament
Zico AFC Asian Cup Winners (2004)
EAFF Championship Runners-up (2003, 2005)
Philippe Troussier FIFA Confederations Cup Runners-up (2001)
AFC Asian Cup Winners (2000)
Alberto Zaccheroni AFC Asian Cup Winners (2011)
EAFF Championship Winners (2013)
Ken Naganuma Summer Olympics Third place (1968)
Asian Games Third place (1966)
Hajime Moriyasu AFC Asian Cup Runners-up (2019)
EAFF Championship Runners-up (2019)
Hans Ooft AFC Asian Cup Winners (1992)
Hirokazu Ninomiya Asian Games Third place (1951)
Takeshi Okada EAFF Championship Runners-up (2008), Third place (2010)
Vahid Halilhodžić EAFF Championship Runners-up (2017)

Team recordsEdit

Updated 23 January 2015[63]

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

Competitive recordEdit

  Champions    Runners-up    Third place    Fourth place  

*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 CupEdit

FIFA World Cup record Qualification record
Year Result Position Pld W D* L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
  1930 Did not enter No qualification
  1934 Did not enter
  1938 Withdrew Withdrew
  1950 Suspended from FIFA Suspended from FIFA
  1954 Did not qualify 2 0 1 1 3 7
  1958 Did not enter Did not enter
  1962 Did not qualify 2 0 0 2 1 4
  1966 Did not enter Did not enter
  1970 Did not qualify 4 0 2 2 4 8
  1974 4 1 0 3 5 4
  1978 4 0 1 3 0 5
  1982 4 2 0 2 4 2
  1986 8 5 1 2 15 5
  1990 6 2 3 1 7 3
  1994 13 9 3 1 35 6
  1998 Group stage 31st 3 0 0 3 1 4 15 9 5 1 51 12
    2002 Round of 16 9th 4 2 1 1 5 3 Qualified as hosts
  2006 Group stage 28th 3 0 1 2 2 7 12 11 0 1 25 5
  2010 Round of 16 9th 4 2 1 1 4 2 14 8 4 2 23 9
  2014 Group stage 29th 3 0 1 2 2 6 14 8 3 3 30 8
  2018 Round of 16 15th 4 1 1 2 6 7 18 13 3 2 44 7
  2022 To be determined 14 12 0 2 51 5
      2026
Total Round of 16 6/21 21 5 5 11 20 29 120 68 26 26 247 85

Match historyEdit

AFC Asian CupEdit

AFC Asian Cup record Qualification record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
  1956 Withdrew Withdrew
  1960
  1964
  1968 Did not qualify 4 3 1 0 8 4
  1972 Withdrew Withdrew
  1976 Did not qualify 5 2 1 2 4 4
  1980 Withdrew Withdrew
  1984
  1988 Group stage 10th 4 0 1 3 0 6 4 2 1 1 6 3
  1992 Champions 1st 5 3 2 0 6 3 Qualified as hosts
  1996 Quarter-finals 5th 4 3 0 1 7 3 Qualified as champions
  2000 Champions 1st 6 5 1 0 21 6 3 3 0 0 15 0
  2004 Champions 1st 6 4 2 0 13 6 Qualified as champions
        2007 Fourth place 4th 6 2 3 1 11 7 6 5 0 1 15 2
  2011 Champions 1st 6 4 2 0 14 6 6 5 0 1 17 4
  2015 Quarter-finals 5th 4 3 1 0 8 1 Qualified as champions
  2019 Runners-up 2nd 7 6 0 1 12 6 8 7 1 0 27 0
  2023 Qualified 8 8 0 0 46 2
Total 4 Titles 10/18 48 30 12 6 92 44 44 35 4 5 138 19

Match historyEdit

CONMEBOL Copa AméricaEdit

Japan is the first team from outside the Americas to participate in the Copa América, having been invited to the 1999 Copa América.[10] Japan was also invited to the 2011 tournament and initially accepted the invitation. However, following the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, the JFA later withdrew on 16 May 2011, citing the difficulty of releasing some Japanese players from European teams to play as replacements.[64] On the next day, CONMEBOL invited Costa Rica to replace Japan in the competition.

