Celtic's Kyogo Furuhashi and Reo Hatate snubbed by Japan again as 'level of league' addressed
The Parkhead duo have been among the top performers in the cinch Premiership this season with Furuhashi topping the scoring charts on 26 while Hatate is a strong contender to win Player of the Year after contributing eight goals and nine assists in 37 appearances. Both players also missed out on World Cup selection last year with Celtic team-mate Daizen Maeda the only member of the club's Japanese contingent picked for the tournament in Qatar.
And the same scenario has repeated for the upcoming Kirin Challenge Cup with Maeda preparing to fly out for the matches in Tokyo against Uruguay on March 24 and Colombia on March 28 while Furuhashi and Hatate remain on the international periphary.
Most of the Japan squad are currently playing their football in German, French, Spanish and English top flights but there is also representation from leagues in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria, Belgium as well as the J-League.
Moriyasu said he took into consideration the “level of the league” when deciding his call-ups as he addressed the absence of the Celtic pair, telling the Japan Times: "I've watched all of Celtic's games and seen what they've accomplished and their presence in the team. But there's no bar to clear to be called up; it's a comprehensive decision.
"We think about the level of the league and various other factors when making the decision. For this squad we focused on the squad from Qatar as well as some new players. There will be other call-ups. As I said, we're trying to build strongest team possible ahead of 2026.”
"In order to do that we're taking a wide view of how to build the team... as I think we all agree, (Furuhashi and Hatate) would absolutely be able to contribute to the team, but this time I wanted to try out some different players and that's why they weren't selected."
Furuhashi has made 13 appearances for Japan – most of which came before his transfer to Celtic in the summer of 2021 – while Hatate has just one cap which came against Vietnam in a dead rubber World Cup qualifier in March last year.
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