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Standard Liege's Kawashima: 'Japanese players have to be tough overseas'

In the wake of recent racial abuse which led Yuki Nakamura to quit Slovakian club Rimavska Sobota, Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima has spoken out about the situation involving his fellow countrymen.

The 29-year old Standard Liege recently copped some abuse of his own from a Belgian crowd who chanted 'Fukushima, Fukushima' toward him in regards to the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

Kawashima feels that although these things are disappointing, he indicated that it came with the territory of being an Asian player in Europe.

"It is a pity that something happened like that, but, and this is just my opinion, Japanese players... have to be really tough in a foreign country. It is not easy," Kawashima told Kyodo News.

"Sometimes people are against us just because we are Asian. Some stupid people think that way and just joke in that way and we just need to be tough.

"Living in Japan is really comfortable and really easy but you know when you go abroad the situation isn't always the same."

He added of the Nakamura situation: "Maybe the situation for him was really tough and he was really alone. But we have got to be tough and if there is something wrong you have to stand against it."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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