On 16 August 2013, CONMEBOL president Eugenio Figueredo announced that Japan was invited to the 2015 Copa América.[65] However, Japan later declined the invitation due to scheduling problems.[66]

On 14 May 2018, CONMEBOL announced that Japan, alongside Qatar, would be the two invited teams for the 2019 Copa América.[67]

FIFA Confederations CupEdit

FIFA Confederations Cup record
year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA Squad
  1992 Did not qualify
  1995 Group stage 6th 2 0 0 2 1 8 Squad
  1997 Did not qualify
  1999
    2001 Runners-up 2nd 5 3 1 1 6 1 Squad
  2003 Group stage 6th 3 1 0 2 4 3 Squad
  2005 Group stage 5th 3 1 1 1 4 4 Squad
  2009 Did not qualify
  2013 Group stage 7th 3 0 0 3 4 9 Squad
  2017 Did not qualify
Total Runners-up 5/10 16 5 2 9 19 25

Match historyEdit

Olympic GamesEdit

Since 1992, the Olympic team has been drawn from a squad with a maximum of three players over 23 years age, and the achievements of this team are not generally regarded as part of the national team's records, nor are the statistics credited to the players' international records.

Summer Olympics record Qualification record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA
  1908 Did not enter Did not enter
  1912
  1920
  1924
  1928
  1936 Quarter-finals 8th 2 1 0 1 3 10 No qualification
  1948 Did not enter Did not enter
  1952
  1956 First round 10th 1 0 0 1 0 2 No qualification
  1960 Did not qualify 2 1 0 1 1 2
  1964 Quarter-finals 8th 3 1 0 2 5 9 Qualified as hosts
  1968 Bronze medalists 3rd 6 3 2 1 9 8 5 4 1 0 26 4
  1972 Did not qualify 4 2 0 2 14 7
  1976 6 2 1 3 9 11
  1980 5 3 1 1 16 5
  1984 10 3 1 6 26 17
  1988 8 6 1 1 19 3
1992–present See Japan national under-23 team
Total Bronze medalists 4/17 12 5 2 5 17 29 40 21 5 14 111 49

Match historyEdit

Asian GamesEdit

Football at the Asian Games has been an under-23 tournament since 2002.

EAFF E-1 ChampionshipEdit

EAFF E-1 Championship record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA
  2003 Runners-up 2nd 3 2 0 1 3 0
  2005 Runners-up 2nd 3 1 1 1 3 3
  2008 Runners-up 2nd 3 1 2 0 3 2
  2010 Third Place 3rd 3 1 1 1 4 3
  2013 Champions 1st 3 2 1 0 8 6
  2015 4th Place 4th 3 0 2 1 3 4
  2017 Runners-up 2nd 3 2 0 1 4 5
  2019 Runners-up 2nd 3 2 0 1 7 2
Total Champions 8/8 24 11 7 6 35 25

Match historyEdit

Head-to-head recordEdit

The following table shows Japan's all-time international record, correct as of 16 November 2021.

Confederation Pld W D L GF GA GD
AFC 509 270 104 135 1,001 543 +458
CAF 36 21 7 8 56 35 +21
CONCACAF 29 17 5 7 63 32 +31
CONMEBOL 63 16 18 29 63 105 –42
OFC 6 3 0 3 10 8 +2
UEFA 113 35 23 55 138 186 –48
Total 752 360 156 236 1,330 904 +426

AFCEdit

As of 16 November[68]

