Japan
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s)サムライ・ブルー
(Samurai Blue)[1][2]
Since 19 October 2009[3]
AssociationJapan Football Association (JFA)
ConfederationAFC (Asia)
Sub-confederationEAFF (East Asia)
Head coachHajime Moriyasu
CaptainMaya Yoshida
Most capsYasuhito Endō (152)
Top scorerKunishige Kamamoto (75)[4]
Home stadiumSaitama Stadium 2002 (mostly)
FIFA codeJPN
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 24 Steady (6 October 2022)[5]
Highest9 (March 1998)
Lowest66 (December 1992)
First international
 Japan 0–5 China 
(Tokyo, Japan; 9 May 1917)
Biggest win
 Japan 15–0 Philippines 
(Tokyo, Japan; 27 September 1967)
Biggest defeat
 Japan 2–15 Philippines 
(Tokyo, Japan; 10 May 1917)
World Cup
Appearances7 (first in 1998)
Best resultRound of 16 (2002, 2010, 2018, 2022)
Asian Cup
Appearances10 (first in 1988)
Best resultChampions (1992, 2000, 2004, 2011)
Copa América (as guest)
Appearances2 (first in 1999)
Best resultGroup stage (1999, 2019)
EAFF Championship
Appearances9 (first in 2003)
Best resultChampions (2013, 2022)
FIFA Confederations Cup
Appearances5 (first in 1995)
Best resultRunners-up (2001)
Websitejfa.jp

The Japan national football team (Japanese: サッカー日本代表, Hepburn: Sakkā Nihon Daihyō), nicknamed the Samurai Blue (サムライ・ブルー, Samurai Burū),[1][2] represents Japan in men's international football. It is controlled by the Japan Football Association (JFA), the governing body for football in Japan.

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 seven FIFA World Cups with knockout stage appearances in 2002, 2010, 2018 and 2022, and won the AFC Asian Cup a record four times, in 1992, 2000, 2004 and 2011. The team 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.[7][8] Their principal continental rivals are South Korea 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.[9]

History

Pre-war era (1910s–1930s)

Far Eastern Championship Games logo in 1917

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

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

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.[11] Its last prewar match for purposes of Elo ratings was a friendly against the Philippines in June 1940.[14]

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)

Japan playing Argentine club Racing de Córdoba at the 1981 President's Cup
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.[14] 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.[12] Japan also joined the Asian Football Confederation in 1954.[11]

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.[15] 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.[16] 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.[15]

1990s: Rise

A World Cup match vs. Argentina in Toulouse in 1998.
A World Cup match vs. Argentina in Toulouse 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 1–0 in the final. The J.League was officially launched in 1993.

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.

2000s

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

With the 2004 AFC Asian Cup hosted by China, the Japanese managed to retain the title by winning their group after two victories over Thailand and Oman, before surpassing Jordan and Bahrain. They won against China in the final 3–1.

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

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 winning the group Vietnam and two Arab rivals, Qatar and the UAE, the Japanese were totally exhausted in their game against Australia, where Japan won only by a penalty shootout. Japan lost to Saudi Arabia in the semi-finals before failing in the third-place match against South Korea.

2010s

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 drawn in Group E along with the Netherlands, Denmark and Cameroon.[17] Japan started with a 1–0 win against Cameroon, before subsequently losing to the Netherlands 0–1. Then, Japan resoundingly beat Denmark 3–1 to advance to the next round against Paraguay. In the round of 16, 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 a 1–0 victory over Argentina.

In 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.[18]

Japan then started their road to 2014 World Cup in Brazil. 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. After a 1–1 draw with Australia they qualified for the 2014 World Cup, becoming the first nation aside from Brazil 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. 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.

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 after 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 Greece to win against Ivory Coast. Greece beat Ivory Coast 2–1, but Colombia won 4–1, eliminating Japan from the World Cup. Alberto Zaccheroni resigned as head coach. 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.

Japan national team vs Paraguay in 2008
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.[19]

Japanese players before match with Iran at 2019 AFC Asian Cup
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,[20] 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.[21] Japan were defeated in their last group game in the Group H against Poland 0–1,[22] 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.[23] 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.[24][25][26] The match received comparison to the 1982 World Cup Disgrace of Gijón, in which a similar game was played.[27] Japan were the only AFC team to have qualified to the knockout stage.[28] 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.[29] 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.[30][31] This unfortunate scenario was due to the naivety of the Nipponese,[32][33][34] who were very offensive and did not fall back enough in defense once the two-goal lead was acquired (unlike France, eventual champion, in the semifinals who played low block against these same Belgians with success), leaving a lot of space to the Belgians, who also took advantage of their physical and athletic superiority to turn the game around. 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.[35]

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,[36] Oman 1–0[37] and Uzbekistan 2–1.[38] The team, however, got criticized for its defensive approach (as the offensive approach lead to a regretful scenario against Belgium during the World Cup 2018), 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.[39][40] After defeating Iran 3–0 to reach the final, Japan's hope to win their fifth Asian Cup in two decades shattered with the team suffering a 1–3 loss to Qatar, who won the Asian Cup for the first time.[41]

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.[42] Japan, however, bounced back well and managed to unluckily draw against football giants Uruguay 2–2, who (Uruguay) were deemed to have been saved by VAR.[43] 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.[44] Aftermath saw Japan played a friendly game against the Paraguayans, and won 2–0 at home.

