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.
Since 19 October 2009
|Association||Japan Football Association (JFA)|
|Sub-confederation||EAFF (East Asia)|
|Head coach||Hajime Moriyasu|
|Most caps||Yasuhito Endō (152)|
|Top scorer||Kunishige Kamamoto (75)|
|Home stadium||Japan National Stadium|
|Current||26 2 (19 November 2021)|
|Highest||9 (March 1998)|
|Lowest||62 (December 1992)|
|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)
| Japan 15–0 Philippines |
(Tokyo, Japan; 27 September 1967) 
|As not member of FIFA|
Japan 2–15 Philippines
(Tokyo, Japan; 10 May 1917)
As member of FIFA
Japan 0–8 Italy
(Berlin, Germany; 7 August 1936)
|Appearances||6 (first in 1998)|
|Best result||Round of 16 (2002, 2010, 2018)|
|Appearances||9 (first in 1988)|
|Best result||Champions (1992, 2000, 2004, 2011)|
|Copa América (as guest)|
|Appearances||2 (first in 1999)|
|Best result||Group stage (1999, 2019)|
|FIFA Confederations Cup|
|Appearances||5 (first in 1995)|
|Best result||Runners-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. 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.
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. Nevertheless, the game was promoted in Japanese schools in the 1920s. The Japan Football Association was formed in 1921, and Japan joined FIFA in May 1929.
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. Shigeyoshi Suzuki coached the national team to its first Olympic appearance at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. Japan was an entrant for the 1938 FIFA World Cup qualification, but withdrew before its scheduled qualifying match against the Dutch East Indies.
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. Its last prewar match for purposes of Elo ratings was a friendly against the Philippines in June 1940.
Post-war Era (1950s–1980s)Edit
Japan's postwar debut was in the 1951 Asian Games in India. 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. Japan also joined the Asian Football Confederation in 1954.
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. 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. Nonetheless, Japan had come close to qualify for the 1986 FIFA World Cup, but lost to South Korea in the deciding matches.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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.
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 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.
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, 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. Japan were defeated in their last group game in the Group H against Poland 0–1, 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. 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. The match received comparison to the 1982 World Cup Disgrace of Gijón, in which a similar game was played. Japan were the only AFC team to have qualified to the knockout stage. 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. 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. 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.
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, Oman 1–0 and Uzbekistan 2–1. 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. The semi-finals saw Japan put the best performance up to date, thrashing rival powerhouse Iran 3–0 to reach the final. 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.
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. 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. 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. 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.
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). 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).
Kits and crestEdit
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Japan national football team kits.|
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, and then in a 3–2 victory over Sweden in the first game of its maiden major international competition, the 1936 Summer Olympics. 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.
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.
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (August 2021)
The crest or emblem of the national team was adopted in late 2017 as part of a larger rebranding by the Japan Football Association. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Japan began to develop a fierce rivalry with fellow Asian powerhouse Australia, shortly after the latter joined the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). The rivalry is regarded as one of Asia's biggest football rivalries. 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. 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. 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.
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.
Japanese national team supporters are known for chanting "Nippon Ole" (Nippon is the Japanese word for Japan) at home matches.
Japan has one of the highest sponsorship incomes for a national squad. In 2006 their sponsorship income amounted to over 16.5 million pounds.
|Kirin Company||1 April 2015 – 31 December 2022|
|Adidas Japan||April 2007 – March 2015, 1 April 2015 – present|
|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|
|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|
|Richemont Japan||2000 – 31 March 2019, 20??–present|
|World Co.||1 April 2015 – 31 March 2017|
|Nishikawa Sangyo||1 April – 31 December 2015|
|Hublot||1 October 2015 – 30 September 2016|
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]
This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (March 2021)
FIFA World CupEdit
|Japan Consortium (NHK General TV, Fuji TV, Nippon TV, TBS and TV Asahi; all matches in live telecast)||2018|
AFC Asian CupEdit
Friendly and QualifiersEdit
FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC Third RoundEdit
|DAZN (all Group A and B matches), TV Asahi (Japan home matches only)||2021|||
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.
