Japan will be playing in their 4th FIFA World Cup Tournament in history. Japan played in their first FIFA World Cup tournament in 1998 in France. They were co-hosts with South Korea for the 2002 FIFA World Cup and made it into the round of the last 16. Japan also competed in the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany.
The country has also played in 4 FIFA Confederations Cup Tournaments (in 1995, 2001, 2003 and 2005) and in various Asian Cup Tournaments (which they’ve won 3 times). Japan has competed in Football in 8 Olympic Games. In 1968 Japan won the Bronze medal for Football at the Olympic Games in Mexico. FIFA currently ranks Japan as the 40th best team in the world.
Masami Ihara is most capped player in Japanese football history, he represented Japan 123 times between 1988 and 1999. Kunishige Kamamoto is the top goal scorer in Japanese football history, he scored 75 goals for his country between 1964 and 1977. In Japan the team is known as “Soccer Nippon DaihyÅ”, translated as the “Japanese representatives”. The current Japanese football coach is Takeshi Okada. The team is currently captained by Yuji Nakazawa.
Japan will play in the following 3 group matches in the 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament in South Africa:
- Japan vs Cameroon – 14 June 2010 @ Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein – Kickoff at 16:00
- Japan vs The Netherlands – 19 June 2010 @ Moses Mabhida Stadium, Durban – Kickoff at 13:30
- Japan vs Denmark – 24 June 2010 @ Royal Bafokeng Stadium, Rustenburg – Kickoff at 20:30