Japan national football team

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 Japan
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) サムライ・ブルー
(Samurai Blue)
Association 日本サッカー協会
(Japan Football Association)
Confederation AFC (Asia)
Sub-confederation EAFF (East Asia)
Head coach Vahid Halilhodžić
Captain Makoto Hasebe
Most caps Yasuhito Endō (152)
Top scorer Kunishige Kamamoto (80)[1]
FIFA code JPN
First colors
Second colors
FIFA ranking
Current 44 Decrease 4 (16 October 2017)
Highest 9 (February 1998)
Lowest 62 (December 1992)
Elo ranking
Current 28 Decrease 2 (10 November 2017)
Highest 8 (August 2001, March 2002)
Lowest 60 (September 1962)
First international
 Japan 0–5 China 
(Tokyo; 9 May 1917)[2]
Biggest win
 Japan 15–0 Philippines 
(Tokyo; 27 September 1967)
Biggest defeat
 Japan 2–15 Philippines 
(Tokyo; 10 May 1917)[3]
World Cup
Appearances 6 (first in 1998)
Best result Round of 16, 2002 and 2010
Asian Cup
Appearances 8 (first in 1988)
Best result Champions, 1992, 2000, 2004 and 2011
Copa América
Appearances 1 (first in 1999)
Best result Group Stage, 1999
Confederations Cup
Appearances 5 (first in 1995)
Best result Runners-up, 2001

The Japan national football team (サッカー日本代表, Sakkā Nippon Daihyō) represents Japan in association football and is operated by the Japan Football Association (JFA), the governing body for association football in Japan. The current head coach is Vahid Halilhodžić.[4]

Japan is one of the most successful teams in Asia, having qualified for the last six consecutive FIFA World Cups with second round advancements in 2002 and 2010, and having 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. Their principal continental rivals are South Korea and most recently, Australia.

Japan is the only team from outside the Americas to participate in the Copa América, having been invited in 1999 and 2011.[5] Although they initially accepted the invitation for the 2011 tournament, the JFA later withdrew following the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.[6]

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).[7] Recently, the team has been known or nicknamed as the "Samurai Blue", while Japanese news media still refer it to by the manager's last name, as "Halilhodžić Japan" (ハリルホジッチジャパン, Hariruhojitchi Japan), or "Halil Japan" (ハリルジャパン, Hariru Japan) in an abbreviated form.[8][9]

History

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

Japan's first major achievement in international football came in the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, where the team won the bronze medal. Although this result earned the sport increased recognition in Japan, the absence of a professional domestic league hindered its growth and Japan would not qualify for the FIFA World Cup until 30 years later.[10] However, 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.

In 1991, the owners of the semi-professional Japan Soccer League agreed to disband the league and re-form as the professional J. League, partly to raise the sport's profile and to strengthen the national team program. The following year Japan hosted and won the Asian Cup in their second appearance, defeating Saudi Arabia 1–0 in the final. The J. League was officially launched in 1993, causing interest in football and the national team to grow.

However, in its first attempt to qualify with professional players, Japan narrowly missed a ticket to the 1994 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, despite playing well in both matches. Their campaign ended with a 2–1 defeat to Jamaica. In the 2000 Asian Cup, Japan managed to reclaim their title after defeating Saudi Arabia in the final, becoming Asian Champions for the second time.

Two years later, Japan co-hosted the 2002 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.

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.

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.[11] Japan won its opening match of the 2010 World Cup 1–0 against Cameroon, but subsequently lost to the Netherlands 0–1 before defeating Denmark 3–1 to advance to the next round against Paraguay. In the first knockout round, Japan were eliminated from the competition following penalties after a 0–0 draw against Paraguay.

After the World Cup, head coach Takeshi Okada resigned. He was replaced by former Juventus and 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.[12]

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 August 31, 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.

Rivalries

Japan maintains a strong rivalry with South Korea. Japan has played 76 matches against the South Korean football team with 14 victories, 22 draws, and 40 losses. The football rivalry is long-seated and is often seen as an extension of an overall rivalry that runs deep between the two nations. Controversies occasionally flare up between matches between the two nations, most recently at the 2013 EAFF East Asian Cup, where at the final match of the tournament, played between South Korea and Japan on 28 July, South Korean fans booed the start of the Japanese anthem and later upped the political sloganeering with a banner that covered most of the width of one end of the ground that read, in Korean, "The nation that forgets history has no future."(Korean: 역사를 잊은 민족에게 미래는 없다),[13] in response to the Japanese Rising Sun Flag, apparently aiming at the Japanese leaders' reluctance to admit to wrongdoings during its militaristic and colonial past, after they displayed huge pictures of Ahn Jung-geun, who assassinated the first Prime Minister of Japan and then-Japanese Resident-General of Korea Itō Hirobumi back in 1909, and Yi Sun-sin, a Korean naval commander who is famed for his victories against the Japanese navy during the Imjin war in the Joseon Dynasty back in the 16th century.[14]