Win Draw Loss Void or postponed Fixture
|25 March FIFA International Friendly||Japan||3–0||South Korea||Yokohama, Japan|
|19:20 UTC+9||Report (JFA)
|Stadium: Nissan Stadium|
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)
|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)
|Stadium: Fukuda Denshi Arena|
Referee: Hasan Akrami (Iran)
|3 June Unofficial friendly||Japan||3–0||Japan U-23||Hokkaido, Japan|
|19:30 UTC+9||Report (JFA)
|Stadium: Sapporo Dome|
Referee: Mohamed Darwish (UAE)
|7 June 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification||Japan||4–1||Tajikistan||Suita, Japan|
|19:30 UTC+9||Report (FIFA)
||Stadium: Panasonic Stadium Suita|
Referee: Abdulrehman Al Jassim (Qatar)
|11 June Kirin Challenge Cup||Japan||1–0||Serbia||Kobe, Japan|
|Stadium: Noevir Stadium Kobe|
Referee: Payam Heidari (Iran)
|15 June 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification||Japan||5–1||Kyrgyzstan||Suita, Japan|
|19:25 UTC+9||Report (FIFA)
|Stadium: Panasonic Stadium Suita|
Referee: Omar Al-Yaqoubi (Oman)
|2 September 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification||Japan||0–1||Oman||Suita, Japan|
|19:10 UTC+9||Report (FIFA)
||Stadium: Panasonic Stadium Suita|
Referee: Mohammed Abdulla Hassan Mohamed (United Arab Emirates)
|7 September 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification||China PR||0–1||Japan||Doha, Qatar|
|18:00 UTC+3||Report (FIFA)
||Stadium: Khalifa International Stadium|
Referee: Nawaf Shukralla (Bahrain)
|7 October 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification||Saudi Arabia||1–0||Japan||Jeddah, Saudi Arabia|
|Stadium: King Abdullah Sports City|
Referee: Adham Makhadmeh (Jordan)
|12 October 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification||Japan||2–1||Australia||Saitama, Japan|
|19:10 UTC+9||Report (FIFA)
||Stadium: Saitama Stadium 2002|
Referee: Abdulrahman Al-Jassim (Qatar)
|11 November 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification||Vietnam||0–1||Japan||Hanoi, Vietnam|
|19:00 UTC+7||Report (FIFA)
||Stadium: Mỹ Đình National Stadium|
Referee: Mohammed Abdulla Hassan Mohamed (UAE)
|16 November 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification||Oman||0–1||Japan||Muscat, Oman|
|20:00 UTC+4||Report (FIFA)
||Stadium: Sultan Qaboos Sports Complex|
Referee: Ko Hyung-jin (South Korea)
|21 January Friendly||Japan||v||Uzbekistan||Saitama, Japan|
|Stadium: Saitama Stadium 2002|
|27 January 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification||Japan||v||China PR|
|1 February 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification||Japan||v||Saudi Arabia|
|24 March 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification||Australia||v||Japan|
|29 March 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification||Japan||v||Vietnam|
Current coaching staffEdit
- As of 4 November 2021
|Head coach||Hajime Moriyasu|
|Assistant coach||Akinobu Yokouchi|
|Assistant coach||Toshihide Saito|
|Assistant coach||Yusaku Ueno|
|Physical coach||Ryoichi Matsumoto|
|Goalkeeping coach||Takashi Shimoda|
|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%|
|Shigemaru Takenokoshi (3rd)||1954–56||12||2||4||6||16.66%|
|Shigemaru Takenokoshi (4th)||1958–59||12||4||2||6||33.33%|
|Ken Naganuma (1st)||1963–1969||31||18||7||6||58.06%|
|Ken Naganuma (2nd)||1972–1976||42||16||6||20||38.09%|
|Paulo Roberto Falcão||1994||9||3||4||2||33.33%|
|Takeshi Okada (1st)||1997–1998||15||5||4||6||33.33%|
|Takeshi Okada (2nd)||2007–2010||50||26||13||11||52%|
|Hiromi Hara (caretaker)||2010||2||2||0||0||100%|
- As of 16 November 2021 after the match against Oman.