2020s

After China was removed as host of the 2022 EAFF E-1 Football Championship, it was announced that Japan was the new host. After topping the table with two wins and one draw, Japan won the competition for the second time in their history.[45]

Japan qualified for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, and were grouped with Germany, Costa Rica and Spain in Group E. On 23 November 2022, Japan produced an upset in which they beat Germany 2–1, with two goals in an eight-minute span during the second half. [46] In the second match against Costa Rica, the Samurai Blue lost 0–1. Going into the matches on an the final matchday, every team in Japan's group could qualify or be eliminated, with no team assured of any placement. In the end, Japan managed to qualify for the knockout stages by defeating Spain 2–1 in their final group match, also contributing to Germany's elimination from the tournament.[47] By topping their group, Japan went on to face Croatia[48] in the round-of-16 where Japan would lose on penalties 1–1 (1–3).

Team image

Nicknames

Japan's national football team is nicknamed the Samurai Blue (サムライ・ブルー, Samurai Burū) by the JFA.[1][2] The team also is often known by the last name of the manager. For example, under Takeshi Okada, the team was known as Okada Japan (岡田ジャパン, Okada Japan),[49] or during the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the team is referred by the current manager's (Hajime Moriyasu) name, as "Moriyasu Japan" (森保ジャパン, Moriyasu Japan).[50][51]

Kits

Boeing 777-289 Samurai Blue Jet
Boeing 777-289 Samurai Blue Jet

The national team kit design has gone through several alterations in the past.[52] 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 the 1996 Asian Cup and in the 1998 World Cup, 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,[53] and then in a 3–2 victory over Sweden in the first game of its maiden major international competition, the 1936 Summer Olympics.[54] 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.[55] Before that, Asics and Puma had been the team's official apparel sponsor alongside Adidas.

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

Kit suppliers

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

Crest

Yatagarasu

The crest or emblem of the national team was adopted in late 2017 as part of a larger rebranding by the Japan Football Association.[56] 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.[57][58]

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.[57]

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 stadium

Main article: List of football stadiums in Japan

Saitama Stadium 2002, where Japan usually plays in FIFA World Cup qualification.
Saitama Stadium 2002, where Japan usually plays in FIFA World Cup qualification.

Japan plays its home matches among various stadiums, in rotation, around the country, especially the Saitama Stadium 2002.

Rivalries

South Korea

Main article: Japan–South Korea football rivalry

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 two 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. Since November 1991, when the Japan Professional Football League was launched, the record is almost even with 9 wins, 12 draws and 10 losses. 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.

China

Main article: China–Japan football rivalry

Japan and China used to have a strong rivalry and the rivalry was taken to a new height when Japan beat China 3–1 in the 2004 AFC Asian Cup Final.[59] Previously, when Japan had not established professional football, Japan had only 4 wins, 3 draws and 13 losses toward China. However, Japan's rapid rise since 1991 with the foundation of Japan Professional Football League helped turning the tide, and the Japanese have been able to exert domination with 13 wins, 6 draws and just 2 losses. Moreover, Japan have been able to use the new professional program into senior successes, qualifying to every FIFA World Cup since 1998 and winning four AFC Asian Cup; whereas China have finished runners-up in Asia twice, and qualified to just one FIFA World Cup in 2002.

Australia

Main article: Australia–Japan football rivalry

Japan began to develop a fierce rivalry with fellow Asian powerhouse Australia, shortly after the latter joined the Asian Football Confederation (AFC).[60] The rivalry is regarded as one of Asia's biggest football rivalries.[61] 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.[62] 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.[63] Likewise, Australia and Japan also share 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 still belonged to the OFC.[64] Japan have met Australia 27 times, with a record of 11 wins, 9 draws and 7 losses. Since the launch of the Japan Professional Football League in November 1991, the record has been 10 wins, 7 draws and 4 losses.

Supporters

Fans waving national flags in support of the Japanese national team
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.[65]

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, MS&AD Insurance Group, 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 kit. The mascots were designed by Japanese manga artist Susumu Matsushita. Each year when a new kit is launched, the mascots' uniforms are updated in order to match the kit being used by the team.

For the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the Pokémon character Pikachu served as the mascot.[66]

Results and fixtures

Main article: Japan national football team results (2020–present)

