32 year old Masahito Yoshida set out from Shanghai on New Year's Day in 2009 in his bid to walk around the world with just his two-wheeled cart and a few pieces of luggage. Now, 40,000 kilometers and four and a half years later, he has returned to the place where he started out with his journey.
A day after Japan became the first country to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, the Samurai Blue named the same 23-man squad that drew with Australia Monday night to take part in the Confederations Cup this June, also to be held in Brazil. Led by CSKA Moscow's Keisuke Honda and Manchester United's Shinji Kagawa, the team looks to this tournament as a test of their readiness for 2014.
With a third straight international defeat staring Japan’s national football team in the face, and only needing a draw to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the Samurai Blues dug deep and found an injury-time penalty duly tucked in by talismanic midfielder Keisuke Honda to make sure that Japan became the first country to qualify for next year’s soccer showpiece event.
After Japan's World Cup qualifier game against Australia on Tuesday, the Tokyo police will be restricting pedestrian access to the Shibuya scramble crossing. This is being done to avoid traffic and unruly incidents that usually come after large crowds gather in the Shibuya District to watch a big international football match featuring the Samurai Blue.
The Australian Strategic Policy Institute (ASPI) says that Japan and Australia can strengthen their defense ties through partnerships in several military projects. The study, released on Monday, suggests to "increase their defence industry co-operation and ease export controls." Projects suggested are Australia's new submarines and building their ballistic missile defence.
It was not the best of starts for Japan's men's national football team in their series of games for June, as they lost 0-2 to Bulgaria Thursday night at the Tokyo Stadium. An early goal from Stanislav Manolev in the first minute plus an own goal from Japan's captain Makoto Hasebe in the 70th capped off a bad night for the Samurai Blue.
Japan men's national football team captain Hakoto Masebe made a bold declaration ahead of the Samurai Blue's next few matches by saying Bulgaria is a better team than Australia. They are set to play Bulgaria in a friendly match tonight at home in the Tokyo Stadium while they face the Socceroos on Tuesday in their World Cup qualifying match at the Saitama Stadium that will see Japan make it to their fifth consecutive World Cup finals.
Japan, the world’s largest importers of liquefied natural gas (LNG) is looking to invest and buy into Papua New Guinea’s natural gas resources, banking on the Southeast Asian nation to become one of the new serious players in LNG exports. A recent deal sees Osaka Gas Co. paying 204 million US dollars to acquire stakes in Papua New Guinea natural gas assets owned by Australia-based Horizon Oil Ltd., as the Aussie gas and fuel company has new discoveries in the country and is mulling on building a new gas-export facility in-country.
Japan national men's football team coach Alberto Zaccheroni has named a strong 26-man squad for the remaining World Cup qualifying matches against Australia on June 4 and Iraq on June 11. Despite being six points clear at the top of Group B, he is still fielding a full-strength team for the two games.
The Samurai Blue will welcome back defender Yuto Nagatomo to the squad after he was out for a few months due to a knee ligament injury. The Inter Milan full back says he is fully fit and is looking forward to play for Japan as they target World Cup 2014 qualification in their qualifying match against Australia on June 4.