Japan began to develop a fierce rivalry with fellow Asian powerhouse Australia, shortly after the latter joined the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).[15] The rivalry is regarded as one of Asia's biggest football rivalries.[16] 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.[17] The rivalry began at the 2006 World Cup where the two countries were grouped together. The rivalry continued with the two countries meeting regularly in various AFC competitions, such as the 2007 AFC Asian Cup, the 2011 AFC Asian Cup Final and the 2013 EAFF East Asian Cup.[18]

Team image

Supporters of the Japanese national team during a friendly match against Bosnia and Herzegovina, 30 January 2008

Fan chanting

Japanese national team supporters are known for chanting "Nippon Ole" (Nippon is the Japanese term for Japan) at home matches.[19]

Kits and colors

Japan's kit is provided by German company Adidas, the team's official apparel sponsor since 1986.

The home kit consists of a blue jersey with Japan's crest and flag on the chest, blue shorts with bright pink patches on the side and blue socks with pink tops. The away kit is neon yellow, accented with navy blue and orange. In the 2013 Confederations Cup and the 2015 AFC Asian Cup, Japan temporarily switched the colour of the numbers from white to gold.

Prior to Adidas, Asics and Puma had been the team's official apparel sponsor. The national team kit design has gone through several alterations in the past. In the early 1980s, the kit was white with blue trim. When Japan was coached by Kenzo Yokoyama (1988–1991) the kits were red and white, matching the colors of Japan's national flag. The kits worn for the 1992 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). This design is reproduced in the special kit used in June 2017.

Japan uses blue and white rather than red and white due to a superstition. In its first major international competition, the 1936 Summer Olympics, Japan used a blue kit in the match against Sweden, where Japan won 3–2.[20]

Home
1917
1950–75
1975–79
1979–80
1980–83
1983–86
1986–87
1988–91
1991–92
1992–96
1996–98
1998–99
1999–2000
2001
2002–03
2004–05
2005–07
2008–09
2009–11
2012–13
2013–15
2015–17
June 2017
Away
1980–81
1984–85
1985
1998–99
1999–2000
2001
2002–03
2004–05
2006–07
2008–09
2010–11
2012–13
2014–15
2015–17

Sponsorship

Japan has one of the highest sponsorship incomes for a national squad. In 2006 their sponsorship income amounted to over 16.5 million pounds.

Primary sponsors include Adidas, Kirin, Saison Card International, FamilyMart, JAL, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance, Asahi Shinbun, Mizuho Financial, Daito Trust Construction and KDDI.

Mascot

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

For the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the Pokémon character Pikachu served as the mascot.[21]

Competitive record

All time results

Recent results and fixtures

Date Opponent Result Score* Venue Competition
11 November 2016  Oman W 4–0 Japan Kashima Soccer Stadium, Kashima, Japan Kirin Challenge Cup 2016
15 November 2016  Saudi Arabia W 2–1 Japan Saitama Stadium 2002, Saitama, Japan 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC Third Round
23 March 2017  United Arab Emirates W 2–0 United Arab Emirates Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium, Al Ain, United Arab Emirates 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC Third Round
28 March 2017  Thailand W 4–0 Japan Saitama Stadium 2002, Saitama, Japan 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC Third Round
7 June 2017  Syria D 1–1 Japan Tokyo Stadium, Chōfu, Japan Kirin Challenge Cup 2017
13 June 2017  Iraq D 1–1 Iran Shahid Dastgerdi Stadium, Tehran, Iran 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC Third Round
31 August 2017  Australia W 2–0 Japan Saitama Stadium 2002, Saitama, Japan 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC Third Round
5 September 2017  Saudi Arabia L 0–1 Saudi Arabia King Abdullah Sports City, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification – AFC Third Round
6 October 2017  New Zealand W 2–1 Japan Toyota Stadium, Toyota, Japan Kirin Challenge Cup 2017
10 October 2017  Haiti D 3–3 Japan International Stadium Yokohama, Yokohama, Japan Kirin Challenge Cup 2017
10 November 2017  Brazil L 1–3 France Stade Pierre-Mauroy, Villeneuve d'Ascq, France Friendly
14 November 2017  Belgium L 0–1 Belgium Jan Breydel Stadium, Brugge, Belgium Friendly
9 December 2017  North Korea Japan Ajinomoto Stadium, Tokyo 2017 EAFF E-1 Football Championship
12 December 2017  China PR Japan Ajinomoto Stadium, Tokyo 2017 EAFF E-1 Football Championship
16 December 2017  South Korea Japan Ajinomoto Stadium, Tokyo 2017 EAFF E-1 Football Championship
27 March 2018  Argentina Japan Shizuoka Stadium, Fukuroi Kirin Soccer Cup 2018