See also: 2022 in Japanese football

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

Legend

  Win   Draw   Loss   Postponed/Cancelled   Fixture

2022

27 January 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Japan  2–0  China Saitama, Japan
19:00 UTC+9
  • Osako 13' (pen.)
  • Ito 61'
Report (FIFA)
Report (JFA)
Report (Soccerway)
Stadium: Saitama Stadium 2002
Attendance: 11,753
Referee: Abdulrahman Al-Jassim (Qatar)
1 February 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Japan  2–0  Saudi Arabia Saitama, Japan
19:10 UTC+9
Report (FIFA)
Report (JFA)
Report (Soccerway)
Report (Foxsport)
Stadium: Saitama Stadium 2002
Attendance: 19,118
Referee: Ko Hyung-jin (South Korea)
24 March 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Australia  0–2  Japan Sydney, Australia
20:10 UTC+11 Report (FIFA)
Report (JFA)
Report (Soccerway)
Stadium: Stadium Australia
Attendance: 41,852
Referee: Nawaf Shukralla (Bahrain)
29 March 2022 FIFA World Cup qualification Japan  1–1  Vietnam Saitama, Japan
19:35 UTC+9 Yoshida 55' Report (FIFA)
Report (JFA)
Report (Soccerway)
Nguyễn Thanh Bình 19' Stadium: Saitama Stadium 2002
Attendance: 44,600
Referee: Ilgiz Tantashev (Uzbekistan)
2 June 2022 Kirin Challenge Cup Japan  4–1  Paraguay Sapporo, Japan
19:00 UTC+9
Report (JFA) Stadium: Sapporo Dome
Attendance: 24,511
Referee: Chris Beath (Australia)
6 June 2022 Kirin Challenge Cup Japan  0–1  Brazil Tokyo, Japan
19:20 UTC+9 Report (JFA)
Report (Soccerway)
Stadium: Japan National Stadium
Attendance: 63,638
Referee: Alireza Faghani (Iran)
10 June 2022 Kirin Cup Soccer Japan  4–1  Ghana Kobe, Japan
18:55 UTC+9
Report (JFA)
Report (Soccerway)
Stadium: Noevir Stadium Kobe
Attendance: 25,100
Referee: Kurt Ams (Australia)
14 June 2022 Kirin Cup Soccer Japan  0–3  Tunisia Osaka, Japan
18:55 UTC+9 Report (JFA)
Report (Soccerway)
Stadium: Panasonic Stadium Suita
Attendance: 31,292
Referee: Ahmed Eisa Darwish (United Arab Emirates)
19 July 2022 EAFF E-1 Football Championship Japan  6–0  Hong Kong Ibaraki, Japan
19:20 UTC+9
Report (EAFF)
Report (EAFF)
Stadium: Kashima Soccer Stadium
Attendance: 4,980
Referee: Hassan Akrami (Iran)
24 July 2022 EAFF E-1 Football Championship Japan  0–0  China Toyota, Japan
19:20 UTC+9 Report (EAFF)
Report (EAFF)
Stadium: Toyota Stadium
Attendance: 10,526
Referee: Nivon Robesh Gamini (Sri Lanka)
27 July 2022 EAFF E-1 Football Championship Japan  3–0  South Korea Toyota, Japan
19:20 UTC+9 Soma 49'

Sasaki 63'

Machino 72'
Report (EAFF)
Report (EAFF)
Stadium: Toyota Stadium
Attendance: 14,117
Referee: Akhrol Riskullaev (Uzbekistan)
23 September 2022 Kirin Challenge Cup Japan  2–0  United States Düsseldorf, Germany
14:25 UTC+2
Report (JFA)
Report (Soccerway)
Stadium: Merkur Spiel-Arena
Attendance: 5,149
Referee: Felix Zwayer (Germany)
27 September 2022 Kirin Challenge Cup Japan  0–0  Ecuador Düsseldorf, Germany
13:55 UTC+2 Report (JFA)
Report (Soccerway)
Stadium: Merkur Spiel-Arena
Attendance: 4.321
Referee: Sascha Stegemann (Germany)
17 November International Friendly Canada  2–1  Japan Dubai, United Arab Emirates
17:40 UTC+4
Report (JFA)
Report (Soccerway)
Stadium: Al-Maktoum Stadium
Attendance: 2.971
Referee: Omar Mohamed Al Ali (United Arab Emirates)
23 November 2022 FIFA World Cup Germany  1–2  Japan Doha, Qatar
16:00 UTC+3 Report (FIFA)
Report (JFA)
Report (Soccerway)
Stadium: Khalifa International Stadium
Attendance: 42,608
Referee: Iván Barton (El Salvador)
27 November 2022 FIFA World Cup Japan  0–1  Costa Rica Al Rayyan, Qatar
13:00 UTC+3 Report (FIFA)
Report (JFA)
Report (Soccerway)
Stadium: Ahmad bin Ali Stadium
Attendance: 41,479
Referee: Michael Oliver (England)
1 December 2022 FIFA World Cup Japan  2–1  Spain Doha, Qatar
22:00 UTC+3
Report (FIFA)
Report (JFA)
Report (Soccerway)
Stadium: Khalifa International Stadium
Attendance: 44,851
Referee: Victor Gomes (South Africa)
5 December 2022 FIFA World Cup R16 Japan  1–1 (a.e.t.)
(1–3 p)
 Croatia Al Wakrah, Qatar
18:00 UTC+3
Report Stadium: Al Janoub Stadium
Attendance: 42,523
Referee: Ismail Elfath (United States)
Penalties

2023

Coaching staff

Current coaching staff

As of 15 September 2022.[67]
Hajime Moriyasu, current head coach of Japan
Hajime Moriyasu, current head coach of Japan
Role Name
Head coach Japan Hajime Moriyasu
Assistant coach Japan Akinobu Yokouchi
Japan Toshihide Saito
Japan Yusaku Ueno
Goalkeeping coach Japan Takashi Shimoda
Physical coach Japan Ryoichi Matsumoto

Manager history

As of 5 December 2022 after the match against  Croatia.
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 Paulo Roberto 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 2 5 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 2015–2018 38 21 9 8 55.26%
Japan Akira Nishino 2018 7 2 1 4 28.57%
Japan Hajime Moriyasu[68][69] 2018–present 62 41 9 12 67.21%
Manager Period Record
Matches Won Draw Lost Win %

Players

Main article: List of Japan international footballers

See also: Category:Japan international footballers

Current squad

The following 26 players were called up for the 2022 FIFA World Cup on 1 November 2022.[70][71][72] Yuta Nakayama was forced to withdrew from the official squad list, due to injury, and was then replaced by Shuto Machino.[73][74]

Caps and goals as of 5 December 2022, after the match against  Croatia.

No. Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Eiji Kawashima (1983-03-20) 20 March 1983 (age 39) 95 0 France Strasbourg
12 1GK Shūichi Gonda (1989-03-03) 3 March 1989 (age 33) 38 0 Japan Shimizu S-Pulse
23 1GK Daniel Schmidt (1992-02-03) 3 February 1992 (age 30) 11 0 Belgium Sint-Truiden

2 2DF Miki Yamane (1993-12-22) 22 December 1993 (age 28) 16 2 Japan Kawasaki Frontale
3 2DF Shogo Taniguchi (1991-07-15) 15 July 1991 (age 31) 16 0 Japan Kawasaki Frontale
4 2DF Ko Itakura (1997-01-27) 27 January 1997 (age 25) 16 1 Germany Borussia Mönchengladbach
5 2DF Yuto Nagatomo (1986-09-12) 12 September 1986 (age 36) 142 4 Japan FC Tokyo
16 2DF Takehiro Tomiyasu (1998-11-05) 5 November 1998 (age 24) 32 1 England Arsenal
19 2DF Hiroki Sakai (1990-04-12) 12 April 1990 (age 32) 74 1 Japan Urawa Red Diamonds
22 2DF Maya Yoshida (captain) (1988-08-24) 24 August 1988 (age 34) 126 12 Germany Schalke 04
26 2DF Hiroki Ito (1999-05-12) 12 May 1999 (age 23) 7 0 Germany VfB Stuttgart

6 3MF Wataru Endo (1993-02-09) 9 February 1993 (age 29) 47 2 Germany VfB Stuttgart
7 3MF Gaku Shibasaki (1992-05-28) 28 May 1992 (age 30) 60 3 Spain Leganés
8 3MF Ritsu Dōan (1998-06-16) 16 June 1998 (age 24) 33 5 Germany SC Freiburg
9 3MF Kaoru Mitoma (1997-05-20) 20 May 1997 (age 25) 13 5 England Brighton & Hove Albion
10 3MF Takumi Minamino (1995-01-16) 16 January 1995 (age 27) 47 17 France Monaco[a]
11 3MF Takefusa Kubo (2001-06-04) 4 June 2001 (age 21) 22 1 Spain Real Sociedad
13 3MF Hidemasa Morita (1995-05-10) 10 May 1995 (age 27) 19 2 Portugal Sporting CP
14 3MF Junya Ito (1993-03-09) 9 March 1993 (age 29) 42 9 France Reims
15 3MF Daichi Kamada (1996-08-05) 5 August 1996 (age 26) 26 6 Germany Eintracht Frankfurt
17 3MF Ao Tanaka (1998-09-10) 10 September 1998 (age 24) 18 3 Germany Fortuna Düsseldorf
24 3MF Yuki Soma (1997-02-25) 25 February 1997 (age 25) 9 4 Japan Nagoya Grampus

18 4FW Takuma Asano (1994-11-10) 10 November 1994 (age 28) 41 8 Germany VfL Bochum
20 4FW Shuto Machino (1999-09-30) 30 September 1999 (age 23) 4 3 Japan Shonan Bellmare
21 4FW Ayase Ueda (1998-08-28) 28 August 1998 (age 24) 12 0 Belgium Cercle Brugge
25 4FW Daizen Maeda (1997-10-20) 20 October 1997 (age 25) 11 2 Scotland Celtic

Recent call-ups

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 Kosei Tani (2000-11-22) 22 November 2000 (age 22) 1 0 Japan Shonan Bellmare v.  Ecuador, 27 September 2022
GK Keisuke Osako (1999-07-28) 28 July 1999 (age 23) 3 0 Japan Sanfrecce Hiroshima 2022 EAFF E-1 Championship
GK Zion Suzuki (2002-08-22) 22 August 2002 (age 20) 1 0 Japan Urawa Red Diamonds 2022 EAFF E-1 Championship

DF Yuta Nakayama (1997-02-16) 16 February 1997 (age 25) 17 0 England Huddersfield Town 2022 FIFA World Cup INJ
DF Ayumu Seko (2000-06-07) 7 June 2000 (age 22) 0 0 Switzerland Grasshoppers v.  Ecuador, 27 September 2022
DF Sho Sasaki (1989-10-02) 2 October 1989 (age 33) 15 2 Japan Sanfrecce Hiroshima 2022 EAFF E-1 Championship
DF Shinnosuke Hatanaka (1995-08-25) 25 August 1995 (age 27) 10 0 Japan Yokohama F. Marinos 2022 EAFF E-1 Championship
DF Shinnosuke Nakatani (1996-03-24) 24 March 1996 (age 26) 5 0 Japan Nagoya Grampus 2022 EAFF E-1 Championship
DF Daiki Sugioka (1998-09-08) 8 September 1998 (age 24) 5 0 Japan Shonan Bellmare 2022 EAFF E-1 Championship
DF Ryuta Koike (1995-08-29) 29 August 1995 (age 27) 2 0 Japan Yokohama F. Marinos 2022 EAFF E-1 Championship
DF Hayato Araki (1996-08-07) 7 August 1996 (age 26) 1 0 Japan Sanfrecce Hiroshima 2022 EAFF E-1 Championship
DF Takuma Ominami (1997-12-13) 13 December 1997 (age 24) 1 0 Japan Kashiwa Reysol 2022 EAFF E-1 Championship
DF Yukinari Sugawara (2000-06-28) 28 June 2000 (age 22) 1 0 Netherlands AZ v.  Paraguay, 2 June 2022 INJ
DF Naomichi Ueda (1994-10-24) 24 October 1994 (age 28) 16 1 France Nîmes v.  Vietnam, 29 March 2022
DF Ryuya Nishio (2001-05-16) 16 May 2001 (age 21) 0 0 Japan Cerezo Osaka Chiba Training Camp, January 2022