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.
|No.||Pos.||Player||Date of birth (age)||Caps||Goals||Club|
|1||GK||Eiji Kawashima||20 March 1983||93||0||Strasbourg|
|12||GK||Shūichi Gonda||3 March 1989||28||0||Shimizu S-Pulse|
|23||GK||Kosei Tani||22 November 2000||0||0||Shonan Bellmare|
|2||DF||Miki Yamane||22 December 1993||6||1||Kawasaki Frontale|
|3||DF||Shogo Taniguchi||15 July 1991||5||0||Kawasaki Frontale|
|4||DF||Ko Itakura||27 January 1997||5||1||Schalke 04|
|5||DF||Yuto Nagatomo||12 September 1986||131||4||FC Tokyo|
|16||DF||Takehiro Tomiyasu||5 November 1998||28||1||Arsenal|
|19||DF||Hiroki Sakai||12 April 1990||68||1||Urawa Red Diamonds|
|20||DF||Yūta Nakayama||16 February 1997||9||0||PEC Zwolle|
|22||DF||Maya Yoshida (captain)||24 August 1988||113||11||Sampdoria|
|DF||Sei Muroya||5 April 1994||16||0||Hannover 96|
|DF||Reo Hatate||21 November 1997||0||0||Kawasaki Frontale|
|6||MF||Wataru Endo||9 February 1993||34||2||VfB Stuttgart|
|7||MF||Gaku Shibasaki||28 May 1992||55||3||Leganés|
|8||MF||Genki Haraguchi||9 May 1991||66||11||Union Berlin|
|9||MF||Daichi Kamada||5 August 1996||16||4||Eintracht Frankfurt|
|10||MF||Takumi Minamino||16 January 1995||35||16||Liverpool|
|13||MF||Kaoru Mitoma||20 May 1997||1||0||Union SG|
|14||MF||Junya Ito||9 March 1993||29||7||Genk|
|17||MF||Ao Tanaka||10 September 1998||5||1||Fortuna Düsseldorf|
|21||MF||Ritsu Dōan||16 June 1998||21||3||PSV|
|11||FW||Kyogo Furuhashi||20 January 1995||12||3||Celtic|
|15||FW||Yuya Osako||18 May 1990||55||24||Vissel Kobe|
|18||FW||Takuma Asano||10 November 1994||32||6||VfL Bochum|
|FW||Ayase Ueda||28 August 1998||6||0||Kashima Antlers|
|FW||Daizen Maeda||20 October 1997||2||0||Yokohama F. Marinos|
(Players are listed within position group by order of seniority, kit number, caps, goals, and then alphabetically)
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||3 February 1992||7||0||Sint-Truiden||v. Kyrgyzstan, 15 June 2021|
|GK||Kosuke Nakamura||27 February 1995||6||0||Portimonense||v. Kyrgyzstan, 15 June 2021|
|GK||Shusaku Nishikawa||18 June 1986||31||0||Urawa Red Diamonds||v. Mongolia, 30 March 2021|
|GK||Daiya Maekawa||8 September 1994||0||0||Vissel Kobe||v. Mongolia, 30 March 2021|
|DF||Naomichi Ueda||24 October 1994||16||1||Nîmes||v. Australia, 12 October 2021|
|DF||Daiki Hashioka||17 May 1999||2||0||Sint-Truiden||v. Australia, 12 October 2021|
|DF||Gen Shoji||11 December 1992||20||1||Gamba Osaka||v. China PR, 7 September 2021|
|DF||Sho Sasaki||2 October 1989||13||1||Sanfrecce Hiroshima||v. China PR, 7 September 2021|
|DF||Ryoya Ogawa||24 November 1996||5||0||FC Tokyo||v. Kyrgyzstan, 15 June 2021|
|DF||Shinnosuke Nakatani||24 March 1996||3||0||Nagoya Grampus||v. Kyrgyzstan, 15 June 2021|
|DF||Yukinari Sugawara||28 June 2000||1||0||AZ||v. Myanmar, 28 May 2021|
|DF||Shinnosuke Hatanaka||25 August 1995||8||0||Yokohama F. Marinos||v. Mongolia, 30 March 2021|
|DF||Ken Matsubara||16 February 1993||1||0||Yokohama F. Marinos||v. Mongolia, 30 March 2021|
|MF||Hidemasa Morita||10 May 1995||12||2||Santa Clara||v. Vietnam, 11 November 2021 SUS|
|MF||Kōji Miyoshi||26 March 1997||5||2||Antwerp||v. Australia, 12 October 2021|
|MF||Takefusa Kubo||4 June 2001||13||0||Mallorca||v. China PR, 7 September 2021|
|MF||Kento Hashimoto||16 August 1993||13||1||Rostov||v. Kyrgyzstan, 15 June 2021|
