Soccer in Qatar: Japan in world cup 2022

Can The continental experts get international Glory?

This four-time winner of the AFC Cup (Asian Football Confederation Cup) is going to the World Cup 2022 in Qatar to show that it can achieve more than continental successes. Get ready for Japan in world cup 2022.

Pin on the map

Japan consists of a group of islands in the east of Asia. There are around 7000 islands in the country. Japan has four main islands which are Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu, and Shikoku. Honshu is the largest island in the country and it has the capital city, Tokyo.  

The highest point in Japan is the peak of Mount Fuji at 3,776m (12,388 ft) high. Japan’s islands cover an area of 145,898 square miles (377,873 square kilometers). Japan is almost as big as the biggest US state, California.

Japan on the map

Wave the flag

Japan’s flag is white with a big red circle in the middle. The flag is known as “the flag of the sun”. It represents the country’s nickname, “the land of the rising sun.”

Japan's flag
Japan's flag

Listen to the anthem

Sing along

The lyrics of the Japanese national anthem are the oldest in the world. They come from an old poem that was written over 1000 years ago. The anthem is named “Kimi Ga Yo” which means The Emperor’s Reign. The current melody of the anthem was chosen in 1880.

Qualification Campaign

Japan qualified for the World Cup on the 24th of March 2022, in the AFC third round. Japan played in Group B which consisted of Australia, Saudi Arabia, Oman, China, and Vietnam.

The Samurai Blue passed 10 matches; a sleek winning within 7 matches, only one drawing with Vietnam and 2 defeats. With a total of 22 points, Japan ended up second in their qualifying group behind Saudi Arabia with 23 points. Japan scored 11 goals, 4 out of them were by its right winger, Junya Ito.

Junya Ito
Junya Ito

World Cup History

Despite having a decent record of appearing in the competition six times before, Japan couldn’t pass the final 16. Japan had to wait till 1998 to start its appearance streak. In 1998, Japan lost all of its matches and left the competition with just one goal scored and conceded four.

When Japan co-hosted the tournament in 2002, it was a golden chance for the Samurai not just to win their first match over Russia but also to qualify for the final 16. Unfortunately, they lost to Turkey.

In 2006, Japan left the competition with only one point from Croatia and two defeats against Brazil and Australia.

Japan repeated the 2002 achievement in 2010 and managed to touch the final 16 after two victories over Cameroon and Denmark, but penalty kick-outs shattered the Asian dream. Japan’s appearance in 2014 was disappointing as the robots couldn’t win any match and left the tournament early after two losses against the Ivory Coast and Colombia, and a draw against Greece.

But an unforgettable achievement followed in the 2018 Russia World Cup when Japan became the first ever Asian nation to beat a side from South America after they won 2–1 against Colombia in the group stage.

Japan advanced to the round of 16. However, The Samurai suffered a massive heartbreak after losing to a last-gasp Belgian goal that bowed them out of the World Cup 3-2.

They might have lost the tournament but they won hearts as the Japanese players left their dressing room impeccably clean, with a message saying “Thank you” in Russian on leaving Russia 2018.

Belgium's Nacer Chadli, center, scores his third side goal during the round of 16 match between Belgium and Japan at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Rostov Arena, in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, Monday, July 2, 2018.
Belgium's Nacer Chadli, center, scores his third side goal during the round of 16 match between Belgium and Japan at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Rostov Arena, in Rostov-on-Don, Russia, Monday, July 2, 2018.

Star players/coach

Takehiro Tomiyasu will lead Japan’s defensive line at the World Cup in Qatar. The Arsenal player will carry the Japanese dream.

One of the strengths of the Japanese team is their coach Hajime Moriyasu. He might not have won the World Cup himself, but he can tactically be going home victorious this time.

Takehiro Tomiyasu will lead Japan's defence
Takehiro Tomiyasu will lead Japan's defence


Speed is the key word with the Japanese team, as the team is considered one of the fastest teams in the tournament. The crosses are considered to be a big weakness with the Asian team especially as they will play in a group that has some of the tallest players in the world who are specialists when it comes to headers.


Football comes third in Japan after Baseball and Sumo, Japanese fans are considered by many to be the best fans in the world, and scenes like cleaning the stadiums after every game prove this claim.

Japanese fans usually clean stadiums after matches
Japanese fans usually clean stadiums after matches


Japan soccer coach Hajime Moriyasu renewed his aim again for the World Cup:

“Our goal for the tournament is to reach the quarterfinal  and we know it won’t be easy.”

Let’s explain a little bit more; Japan is in Group E with Germany and Spain; two former World Cup champions, and Costa Rica, which made the quarterfinals in 2014 in Brazil.

Fingers crossed for Japan’s seventh World Cup appearance.

Group E
Group E

Fun Fact

Kit-Kat Heaven

Japan is home to over 300 unique flavors of Kit Kats created exclusively for certain cities, regions, and seasons since 2000, and not produced elsewhere.

We guess flavors like green tea, soy sauce, cherry blossoms, and sake Kit Kats won’t go along with people other than the Japanese.

Kit Kats are popular in Japan
Kit Kats are popular in Japan

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