MF Genki Haraguchi (1991-05-09) 9 May 1991 (age 31) 74 11 Germany Union Berlin v.  Ecuador, 27 September 2022
MF Reo Hatate (1997-11-21) 21 November 1997 (age 25) 1 0 Scotland Celtic v.  Ecuador, 27 September 2022
MF Kento Hashimoto (1993-08-16) 16 August 1993 (age 29) 15 1 Spain Huesca 2022 EAFF E-1 Championship
MF Ryo Miyaichi (1992-12-14) 14 December 1992 (age 29) 5 0 Japan Yokohama F. Marinos 2022 EAFF E-1 Championship
MF Tomoki Iwata (1997-04-07) 7 April 1997 (age 25) 4 0 Japan Yokohama F. Marinos 2022 EAFF E-1 Championship
MF Tsukasa Morishima (1997-04-25) 25 April 1997 (age 25) 4 0 Japan Sanfrecce Hiroshima 2022 EAFF E-1 Championship
MF Yasuto Wakizaka (1995-06-11) 11 June 1995 (age 27) 4 0 Japan Kawasaki Frontale 2022 EAFF E-1 Championship
MF Joel Chima Fujita (2002-02-16) 16 February 2002 (age 20) 2 0 Japan Yokohama F. Marinos 2022 EAFF E-1 Championship
MF Kota Mizunuma (1990-02-22) 22 February 1990 (age 32) 2 0 Japan Yokohama F. Marinos 2022 EAFF E-1 Championship
MF Gakuto Notsuda (1994-06-06) 6 June 1994 (age 28) 1 0 Japan Sanfrecce Hiroshima 2022 EAFF E-1 Championship
MF Ataru Esaka (1992-05-31) 31 May 1992 (age 30) 1 0 Japan Urawa Red Diamonds Chiba Training Camp, January 2022
MF Sho Inagaki (1991-12-25) 25 December 1991 (age 30) 1 2 Japan Nagoya Grampus Chiba Training Camp, January 2022
MF Ryotaro Araki (2002-01-29) 29 January 2002 (age 20) 0 0 Japan Kashima Antlers Chiba Training Camp, January 2022
MF Daiki Matsuoka (2001-06-01) 1 June 2001 (age 21) 0 0 Japan Shimizu S-Pulse Chiba Training Camp, January 2022
MF Yuito Suzuki (2001-10-25) 25 October 2001 (age 21) 0 0 Japan Shimizu S-Pulse Chiba Training Camp, January 2022
MF Kota Watanabe (1998-10-18) 18 October 1998 (age 24) 0 0 Japan Yokohama F. Marinos Chiba Training Camp, January 2022

FW Kyogo Furuhashi (1995-01-20) 20 January 1995 (age 27) 16 3 Scotland Celtic v.  Ecuador, 27 September 2022
FW Yoshinori Muto (1992-07-15) 15 July 1992 (age 30) 29 3 Japan Vissel Kobe 2022 EAFF E-1 Championship INJ
FW Takuma Nishimura (1996-10-22) 22 October 1996 (age 26) 3 2 Japan Yokohama F. Marinos 2022 EAFF E-1 Championship
FW Makoto Mitsuta (1999-07-20) 20 July 1999 (age 23) 2 0 Japan Sanfrecce Hiroshima 2022 EAFF E-1 Championship
FW Mao Hosoya (2001-09-07) 7 September 2001 (age 21) 1 0 Japan Kashiwa Reysol 2022 EAFF E-1 Championship
FW Yuto Iwasaki (1998-06-11) 11 June 1998 (age 24) 1 0 Japan Sagan Tosu 2022 EAFF E-1 Championship
FW Daichi Hayashi (1997-05-23) 23 May 1997 (age 25) 0 0 Belgium Sint-Truiden v.  Vietnam, 29 March 2022
FW Yuya Osako (1990-05-18) 18 May 1990 (age 32) 57 25 Japan Vissel Kobe v.  Australia, 24 March 2022 INJ
FW Tsuyoshi Ogashiwa (1998-07-09) 9 July 1998 (age 24) 0 0 Japan Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo Chiba Training Camp, January 2022 INJ

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.

Records

Main article: Japan national football team records and statistics

As of 2 December 2022[75]
Players in bold are still active with Japan.