Opponent From To Pld W D L GF GA GD
  Afghanistan 1951 2015 3 3 0 0 13 0 +13
  Australia 1956 2021 26 10 9 7 37 32 +5
  Bahrain 1978 2010 10 8 0 2 17 7 +10
  Bangladesh 1975 1993 5 5 0 0 22 1 +21
  Brunei 1980 2000 3 3 0 0 18 2 +16
  Cambodia 1970 2015 4 4 0 0 10 1 +9
  China PR 1917 2021 34 14 8 12 43 52 −9
  Chinese Taipei 1963 1983 7 4 2 1 17 8 +9
  Hong Kong 1958 2019 23 12 5 6 42 21 +21
  India 1954 2006 12 9 0 3 36 11 +25
  Indonesia 1934 1989 18 10 2 6 39 25 +14
  Iran 1951 2019 18 6 6 6 21 19 +2
  Iraq 1978 2016 13 7 3 3 19 10 +9
  Jordan 1988 2015 6 2 3 1 12 5 +7
  Kuwait 1978 1996 5 1 0 4 2 8 −6
  Kyrgyzstan 2018 2021 3 3 0 0 11 1 +10
  Lebanon 1967 1967 1 1 0 0 3 1 +2
  Macau 1980 2000 4 4 0 0 26 0 +26
  Malaysia 1958 2004 26 9 7 10 40 43 −3
  Mongolia 2019 2021 2 2 0 0 20 0 +20
  Myanmar 1955 2021 14 7 5 2 29 12 +17
    Nepal 1986 1997 5 5 0 0 28 0 +28
  North Korea 1975 2017 19 8 4 7 19 14 +5
  Oman 1988 2021 15 10 3 2 21 6 +15
  Pakistan 1962 1988 2 1 1 0 5 2 +3
  Palestine 2015 2015 1 1 0 0 4 0 +4
  Philippines 1915 1983 20 15 0 5 88 35 +53
  Qatar 1983 2019 10 2 4 4 12 15 −3
  Saudi Arabia 1990 2021 15 9 1 5 23 13 +10
  Singapore 1959 2015 26 21 2 3 58 18 +40
  South Korea 1954 2021 77 14 23 40 71 119 −48
  South Vietnam 1961 1973 5 4 0 1 14 5 +9
  South Yemen 1982 1982 1 1 0 0 3 1 +2
  Sri Lanka 1972 1993 3 3 0 0 16 0 +16
  Syria 1978 2017 11 9 2 0 27 9 +18
  Tajikistan 2011 2021 4 4 0 0 19 1 +18
  Thailand 1962 2017 22 16 4 2 52 16 +36
  Turkmenistan 2019 2019 1 1 0 0 3 2 +1
  United Arab Emirates 1981 2017 19 6 9 4 22 17 +5
  Uzbekistan 1996 2019 11 7 3 1 30 10 +20
  Vietnam 2007 2021 4 4 0 0 7 1 +6
  Yemen 2006 2010 4 4 0 0 8 3 +5
Total 1917 2021 504 265 106 133 997 541 +456

CAFEdit

As of 13 October 2020[68]

Opponent From To Pld W D L GF GA GD
  Angola 2005 2005 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1
  Cameroon 2001 2020 5 3 2 0 5 0 +5
  Egypt 1998 2007 2 2 0 0 5 1 +4
  Ghana 1964 2018 7 4 0 3 14 13 +1
  Ivory Coast 1993 2020 5 3 0 2 4 4 0
  Mali 2018 2018 1 0 1 0 1 1 0
  Nigeria 1968 2003 4 2 1 1 8 6 +2
  Senegal 1987 2018 4 0 2 2 4 7 −3
  South Africa 2009 2009 1 0 1 0 0 0 0
  Togo 2009 2009 1 1 0 0 5 0 +5
  Tunisia 1996 2015 4 4 0 0 6 0 +6
  Zambia 2014 2014 1 1 0 0 4 3 +1
Total 1964 2020 36 21 7 8 57 35 +22

CONCACAFEdit

As of 14 November 2020[68]