|MF||Hayao Kawabe||8 September 1995||4||1||Grasshoppers||v. Kyrgyzstan, 15 June 2021|
|MF||Tatsuhiro Sakamoto||22 October 1996||2||0||Cerezo Osaka||v. Kyrgyzstan, 15 June 2021|
|MF||Keita Endo||22 January 1997||2||0||Union Berlin||v. Myanmar, 28 May 2021|
|MF||Sho Inagaki||25 December 1991||1||2||Nagoya Grampus||v. Mongolia, 30 March 2021|
|MF||Ataru Esaka||31 May 1992||1||0||Urawa Red Diamonds||v. Mongolia, 30 March 2021|
|MF||Yasuto Wakizaka||11 June 1995||1||0||Kawasaki Frontale||v. Mongolia, 30 March 2021|
|MF||Riki Harakawa||18 August 1993||0||0||Cerezo Osaka||v. South Korea, 25 March 2021 INJ|
|FW||Ado Onaiwu||8 November 1995||3||3||Toulouse||v. Australia, 12 October 2021|
INJ Withdrew due to injury
(Players are listed within position group by order of latest call-up, seniority, caps, goals, and then alphabetically)
- *Bold indicates winning squads
- As of 16 November 2021
- *Players in bold are still active with Japan.
Most capped playerEdit
|Shigeo Yaegashi||MF||1968||Summer Olympics bronze medalist leading captain (1968)|
|Hiroshi Ochiai||MF DF||1978–1979|
|Tetsuji Hashiratani||MF||1991–1995||AFC Asian Cup winning captain (1992)|
|Masashi Nakayama||FW||2001||FIFA Confederations Cup runners-up leading captain (2001)|
|Ryuzo Morioka||CB||2000–2002||AFC Asian Cup winning captain (2000)|
|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)|
Updated 15 June 2021
- Youngest player
- Youngest goalscorer
- Youngest captain
- Oldest player
- Oldest goalscorer
- Oldest captain
- Most hat-trick
- 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
- Most manager appearances
- Zico: 71
|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)|
Updated 23 January 2015
- 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
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|
|1930||Did not enter||No qualification|
|1934||Did not enter|
|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|
|2002||Round of 16||9th||4||2||1||1||5||3||Qualified as hosts|
|2010||Round of 16||9th||4||2||1||1||4||2||14||8||4||2||23||9|
|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|
|Total||Round of 16||6/21||21||5||5||11||20||29||120||68||26||26||247||85|
|FIFA World Cup history|
|Round of 16||Turkey||0–1||Loss|
|Round of 16||Paraguay||0–0 3–5||Draw Loss|
|2014||Group stage||Ivory Coast||1–2||Loss|
|Round of 16||Belgium||2–3||Loss|
AFC Asian CupEdit
|AFC Asian Cup record||Qualification record|
|1968||Did not qualify||4||3||1||0||8||4|
|1976||Did not qualify||5||2||1||2||4||4|
|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|
|2004||Champions||1st||6||4||2||0||13||6||Qualified as champions|
|2015||Quarter-finals||5th||4||3||1||0||8||1||Qualified as champions|
|AFC Asian Cup history|
|Group stage||South Korea||0–2||Loss|
|Group stage||North Korea||1–1||Draw|
|Group stage||China PR||1–0||Win|
|2000||Group stage||Saudi Arabia||4–1||Win|
|Quarter-finals||Jordan||1–1 4–3||Draw Win|
|Quarter-finals||Australia||1–1 4–3||Draw Win|
|Third play-off||South Korea||0–0 5–6||Draw Loss|
|Group stage||Saudi Arabia||5–0||Win|
|Semi-finals||South Korea||2–2 3–0||Draw Win|
|Quarter-finals||UAE||1–1 4–5||Draw Loss|
|Round of 16||Saudi Arabia||1–0||Win|
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. 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. On the next day, CONMEBOL invited Costa Rica to replace Japan in the competition.