Most appearances

Yasuhito Endō is Japan's most capped player with 152 appearances.
Yasuhito Endō is 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 141 4 DF 2008–present
3 Maya Yoshida 125 12 DF 2010–present
4 Masami Ihara 122 5 DF 1988–1999
5 Shinji Okazaki 119 50 FW 2008– 2019
6 Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi 116 0 GK 1997–2010
7 Makoto Hasebe 114 2 MF 2006–2018
8 Yuji Nakazawa 110 17 DF 1999–2010
9 Shunsuke Nakamura 98 24 MF 2000–2010
Keisuke Honda 98 37 MF 2008–2018

Top goalscorers

See also: List of Japan national football team hat-tricks

Kunishige Kamamoto is Japan's top scorer with 75 goals.
Kunishige Kamamoto is 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 2008–2019
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 Yuya Osako 25 57 0.44 2013–present
10 Shunsuke Nakamura 24 98 0.24 2000–2010

Captains

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)
Maya Yoshida CB 2018–present AFC Asian Cup runners-up leading captain (2019)
Sho Sasaki LB 2019 EAFF E-1 Championship runners-up leading captain (2019)
Shogo Taniguchi CB 2022 EAFF E-1 Championship winning captain (2022)

Competitive record

  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 Cup

Main article: Japan at the FIFA World Cup

FIFA World Cup record Qualification record
Year Result Position Pld W D* L GF GA Squad Pld W D L GF GA
Uruguay 1930 Withdrew Qualified as invitees
Italy 1934 Did not enter Did not enter
France 1938 Withdrew Withdrew
Brazil 1950 Suspended from FIFA Suspended from FIFA
Switzerland 1954 Did not qualify 2 0 1 1 3 7
Sweden 1958 Did not enter Did not enter
Chile 1962 Did not qualify 2 0 0 2 1 4
England 1966 Did not enter 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 Squad 15 9 5 1 51 12
South Korea Japan 2002 Round of 16 9th 4 2 1 1 5 3 Squad Qualified as co-hosts
Germany 2006 Group stage 28th 3 0 1 2 2 7 Squad 12 11 0 1 25 5
South Africa 2010 Round of 16 9th 4 2 1 1 4 2 Squad 14 8 4 2 23 9
Brazil 2014 Group stage 29th 3 0 1 2 2 6 Squad 14 8 3 3 30 8
Russia 2018 Round of 16 15th 4 1 1 2 6 7 Squad 18 13 3 2 44 7
Qatar 2022 Round of 16 9th 4 2 1 1 5 4 Squad 18 15 1 2 58 6
Canada Mexico United States 2026 To be determined To be determined
Total Round of 16 7/22 25 7 6 12 25 33 138 83 27 28 305 91

Match history

FIFA World Cup history
Year Round Opponent Score Result
1998 Group stage  Argentina 0–1 Loss
Group stage  Croatia 0–1 Loss
Group stage  Jamaica 1–2 Loss
2002 Group stage  Belgium 2–2 Draw
Group stage  Russia 1–0 Win
Group stage  Tunisia 2–0 Win
Round of 16  Turkey 0–1 Loss
2006 Group stage  Australia 1–3 Loss
Group stage  Croatia 0–0 Draw
Group stage  Brazil 1–4 Loss
2010 Group stage  Cameroon 1–0 Win
Group stage  Netherlands 0–1 Loss
Group stage  Denmark 3–1 Win
Round of 16  Paraguay 0–0 (3–5 p) Draw (Loss)
2014 Group stage  Ivory Coast 1–2 Loss
Group stage  Greece 0–0 Draw
Group stage  Colombia 1–4 Loss
2018 Group stage  Colombia 2–1 Win
Group stage  Senegal 2–2 Draw
Group stage  Poland 0–1 Loss
Round of 16  Belgium 2–3 Loss
2022 Group stage  Germany 2–1 Win
Group stage  Costa Rica 0–1 Loss
Group stage  Spain 2–1 Win
Round of 16  Croatia 1–1 (1–3 p) Draw (Loss)

AFC Asian Cup

Main article: Japan at the AFC Asian Cup

AFC Asian Cup record Qualification record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA Squad Pld W D L GF GA
Hong Kong 1956 Withdrew Withdrew
South Korea 1960
Israel 1964
Iran 1968 Did not qualify 4 3 1 0 8 4
Thailand 1972 Withdrew Withdrew
Iran 1976 Did not qualify 5 2 1 2 4 4
Kuwait 1980 Withdrew Withdrew
Singapore 1984
Qatar 1988 Group stage 10th 4 0 1 3 0 6 Squad 4 2 1 1 6 3
Japan 1992 Champions 1st 5 3 2 0 6 3 Squad Qualified as hosts
United Arab Emirates 1996 Quarter-finals 5th 4 3 0 1 7 3 Squad Qualified as champions
Lebanon 2000 Champions 1st 6 5 1 0 21 6 Squad 3 3 0 0 15 0
China 2004 Champions 1st 6 4 2 0 13 6 Squad Qualified as champions
ASEAN 2007 Fourth place 4th 6 2 3 1 11 7 Squad 6 5 0 1 15 2
Qatar 2011 Champions 1st 6 4 2 0 14 6 Squad 6 5 0 1 17 4
Australia 2015 Quarter-finals 5th 4 3 1 0 8 1 Squad Qualified as champions
United Arab Emirates 2019 Runners-up 2nd 7 6 0 1 12 6 Squad 8 7 1 0 27 0
Qatar 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 history

Copa América

Main article: Japan at the Copa América

Japan is the first team from outside the Americas to participate in the Copa América, having been invited to the 1999 Copa América.[9] 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.[76] 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.[77] However, Japan later declined the invitation due to scheduling problems.[78]

On 14 May 2018, CONMEBOL announced that Japan, alongside Qatar, would be the two invited teams for the 2019 Copa América.[79]