Opponent From To Pld W D L GF GA GD
  Canada 2001 2013 2 2 0 0 5 1 +4
  Costa Rica 1995 2018 4 3 1 0 10 2 +8
  El Salvador 2019 2019 1 1 0 0 2 0 +2
  Guatemala 2010 2013 2 2 0 0 5 1 +4
  Haiti 2017 2017 1 0 1 0 3 3 0
  Honduras 2002 2014 3 2 1 0 14 7 +7
  Jamaica 1998 2014 4 2 1 1 7 3 +4
  Mexico 1996 2013 5 1 0 4 6 9 −3
  Panama 2018 2020 2 2 0 0 4 0 +4
  Trinidad and Tobago 2006 2019 2 1 1 0 2 0 +2
  United States 1993 2006 2 1 0 1 5 4 +1
Total 1993 2020 28 17 5 6 63 30 +33

CONMEBOLEdit

As of 19 November 2019[68]

Opponent From To Pld W D L GF GA GD
  Argentina 1992 2010 7 1 0 6 4 15 −11
  Bolivia 1999 2019 3 2 1 0 4 1 +3
  Brazil 1989 2017 12 0 2 10 5 34 −29
  Chile 2008 2019 3 1 1 1 4 4 0
  Colombia 2003 2019 5 1 1 3 3 7 −4
  Ecuador 1995 2019 3 2 1 0 5 1 +4
  Paraguay 1995 2019 10 4 4 2 11 9 +2
  Peru 1967 2011 7 2 3 2 4 5 −1
  Uruguay 1985 2019 7 2 2 4 17 23 −6
  Venezuela 2010 2019 5 1 3 1 6 6 0
Total 1967 2019 63 16 18 29 63 105 −42

OFCEdit

As of 6 October 2017[68]

Opponent From To Pld W D L GF GA GD
  New Zealand 1981 2017 6 3 0 3 10 8 +2
Total 1981 2017 6 3 0 3 10 8 +2

UEFAEdit

As of 11 June 2021[68]

Opponent From To Pld W D L GF GA GD
  Austria 2007 2007 1 0 1 0 0 0 0
  Azerbaijan 2012 2012 1 1 0 0 2 0 +2
  Belarus 2013 2013 1 0 0 1 0 1 −1
  Belgium 1999 2018 6 2 2 2 11 8 +3
  Bosnia and Herzegovina 2006 2016 3 1 1 1 6 4 +2
  Bulgaria 1976 2016 6 1 1 4 10 13 −3
  Croatia 1997 2006 3 1 1 1 4 4 0
  Cyprus 2014 2014 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1
  Czech Republic 1998 2011 3 1 2 0 1 0 +1
  Denmark 1971 2010 2 1 0 1 5 4 +1
  England 1995 2010 3 0 1 2 3 5 −2
  Finland 2006 2009 2 2 0 0 7 1 +6
  France 1994 2012 6 1 1 4 5 14 −9
  Germany 2004 2006 2 0 1 1 2 5 −3
  Greece 2005 2014 2 1 1 0 1 0 +1
  Hungary 1993 2004 2 0 0 2 2 4 −2
  Iceland 1971 2012 3 3 0 0 8 3 +5
  Israel 1973 1977 7 0 0 7 2 17 −15
  Italy 1936 2013 3 0 1 2 4 13 −9
  Kazakhstan 1997 2005 3 2 1 0 10 2 +8
  Latvia 2005 2013 2 1 1 0 5 2 +3
  Malta 2006 2006 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1
  Montenegro 2007 2007 1 1 0 0 2 0 +2
  Netherlands 2009 2013 3 0 1 2 2 6 −4
  Norway 2002 2002 1 0 0 1 0 3 −3
  Poland 1981 2018 7 2 0 5 10 14 −4
  Romania 1974 2003 4 0 1 3 3 12 −9
  Russia 1978 2002 4 1 0 3 3 11 −8
  Scotland 1995 2009 3 1 2 0 2 0 +2
  Serbia 1961 2021 10 4 0 6 7 20 −13
  Slovakia 2000 2004 3 2 1 0 5 2 +3
  Spain 2001 2001 1 0 0 1 0 1 −1
  Sweden 1936 2002 5 1 3 1 7 7 0
   Switzerland 2007 2018 2 1 0 1 4 5 −1
  Turkey 1997 2002 2 1 0 1 1 1 0
  Ukraine 2002 2018 3 1 0 2 2 3 −1
  Wales 1992 1992 1 0 0 1 0 1 −1
Total 1936 2018 112 34 23 55 137 186 −49