FIFA Confederations CupEdit
|FIFA Confederations Cup record|
|1992||Did not qualify|
|1997||Did not qualify|
|2009||Did not qualify|
|2017||Did not qualify|
|FIFA Confederations Cup history|
|2003||Group stage||New Zealand||3–0||Win|
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|
|1908||Did not enter||Did not enter|
|1948||Did not enter||Did not enter|
|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|
|1972||Did not qualify||4||2||0||2||14||7|
|1992–present||See Japan national under-23 team|
|Summer Olympics history|
- Football at the Asian Games has been an under-23 tournament since 2002.
EAFF E-1 ChampionshipEdit
|EAFF E-1 Championship record|
|EAFF E-1 Championship history|
|2003||First match||China PR||2–0||Win|
|Second match||Hong Kong||1–0||Win|
|Third match||South Korea||0–0||Draw|
|2005||First match||North Korea||0–1||Loss|
|Second match||China PR||2–2||Draw|
|Third match||South Korea||1–0||Win|
|2008||First match||North Korea||1–1||Draw|
|Second match||China PR||1–0||Win|
|Third match||South Korea||1–1||Draw|
|2010||First match||China PR||0–0||Draw|
|Second match||Hong Kong||3–0||Win|
|Third match||South Korea||1–3||Loss|
|2013||First match||China PR||3–3||Draw|
|Third match||South Korea||2–1||Win|
|2015||First match||North Korea||1–2||Loss|
|Second match||South Korea||1–1||Draw|
|Third match||China PR||1–1||Draw|
|2017||First match||North Korea||1–0||Win|
|Second match||China PR||2–1||Win|
|Third match||South Korea||1–4||Loss|
|2019||First match||China PR||2–1||Win|
|Second match||Hong Kong||5–0||Win|
|Third match||South Korea||0–1||Loss|
The following table shows Japan's all-time international record, correct as of 16 November 2021.
As of 16 November
|United Arab Emirates||1981||2017||19||6||9||4||22||17||+5|
As of 13 October 2020
As of 14 November 2020
|Trinidad and Tobago||2006||2019||2||1||1||0||2||0||+2|
As of 19 November 2019
As of 6 October 2017
As of 11 June 2021
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||2006||2016||3||1||1||1||6||4||+2|
FIFA world rankingsEdit
- As of 23 April 2021
Best Ranking Best Mover Worst Ranking Worst Mover
|Japan's FIFA world rankings|
- Bronze medalists: 1968
- Runners-up: 2001
- EAFF E-1 Football Championship
- East Asian Football Championship (2003-2010), EAFF East Asian Cup (2013-2015)
- Years: 2000, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2011
- Years: 2002
- Sport in Japan
- Japan Football Association (JFA)
- International competitions
- Kirin Company
- National teams
- National football team
- National under-23 football team
- National under-20 football team
- National under-17 football team
- National futsal team
- National under-20 futsal team
- National beach soccer team
- "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
- "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.
- "Kunishige Kamamoto - Goals in International Matches". RSSSF.