FIFA Confederations Cup

See also: National team appearances in the FIFA Confederations Cup and FIFA Confederations Cup

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

Match history

Olympic Games

Main article: Japan at the Olympics

See also: Japan national under-23 football team

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 Squad Pld W D L GF GA
United Kingdom 1908 Did not enter Did not enter
Sweden 1912
Belgium 1920
France 1924
Netherlands 1928
Germany 1936 Quarter-finals 8th 2 1 0 1 3 10 Squad No qualification
United Kingdom 1948 Did not enter Did not enter
Finland 1952
Australia 1956 First round 10th 1 0 0 1 0 2 Squad No qualification
Italy 1960 Did not qualify 2 1 0 1 1 2
Japan 1964 Quarter-finals 8th 3 1 0 2 5 9 Squad Qualified as hosts
Mexico 1968 Bronze medalists 3rd 6 3 2 1 9 8 Squad 5 4 1 0 26 4
West Germany 1972 Did not qualify 4 2 0 2 14 7
Canada 1976 6 2 1 3 9 11
Soviet Union 1980 5 3 1 1 16 5
United States 1984 10 3 1 6 26 17
South Korea 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 history

Asian Games

Main article: Japan at the Asian Games

See also: Japan national under-23 football team

EAFF E-1 Championship

EAFF E-1 Championship record
Year Result Position Pld W D L GF GA Squad
Japan 2003 Runners-up 2nd 3 2 1 0 3 0 Squad
South Korea 2005 Runners-up 2nd 3 1 1 1 3 3 Squad
China 2008 Runners-up 2nd 3 1 2 0 3 2 Squad
Japan 2010 Third Place 3rd 3 1 1 1 4 3 Squad
South Korea 2013 Champions 1st 3 2 1 0 8 6 Squad
China 2015 Fourth Place 4th 3 0 2 1 3 4 Squad
Japan 2017 Runners-up 2nd 3 2 0 1 4 5 Squad
South Korea 2019 Runners-up 2nd 3 2 0 1 7 2 Squad
Japan 2022 Champions 1st 3 2 1 0 9 0 Squad
Total Champions 9/9 27 13 9 5 44 25

Match history

EAFF E-1 Championship history
Year Round Opponent Score Result
2003 First match  China 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 2–2 Draw
Third match  South Korea 1–0 Win
2008 First match  North Korea 1–1 Draw
Second match  China 1–0 Win
Third match  South Korea 1–1 Draw
2010 First match  China 0–0 Draw
Second match  Hong Kong 3–0 Win
Third match  South Korea 1–3 Loss
2013 First match  China 3–3 Draw
Second match  Australia 3–2 Win
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 1–1 Draw
2017 First match  North Korea 1–0 Win
Second match  China 2–1 Win
Third match  South Korea 1–4 Loss
2019 First match  China 2–1 Win
Second match  Hong Kong 5–0 Win
Third match  South Korea 0–1 Loss
2022 First match  Hong Kong 6–0 Win
Second match  China 0–0 Draw
Third match  South Korea 3–0 Win

Head-to-head record

Main article: Japan national football team records and statistics § Head-to-head record