FIFA world rankingsEdit

As of 23 April 2021[69]

  Best Ranking    Best Mover    Worst Ranking    Worst Mover  

Japan's FIFA world rankings
Rank Year Games
Played
Won Lost Drawn Best Worst
Rank Move Rank Move
28 2021 6 6 0 0 27  0 28  1
27 2020 4 2 1 1 27  1 28  0
28 2019 23 15 3 5 26  29 33  7
50 2018 14 6 3 5 41  7 61  5
57 2017 13 6 3 4 40  7 57  11
45 2016 10 7 1 2 45  8 58  7
53 2015 17 11 5 1 50  5 58  8
54 2014 13 7 2 4 54  2 44  4
47 2013 19 8 3 8 21  2 48  7
22 2012 12 8 2 2 19  7 33  11
19 2011 15 9 5 1 13  12 29  2
29 2010 18 8 4 6 29  13 46  6
43 2009 17 11 3 3 31  4 43  9
35 2008 19 10 7 2 32  4 38  6
34 2007 13 7 5 1 30  7 46  5
  47 2006 19 9 4 6 15  1 49  13
15 2005 20 11 3 6 13  5 19  4
17 2004 22 17 2 3 17  4 29  1
29 2003 16 6 5 5 22  2 29  3
22 2002 13 5 5 3 22  8 38  4
34 2001 13 6 3 4 26  11 44  9
  38 2000 18 10 6 2 34  15 62  6
57 1999 7 0 4 3 33  0 57  13
  20 1998 18 7 2 8 9  10 30  10
14 1997 22 11 7 4 14  4 20  2
21 1996 13 10 1 2 20  6 30  2
31 1995 17 6 4 7 31  7 41  8
36 1994 9 3 4 2 36  14 54  12
  43 1993 16 11 3 2 43  23 44  1
66 1992    

HonoursEdit

IntercontinentalEdit

  Bronze medalists: 1968
  Runners-up: 2001

ContinentalEdit

  Champions: 1992, 2000, 2004, 2011
  Runners-up: 2019
Fourth place: 2007
  Third place: 1951, 1966
Fourth place: 1970

RegionalEdit

  Champions: 1930
  Champions: 1992, 1995, 1998
Fourth place: 1990
  Champions: 2013
  Runners-up: 2003, 2005, 2008, 2017,2019
  Third place: 2010

OthersEdit

  Champions: 1993, 2007
  Champions: 2001

Minor-friendlyEdit

  Champions: (12): 1991, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2015

AwardsEdit

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

See alsoEdit

National teams
Men's
Women's

NotesEdit

  1. ^ The match between Mongolia and Japan will be played in Chiba, Japan.[60]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "日本代表チーム愛称は、「SAMURAI BLUE 」" [The nickname of the Japanese national team is "SAMURAI BLUE"]. Japan Football Association (in Japanese). 19 October 2009. Archived from the original on 18 May 2010. Retrieved 15 September 2021. Alt URL
  2. ^ "U−20日本代表、ライバル韓国と激突/カタール国際決勝" [U-20 Japan National Team clashes with rival Korea Rep./Qatar International Final]. livedoor スポーツ (in Japanese). 25 January 2005. Retrieved 15 September 2021.
  3. ^ "Kunishige Kamamoto - Goals in International Matches". RSSSF.