FIFA World Cup 2022 Japan National Team|History

Japanese men’s national football team is one of the mainstream teams of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). Japan has a long history in the global football event called FIFA World Cup. Japan will be one of the Asian countries in the twenty-second edition of the FIFA World Cup 2022.

The twenty-second edition will be held in Qatar from November 20, 2022- December 18, 2022.

Japanese Football History

Japan is one of the countries in the world of football that has progressed quickly. Japanese football started before World War and joined FIFA in May 1929. However, it did not appear in the first World Cup of 1930.

japan national team
Japan after winning China in the FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifier match, source:

Then, Japan tried its hand at a couple of World Cup qualifiers but failed and stopped playing international matches due to World War. In 1950, Japan re-joined FIFA and played the 1954 FIFA World Cup qualifier match but lost to its rival South Korea.

Japanese football growth started in the 1990s. In 1992, Japan hosted the Asian Cup and defeated Saudi Arabia in the final. They officially began the Japanese Premier League (J League) the following year of the Asian Cup.

After improving teams and players’ performances, Japan qualified for the FIFA World Cup 1998 but out of the group stage.

Likewise, Japan regained the tournament title in the 2000 AFC Asian Cup, defeating Saudi Arabia again. In 2002, Japan co-hosted the FIFA World Cup along with South Korea.

Japan national team’s FIFA World Cup Highlights

In 2002, Japan- a host country, finished the competition in 9th position, the farthest result in Japan’s FIFA World Cup history. And in the 2010 South African World Cup, Japan repeated the same result of 2002. However, in 2014, it went out from the group stage, and in 2018, it out from the Round of 16.

Furthermore, Japan already qualified for the 2022 Qatar World Cup. The Japanese team will be led by head coach Hajime Moriyasu and captain Shogo Taniguchi. Yasuhito Endo is a most capped player who played 152 caps and scored 15 goals from 2002 to 2015.

Likewise, the current top scorer is Yuya Osako, who has played 57 caps and scored 27 goals (2013-present). Moreover, Japan has not won the Men’s World Cup title, whereas the Japanese Women’s team has won the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011.

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Japan national team FIFA World Cup 2022

In the Qatar World Cup qualifying round, Japan became the Top 2 team from the Group B slot of Asia behind Saudi Arabia and selected a spot for the tournament.

Japan is a part of one of the death groups where it will face Spain, Germany, and Costa Rica in group matches. Japan will play its first match against Germany on November 23, 2022, at Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan.

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Current manager/head coach Hajime Moriyasu has been leading the Japanese national team since 2018. During his tenure, Japan has played 54 matches, of which 37 wins, seven draws, and ten lost. In the 2019 Asian Cup, Japan lost the title to the Qatari team. Here is the complete list of the current Japanese national squad.

Players NamePosition
Eiji KawashimaGoalkeeper
Keisuke Osako Goalkeeper
Shuichi GondaGoalkeeper
Daniel SchmidtGoalkeeper
Takehiro TomiyasuDefender
Shogo TaniguchiDefender
Yuto NagatomoDefender
Miki YamaneDefender
Sho SasakiDefender
Yuta NakayamaDefender
Maya YoshidaDefender
Yukinari SugawaraDefender
Ko Itakura Defender
Hiroki ItoDefender
Gaku ShibasakiMidfielder
Genki HaraguchiMidfielder
Takumi MinaminoMidfielder
Takefusa KuboMidfielder
Hidemasa MoritaMidfielder
Wataru EndoMidfielder
Junya ItoMidfielder
Ao Tanaka Midfielder
Kaoru Mitoma Midfielder
Daichi KamadaMidfielder
Ritsu DoanMidfielder
Kyogo FuruhashiForward
Ayase UedaForward
Takuma AsanoForward
Source: JFA

Japanese football Honors and Awards

  • AFC Asian Cup- 4X champion
  • Copa América – Guest participant (1999 and 2019)
  • FIFA Confederation Cup- Runner-up (2001)
  • Olympics – Bronze medal (1968)
  • EAFF E-1 Football Championship: 2X Champions (2013, 2022)
  • AFC National Team of the Year: 5X