Japan reached Russia 2018 after their 2-0 win against Australia on 31 August 2017, which sealed progression from Asia’s Group B.
FIFA Ranking: 61
World Cup History:
Qualifying Campaigns: 14
First stage appearances: 5
Semi final appearances: 0
First World Cup: 1998
Last World Cup: 2014
Best outing: Round of 16 (2002, 2010)
KEY PLAYER: KEISUKE HONDA
Now at Mexican club Pachuca, Honda remains Japan’s talisman and chief attacking threat despite disappointing in three years with Milan. His flair, technical skill and set-piece prowess will all be key weapons, and Nishino will be hoping his bleach blond playmaker can re-kindle the dazzling link-up play he has exhibited with Kagawa in the past.
June 19: COLOMBIA vs JAPAN
June 24: JAPAN vs SENEGAL
June 28: JAPAN vs POLAND
WORLD CUP SQUAD
Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima, Masaaki Higashiguchi, Kosuke Nakamura.
Defenders: Yuto Nagatomo, Tomoaki Makino, Wataru Endo, Maya Yoshida, Hiroki Sakai, Gotoku Sakai, Gen Shoji, Naomichi Ueda.
Midfielders: Makoto Hasebe, Keisuke Honda, Takashi Inui, Shinji Kagawa, Hotaru Yamaguchi, Genki Haraguchi, Takashi Usami, Gaku Shibasaki, Ryota Oshima.
Forwards: Shinji Okazaki, Yuya Osako, Yoshinori Muto.