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Japan want all stars available for Argentina clash

The Japan Football Association want all of their European-based stars available for next month's friendlies with Argentina and South Korea.

JFA technical director Hiromi Hara said he will ask for the release of the likes of Yuto Nagatomo (Cesna), Atsuto Uchida (Schalke), Daisuke Matsui (Tom Tomsk), Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund), Makoto Hasebe (Wolfsburg), Keisuke Honda (CSKA Moscow), Eiji Kawashima (Lierse), Yuki Abe (Leicester City), Kisho Yano (Freiburg) and Takayuki Morimoto (Catania) so they are at the disposal of new coach Alberto Zaccheroni.

"We had a request from Zaccheroni coach to try and get as many players available as possible so it will be the eight we called up last time plus Abe and Yano," said Hara.

The Blue Samurai take on Argentina at Saitama Stadium on October 8 before meeting South Korea in Seoul four days later and Zaccheroni wants to get things right ahead of January's Asian Cup in Qatar, leading into the 2014 World Cup.

"This will be a chance for me to get close to the players and really get to know them," the Italian said.

"Little by little I will start to make the base of my team. You can't just think about what is immediately in front of you. It is crucial to strengthen looking ahead to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil."

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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