"I have to accept this 3-1 defeat. Uruguay are a good team. We couldn't get a goal after 1-1. I hoped my players could cope with them by teamwork," said Japan coach Takeshi Okada.
"But Uruguay did a very good job today. I think my players learned that we must always move forward, not the other way," Okada added.
Japan were drawn with Australia, Bahrain, Uzbekistan and Qatar in the Asian Group A final qualifying round, starting with a game against Bahrain in capital Manama on September 6.