Manager Hajime Moriyasu has named a 27-man squad on Tuesday morning and while Celtic forward Daizen Maeda has made the cut, his club team-mates Kyogo Furuhashi and Reo Hatate will not be on the plane to Qatar. Hatate’s omission is not that surprising given he has only been capped once and Japan are strong in central midfield, but the decision not to pick Furuhashi – capped 16 times with three goals – will raise eyebrows. While Furuhashi has not been in sparkling form for Celtic this season, he is still the club’s main forward and has been playing regularly under Ange Postecoglou.
Commenting on his selection, Japan boss Moriyasu said: “I couldn’t call up everyone who was looking forward to this World Cup, but I thank and honor everyone who has expressed a desire to represent Japan. No matter how many we can choose, there are lots of good players, and even if we were choosing 30 there would be difficult decisions. We selected players who will be on the same wavelength as a team, who will be able to move and link up together, who through their organization will be able to make use of their individual strengths."
Japan squad for 2022 World Cup
Goalkeepers: Shuichi Gonda (Shimizu S-Pulse), Daniel Schmidt (Sint-Truiden), Eiji Kawashima (Strasbourg). Defenders: Miki Yamane (Kawasaki Frontale), Hiroki Sakai (Urawa Reds), Maya Yoshida (Schalke), Takehiro Tomiyasu (Arsenal), Shogo Taniguchi (Kawasaki Frontale), Ko Itakura (Borussia Monchengladbach), Hiroki Ito (Stuttgart), Yuto Nagatomo (FC Tokyo), Yuta Nakayama (Huddersfield). Midfielders: Wataru Endo (Stuttgart), Hidemasa Morita (Sporting), Ao Tanaka (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Gaku Shibasaki (Leganes), Kaoru Mitoma (Brighton & Hove Albion), Ritsu Doan (Freiburg), Takumi Minamino (Monaco), Takefusa Kubo (Real Sociedad), Yuki Soma (Nagoya Grampus). Forwards: Daizen Maeda (Celtic), Takuma Asano (Bochum), Daichi Kamada (Eintracht Frankfurt), Ayase Ueda (Cercle Brugge), Junya Ito (Reims).