Japan World Cup squad named
Japan head coach Takeshi Okada yesterday named his final 23-man squad for the World Cup in South Africa.
There were no surprises for the Blue Samurai as Okada named all of his Europeran-based stars and big name J-League players.
Veteran Jubilo Iwata goalkeeper Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi was named despite not making an international appearance in 18 months.
"He can be in a difficult position as third goalkeeper," Okada said of Kawaguchi.
"But he has a strong leadership and we need his presence for us to compete through this coming tournament."
Okada admitted it was a difficult task to narrow the selection to 23 but was confident this is the group that will do the nation proud.
"I had a hard time making up my mind regarding all areas of the team, but I selected those players in order to win and achieve our objective," he said.
"I haven't changed the objective. In order to make that come true, however, we first have to get through the group stage and our first match against Cameroon will be the most important to us.
"With those 23 players, I believe that we can achieve our objective."
23-man Japan World Cup squad
Yuji Nakazawa (Yokohama F. Marinos) Marcus Tulio Tanaka (Nagoya Grampus) Yuichi Komano (Jubilo Iwata) Daiki Iwamasa (Kashima Antlers) Yasuyuki Konno (FC Tokyo) Yuto Nagatomo (FC Tokyo) Atsuto Uchida (Kashima Antlers)
Shunsuke Nakamura (Yokohama F. Marinos) Junichi Inamoto (Kawasaki Frontale) Yasuhito Endo (Gamba Osaka) Kengo Nakamura (Kawasaki Frontale) Daisuke Matsui (Grenoble) Yuki Abe (Urawa Reds) Makoto Hasebe (Wolfsburg) Keisuke Honda (CSKA Moscow)