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Moriyasu to coach Japan

Thursday, July 26, 2018
Hajime Moriyasu-Japan-AFP

Tokyo: Hajime Moriyasu was named as the new manager of the Japanese men's senior national team by the Japan Football Association on Thursday.

The 49-year-old Moriyasu, who in October took over as head coach of the Japanese men's team for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, fills the void left by Akira Nishino after the Samurai Blue's 2018 FIFA World Cup Round of 16 defeat by Belgium in Japan's sixth World Cup appearance.

Nishino took the reins following the dismissal of predecessor Vahid Halilhodzic in April, two months before the World Cup, and his brief run as Japan coach ended in July when his contract expired.

Moriyasu, who remains as the Under-21 Japan coach, pledged to bring new blood to the top national side.

"There will be generational changes. There will be integration of various generations of players," he told a press conference.

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Moriyasu was part of former JFA technical director Nishino's coaching staff in Russia, where Japan reached the Round of 16.

Also a member of the national team that missed out on a World Cup spot by drawing with Iraq in the qualification round in 1993, Moriyasu coached Sanfrecce Hiroshima to three J1 League titles, in 2012, 2013 and 2015.

Moriyasu becomes the first Japanese coach to be put in charge of the national team four years before the next World Cup.

His first major assignment will be the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019 where Japan, who are in Group F with Uzbekistan, Oman and Turkmenistan, will be chasing a fifth title.

Sources:, AFP