* Japan score always listed first

  Win   Draw   Loss

Coaching

Position Name
Head Coach Bosnia and Herzegovina Vahid Halilhodžić
Assistant Coach France Jacky Bonnevay
Assistant Coach Japan Makoto Teguramori
Physical Coach France Cyril Moine
Conditioning Coach Japan Naoki Hayakawa
Goalkeeping Coach Bosnia and Herzegovina Enver Lugušić
Goalkeeping Coach Japan Yukiya Hamano

Players

Current squad

The following players were called up for Friendly matches against Brazil and Belgium on 10 and 14 November 2017, respectively.[22]
Caps and goals as of 14 November 2017 after the match against Belgium.[23]

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Eiji Kawashima (1983-03-20) 20 March 1983 (age 34) 80 0 France Metz
12 1GK Shusaku Nishikawa (1986-06-18) 18 June 1986 (age 31) 31 0 Japan Urawa Red Diamonds
23 1GK Masaaki Higashiguchi (1986-05-12) 12 May 1986 (age 31) 3 0 Japan Gamba Osaka

3 2DF Gen Shōji (1992-12-11) 11 December 1992 (age 24) 6 0 Japan Kashima Antlers
4 2DF Shintaro Kurumaya (1992-04-05) 5 April 1992 (age 25) 1 0 Japan Kawasaki Frontale
5 2DF Yūto Nagatomo (1986-09-12) 12 September 1986 (age 31) 101 3 Italy Internazionale
19 2DF Hiroki Sakai (1990-04-12) 12 April 1990 (age 27) 40 0 France Marseille
20 2DF Tomoaki Makino (1987-05-11) 11 May 1987 (age 30) 28 3 Japan Urawa Red Diamonds
21 2DF Gōtoku Sakai (1991-03-14) 14 March 1991 (age 26) 37 0 Germany Hamburg
22 2DF Maya Yoshida (1988-08-24) 24 August 1988 (age 29) 80 10 England Southampton
24 2DF Genta Miura (1995-03-01) 1 March 1995 (age 22) 0 0 Japan Gamba Osaka

2 3MF Yosuke Ideguchi (1996-08-23) 23 August 1996 (age 21) 7 1 Japan Gamba Osaka
6 3MF Wataru Endo (1993-02-09) 9 February 1993 (age 24) 11 0 Japan Urawa Red Diamonds
7 3MF Shu Kurata (1988-11-26) 26 November 1988 (age 28) 6 2 Japan Gamba Osaka
14 3MF Ryota Morioka (1991-04-12) 12 April 1991 (age 26) 4 0 Belgium Waasland-Beveren
16 3MF Hotaru Yamaguchi (1990-10-06) 6 October 1990 (age 27) 37 2 Japan Cerezo Osaka
17 3MF Makoto Hasebe Captain sports.svg (1984-01-18) 18 January 1984 (age 33) 106 2 Germany Eintracht Frankfurt
25 3MF Kazuki Nagasawa (1991-12-16) 16 December 1991 (age 25) 1 0 Japan Urawa Red Diamonds

8 4FW Genki Haraguchi (1991-05-09) 9 May 1991 (age 26) 28 6 Germany Hertha Berlin
9 4FW Kenyu Sugimoto (1992-11-18) 18 November 1992 (age 25) 5 1 Japan Cerezo Osaka
10 4FW Takashi Inui (1988-06-02) 2 June 1988 (age 29) 25 2 Spain Eibar
11 4FW Yuya Kubo (1993-12-24) 24 December 1993 (age 23) 11 2 Belgium Gent
13 4FW Shinzo Koroki (1986-07-31) 31 July 1986 (age 31) 16 0 Japan Urawa Red Diamonds
15 4FW Yuya Osako (1990-05-18) 18 May 1990 (age 27) 25 7 Germany Köln
18 4FW Takuma Asano (1994-11-10) 10 November 1994 (age 23) 16 3 Germany Stuttgart