The following table shows Japan's all-time international record, correct as of 1 December 2022.[80]
Opponent From To Pld W D L GF GA GD
 Afghanistan 1951 2015 3 3 0 0 13 0 +13
 Angola 2005 2005 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1
 Argentina 1992 2010 7 1 0 6 4 15 −11
 Australia 1956 2022 27 11 9 7 39 32 +7
 Austria 2007 2007 1 0 1 0 0 0 0
 Azerbaijan 2012 2012 1 1 0 0 2 0 +2
 Bahrain 1978 2010 10 8 0 2 17 7 +10
 Bangladesh 1975 1993 5 5 0 0 22 1 +21
 Belarus 2013 2013 1 0 0 1 0 1 −1
 Belgium 1999 2018 6 2 2 2 11 8 +3
 Bolivia 1999 2019 3 2 1 0 4 1 +3
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 2006 2016 3 1 1 1 6 4 +2
 Brazil 1989 2022 13 0 2 11 5 35 −30
 Brunei 1980 2000 3 3 0 0 18 2 +16
 Bulgaria 1976 2016 6 1 1 4 10 13 −3
 Cambodia 1970 2015 4 4 0 0 10 1 +9
 Cameroon 2001 2020 5 3 2 0 5 0 +5
 Canada 2001 2022 3 2 0 1 6 3 +3
 Chile 2008 2019 3 1 1 1 4 4 0
 China 1917 2021 35 15 8 12 45 52 −7
 Chinese Taipei 1963 1983 7 4 2 1 17 8 +9
 Colombia 2003 2019 5 1 1 3 3 7 −4
 Costa Rica 1995 2022 5 3 1 1 10 3 +7
 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
 Ecuador 1995 2022 4 2 2 0 5 1 +4
 Egypt 1998 2007 2 2 0 0 5 1 +4
 El Salvador 2019 2019 1 1 0 0 2 0 +2
 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 2022 3 1 1 1 4 6 −2
 Ghana 1964 2022 8 5 0 3 18 14 +4
 Greece 2005 2014 2 1 1 0 1 0 +1
 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
 Hong Kong 1958 2022 24 13 5 6 48 21 +27
 Hungary 1993 2004 2 0 0 2 2 4 −2
 Iceland 1971 2012 3 3 0 0 8 3 +5
 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
 Israel 1973 1977 7 0 0 7 2 17 −15
 Italy 1936 2013 3 0 1 2 4 13 −9
 Ivory Coast 1993 2020 5 3 0 2 4 4 0
 Jamaica 1998 2014 4 2 1 1 7 3 +4
 Jordan 1988 2015 6 2 3 1 12 5 +7
 Kazakhstan 1997 2005 3 2 1 0 10 2 +8
 Kuwait 1978 1996 5 1 0 4 2 8 −6
 Kyrgyzstan 2018 2021 3 3 0 0 11 1 +10
 Latvia 2005 2013 2 1 1 0 5 2 +3
 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
 Mali 2018 2018 1 0 1 0 1 1 0
 Malta 2006 2006 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1
 Mexico 1996 2020 7 1 0 6 6 15 −9
 Mongolia 2019 2021 2 2 0 0 20 0 +20
 Montenegro 2007 2007 1 1 0 0 2 0 +2
 Myanmar 1955 2021 14 7 5 2 29 12 +17
   Nepal 1986 1997 5 5 0 0 28 0 +28
 Netherlands 2009 2013 3 0 1 2 2 6 −4
 New Zealand 1981 2017 6 3 0 3 10 8 +2
 Nigeria 1968 2003 4 2 1 1 8 6 +2
 North Korea 1975 2017 19 8 4 7 19 14 +5
 Norway 2002 2002 1 0 0 1 0 3 −3
 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
 Panama 2018 2020 2 2 0 0 4 0 +4
 Paraguay 1995 2022 12 5 4 2 19 11 +8
 Peru 1967 2011 7 2 3 2 4 5 −1
 Philippines 1915 1983 20 15 0 5 88 35 +53
 Poland 1981 2018 7 2 0 5 10 14 −4
 Qatar 1983 2019 10 2 4 4 12 15 −3
 Romania 1974 2003 4 0 1 3 3 12 −9
 Russia 1978 2002 4 1 0 3 3 11 −8
 Saudi Arabia 1990 2021 16 10 1 5 25 13 +12
 Scotland 1995 2009 3 1 2 0 2 0 +2
 Senegal 1987 2018 4 0 2 2 4 7 −3
 Serbia 1961 2021 10 4 0 6 7 20 −13
 Singapore 1959 2015 26 21 2 3 58 18 +40
 Slovakia 2000 2004 3 2 1 0 5 2 +3
 Spain 2001 2022 2 1 0 1 2 2 0
 South Africa 2009 2009 1 0 1 0 0 0 0
 South Korea 1954 2022 81 16 23 42 76 124 −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
 Sweden 1936 2002 5 1 3 1 7 7 0
 Switzerland 2007 2018 2 1 0 1 4 5 −1
 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
 Togo 2009 2009 1 1 0 0 5 0 +5
 Trinidad and Tobago 2006 2019 2 1 1 0 2 0 +2
 Tunisia 1996 2022 5 4 0 1 6 3 +3
 Turkey 1997 2002 2 1 0 1 1 1 0
 Turkmenistan 2019 2019 1 1 0 0 3 2 +1
 Ukraine 2002 2018 3 1 0 2 2 3 −1
 United Arab Emirates 1981 2017 19 6 9 4 22 17 +5
 United States 1993 2022 3 2 0 1 7 4 +3
 Uruguay 1985 2019 7 2 2 4 17 23 −6
 Uzbekistan 1996 2019 11 7 3 1 30 10 +20
 Venezuela 2010 2019 5 1 3 1 6 6 0
 Vietnam 2007 2022 5 4 1 0 8 2 +6
 Wales 1992 1992 1 0 0 1 0 1 −1
 Yemen 2006 2010 4 4 0 0 8 3 +5
 Zambia 2014 2014 1 1 0 0 4 3 +1
Total 1917 2022 771 363 163 245 1,348 937 +410

FIFA World Ranking

As of 20 February 2022, after the match against  Saudi Arabia.

  Best Ranking    Best Mover    Worst Ranking    Worst Mover  

Japan's FIFA World Ranking History
Rank Year Games
Played
Won Lost Drawn Best Worst
Rank Move Rank Move
24 Steady (6 October 2022)[5] 2022 2 2 0 0 23 (February) Increase 3 26 Steady
26 2021 12 10 2 0 26 (November) Increase 2 28 Decrease 1
27 2020 4 2 1 1 27 Increase 1 28 Decrease 0
28 2019 23 15 3 5 26 Increase 29 33 Decrease 7
50 2018 14 6 3 5 41 Increase 7 61 Decrease 5
57 2017 13 6 3 4 40 Increase 7 57 Decrease 11
45 2016 10 7 1 2 45 Increase 8 58 Decrease 7
53 2015 17 11 5 1 50 Increase 5 58 Decrease 8
54 2014 13 7 2 4 54 Increase 2 44 Decrease 4
47 2013 19 8 3 8 21 Increase 2 48 Decrease 7
22 2012 12 8 2 2 19 Increase 7 33 Decrease 11
19 2011 15 9 5 1 13 Increase 12 29 Decrease 2
29 2010 18 8 4 6 29 Increase 13 46 Decrease 6
43 2009 17 11 3 3 31 Increase 4 43 Decrease 9
35 2008 19 10 7 2 32 Increase 4 38 Decrease 6
34 2007 13 7 5 1 30 Increase 7 46