The Japanese Football Association has withdrawn from the bidding to host the 2018 World Cup.
However JFA president Motoaki Inukai has confirmed that they would continue with a bid to stage the 2022 tournament.
“It looks as if Fifa wants the World Cup to be held in Europe in 2018,” Inukai said.
“We were told European countries would be in a fierce tussle for 2018 and that aiming for 2022 would the best choice,” Inukai added..
The remaining 2018 bids are from England, Australia, Russia, the United States and joint bids from Belgium/Netherlands and Spain/Portugal are also in the hat for both 2018 and 2022.
Among the Asian countries, Japan will face competition for 2022 from South Korea, with whom they co-hosted the 2002 tournament, and Qatar, as well as Australia, who although not geographically within Asia, are members of the Asian Football Federation.