Recent call-ups

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

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Kosuke Nakamura (1995-02-27) 27 February 1995 (age 22) 0 0 Japan Kashiwa Reysol v.  Haiti, 10 October 2017
GK Akihiro Hayashi (1987-05-07) 7 May 1987 (age 30) 0 0 Japan FC Tokyo v.  Thailand, 28 March 2017

DF Naomichi Ueda (1994-10-24) 24 October 1994 (age 23) 0 0 Japan Kashima Antlers v.  Haiti, 10 October 2017
DF Tomoya Ugajin (1988-03-23) 23 March 1988 (age 29) 0 0 Japan Urawa Red Diamonds v.  Iraq, 13 June 2017
DF Masato Morishige (1987-05-21) 21 May 1987 (age 30) 41 2 Japan FC Tokyo v.  Thailand, 28 March 2017

MF Shinji Kagawa (1989-03-17) 17 March 1989 (age 28) 89 29 Germany Borussia Dortmund v.  Haiti, 10 October 2017
MF Yūki Kobayashi (1992-04-24) 24 April 1992 (age 25) 4 1 Netherlands Heerenveen v.  Haiti, 10 October 2017
MF Keisuke Honda (1986-06-13) 13 June 1986 (age 31) 90 36 Mexico Pachuca v.  Saudi Arabia, 5 September 2017
MF Gaku Shibasaki (1992-05-28) 28 May 1992 (age 25) 11 3 Spain Getafe v.  Saudi Arabia, 5 September 2017
MF Yojiro Takahagi (1986-08-02) 2 August 1986 (age 31) 2 0 Japan FC Tokyo v.  Saudi Arabia, 5 September 2017
MF Yasuyuki Konno (1983-01-25) 25 January 1983 (age 34) 90 4 Japan Gamba Osaka v.  Iraq, 13 June 2017
MF Takashi Usami (1992-05-06) 6 May 1992 (age 25) 19 3 Germany Fortuna Düsseldorf v.  Syria, 7 June 2017
MF Kohei Kato (1989-06-14) 14 June 1989 (age 28) 0 0 Bulgaria Beroe Stara Zagora v.  Syria, 7 June 2017
MF Hiroshi Kiyotake (1989-11-12) 12 November 1989 (age 28) 44 5 Japan Cerezo Osaka v.  Thailand, 28 March 2017 INJ

FW Yoshinori Mutō (1992-07-15) 15 July 1992 (age 25) 21 2 Germany Mainz 05 v.  Haiti, 10 October 2017
FW Shinji Okazaki (1986-04-16) 16 April 1986 (age 31) 110 50 England Leicester City v.  Saudi Arabia, 5 September 2017
FW Yu Kobayashi (1987-09-23) 23 September 1987 (age 30) 8 0 Japan Kawasaki Frontale v.  Thailand, 28 March 2017

INJ Player withdrew from the squad due to an injury.
PRE Preliminary squad.
RET Retired from national team.
SUS Player suspended.

Records

Statistics below are from matches which the Japan Football Association consider as official.[1][24][25][26]

Updated to 10 November 2017:

Rosters

Managers

As of 15 November 2017[27]
Manager Period Record
Matches Won Draw Lost Win %
Japan Masujiro Nishida 1923 2 0 0 2 0%
Japan Goro Yamada 1925 2 0 0 2 0%
Vacant 1925 2 1 0 1 50%
Japan Shigeyoshi Suzuki (1st) 1930 2 1 1 0 50%
Japan Shigemaru Takenokoshi (1st) 1934 3 1 0 2 33.33%
Japan Shigeyoshi Suzuki (2nd) 1936 2 1 1 0 50%
Japan Shigemaru Takenokoshi (2nd) 1940 1 1 0 0 100%
Japan Hirokazu Ninomiya 1951 3 1 1 1 33.33%
Japan Shigemaru Takenokoshi (3rd) 1954–56 12 2 4 6 16.66%
Japan Taizo Kawamoto 1958 2 0 0 2 0%
Japan Shigemaru Takenokoshi (4th) 1958–59 12 4 2 6 33.33%
Vacant 1960 1 0 0 1 0%
Japan Hidetoki Takahashi 1961–1962 14 3 2 9 21.43%
Japan Ken Naganuma (1st) 1963–1969 31 18 7 6 58.06%
Japan Shunichiro Okano 1970–1971 19 11 2 6 57.90%
Japan Ken Naganuma (2nd) 1972–1976 42 16 6 20 38.09%
Japan Hiroshi Ninomiya 1976–1978 27 6 6 15 22.22%
Japan Yukio Shimomura 1979–1980 14 8 4 2 57.14%
Japan Masashi Watanabe 1980 3 2 0 1 66.67%
Japan Saburō Kawabuchi 1980–1981 10 3 2 5 30%
Japan Takaji Mori 1981–1985 43 22 5 16 51.16%
Japan Yoshinobu Ishii 1986–1987 17 11 2 4 64.70%
Japan Kenzo Yokoyama 1988–1991 24 5 7 12 20.83%
Netherlands Hans Ooft 1992–1993 27 16 7 4 59.25%
Brazil Falcão 1994 9 3 4 2 33.33%
Japan Shu Kamo 1994–1997 46 23 10 13 50%
Japan Takeshi Okada (1st) 1997–1998 15 5 4 6 33.33%
France Philippe Troussier 1998–2002 50 23 16 11 46%
Brazil Zico 2002–2006 71 37 16 18 52.11%
Bosnia and Herzegovina Ivica Osim 2006–2007 20 13 5 3 65%
Japan Takeshi Okada (2nd) 2007–2010 50 26 13 11 52%
Japan Hiromi Hara (caretaker) 2010 2 2 0 0 100%
Italy Alberto Zaccheroni 2010–2014 55 30 12 13 54.54%
Mexico Javier Aguirre 2014–2015 10 7 1 2 70%
Bosnia and Herzegovina Vahid Halilhodžić 2015–Present 33 19 8 6 57.58%

Competitions

*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 Cup

FIFA World Cup Finals record Qualifications record
Hosts / year Result Position GP W D* L GS GA GP W D L GS GA
Uruguay 1930 Did Not Enter - - - - - -
Italy 1934 - - - - - -
France 1938 Withdrew - - - - - -
Brazil 1950 Withdrew - - - - - -
Switzerland 1954 Did Not Qualify 2 0 1 1 3 7
Sweden 1958 Did Not Enter - - - - - -
Chile 1962 Did Not Qualify 2 0 0 2 1 4
England 1966 Did Not Enter - - - - - -
Mexico 1970 Did Not Qualify 4 0 2 2 4 8
West Germany 1974 4 1 0 3 5 4
Argentina 1978 4 0 1 3 0 5
Spain 1982 4 2 0 2 4 2
Mexico 1986 8 5 1 2 15 5
Italy 1990 6 2 3 1 7 3
United States 1994 13 9 3 1 35 6
France 1998 Group Stage 31st 3 0 0 3 1 4 15 9 5 1 51 12
South KoreaJapan 2002 Round of 16 9th 4 2 1 1 5 3 - - - - - -
Germany 2006 Group Stage 28th 3 0 1 2 2 7 12 11 0 1 25 5
South Africa 2010 Round of 16 9th 4 2 1 1 4 2 14 8 4 2 23 9
Brazil 2014 Group Stage 29th 3 0 1 2 2 6 14 8 3 3 30 8
Russia 2018 Qualified 18 13 3 2 44 7
Qatar 2022 To be determined - - - - - -
Total Round of 16 6/21 17 4 4 9 14 22 120 68 26 26 247 85

AFC Asian Cup

Head-to-head records against other countries

FIFA ranking

Last updated 16 October 2017

Key to FIFA World Rankings table
Highest position
Lowest position
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2017 46 52 51 44 44 45 46 44 40 44

Team records

As of 23 January 2015[28]
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. Malaya
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

Honors

International

Bronze Medal (1): 1968
Runners-Up (1): 2001

Continental

Champions (4): 1992, 2000, 2004, 2011

Regional

Champions (3): 1992, 1995, 1998
Champions (1): 2013
Champions (1): 1930

Other

Champions (2): 1993, 2007
Champions (1): 2001

Invitational

Champions (11): 1991, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011

Individual awards

Years (1): 2002
Years (5): 2000, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2011

See also

References

  1. ^ a b 80 days to go – With 80 goals in 84 appearances, Kunishige Kamamoto is Japan's all-time leading goalscorer. (FIFA.com)
  2. ^ "Japan National Football Team Results: 1910–1919". Football Japan. p. 29 December 2012. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  3. ^ Motoaki Inukai 「日本代表公式記録集2008」 Japan Football Association p.206
  4. ^ "Japan sack coach Javier Aguirre due to ongoing match-fixing investigation". The Guardian. Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. 2015-02-03. Retrieved 2015-02-03. 
  5. ^ a b Japan Invited To Copa America 2011 Along With Mexico Goal.com 2 Jun 2009
  6. ^ [1] ESPNFC.com 17 May 2011
  7. ^ A common methodology of nickname creation is done by taking the last name of incumbent head coach followed by "Japan". Past teams have been referred to as, "Osim Japan" (オシムジャパン, Oshimu Japan), "Zico Japan" (ジーコジャパン, Jīko Japan), "Troussier Japan" (トルシエジャパン, Torushie Japan)
  8. ^ ハリルジャパン、白星発進!!岡崎&本田のゴールで初陣飾る. Gekisaka (in Japanese). Kodansha. 2015-03-27. Retrieved 2015-04-09. 
  9. ^ 岡崎、本田がゴール! ハリルジャパン初陣を勝利で飾る. Football Channel (in Japanese). Kanzen ltd. 2015-03-27. Retrieved 2015-04-09. 
  10. ^ Matsushima, Ken. "History of the J. League". Rising Sun News. Archived from the original on 2006-05-12. Retrieved 2016-11-02. 
  11. ^ Hongo, Jun, "SOCCER IN JAPAN: Japan team has foot in World Cup door but can it kick?", Japan Times, February 9, 2010, p. 3.
  12. ^ "Australia 0–1 Japan (AET". Daily Telegraph. 2011-01-29. Retrieved 2011-02-02. 
  13. ^ "Banner Controversy Mars Japan-Korea Soccer Match". Alastair Gale. The Wall Street Journal. 2013-07-29. Retrieved 2013-07-30. 
  14. ^ 안중근·이순신 현수막 논란…붉은 악마는 '응원 보이콧' [Ahn Jung-geun, Yi Sun-sin banners controversy…Red Devils' "Cheering boycott"] (in Korean). Seoul Broadcasting System. 2013-07-28. Retrieved 2013-07-28. 
  15. ^ "Australia, Japan rivalry hits new heights". Football Federation Australia. Retrieved 30 September 2013. 
  16. ^ "Highlights". Foxtel.com.au. Retrieved 2015-05-03. 
  17. ^ Sebastian Hassett. "Socceroos to resume Japan rivalry in qualifying group for Brazil". Smh.com.au. Retrieved 2015-05-03. 
  18. ^ "Japan-Australia: a classic football rivalry". theroar.com.au. Retrieved 30 September 2013. 
  19. ^ Chant of JAPAN National Team "NIPPON Ole" YT
  20. ^ "Why does Japan wear blue soccer uniforms?". The Wichita Eagle. 
  21. ^ Sanchez, Miranda (15 March 2014). "Pikachu Named Mascot of the 2014 World Cup". 
  22. ^ "SAMURAI BLUE (Japan National Team) squad, schedule - International Friendly Match vs. Brazil (11/10 France・Lille/Stade Pierre-Mauroy), International Friendly Match vs. Belgium (11/14 Belgium・Bruges/Jan Breydelstadion)". Japan Football Association. 31 October 2017. 
  23. ^ "Japan squad named for Caltex Socceroos WCQ". Football Federation Australia. 24 August 2017. 
  24. ^ Yoon Hyung-Jin. "Japan International Match – List of Full International Matches". RSSSF. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  25. ^ Mamrud, Roberto. "Japan – Record International Players". RSSSF. Retrieved 2 July 2012. 
  26. ^ "Players Records". Japan National Football Team Database. Retrieved May 15, 2014. 
  27. ^ "Managers". Japan National Football Team Database. Retrieved May 15, 2014. 
  28. ^ "Team Records". Japan National Football Team Database. Retrieved May 15, 2014. 

External links

  • Japan Football Association (in Japanese)
  • Japan Samurai Blue (in Japanese)
  • Japan Football Association
  • Japan FIFA
  • Japan at the World Cups
Preceded by
1988 Saudi Arabia 
Asian Champions
1992 (1st title)
Succeeded by
1996 Saudi Arabia 
Preceded by
1996 Saudi Arabia 
Asian Champions
2000 (2nd title)
2004 (3rd title)
Succeeded by
2007 Iraq 
Preceded by
2007 Iraq 
Asian Champions
2011 (4th title)
Succeeded by
2015 Australia 
Preceded by
2001 Ichiro Suzuki
Japan Professional Sports Grand Prize
2002 Japan National Football Team
Succeeded by
2003 Hideki Matsui
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