Japan coach Zico has named Japan’s 23-man World Cup squad.
The biggest surprise in the Brazilian’s selection was the omission of Yokohama striker Tatsuhiko Kubo in favour of the little-used Seiichiro Maki.
Japan face Brazil, Australia and Croatia in Group F this summer.
Team coach Zico defended his decision to pick Maki.
“Kubo was not right physically and Maki is an interesting player who gives us another option,” he said.
“He’s shown he can be a threat in the penalty box.
“This is a team the people of Japan can be proud of.
“We will be judged on our results. The buck stops with me.”
Goalkeepers: Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi (Jubilo Iwata), Yoichi Doi (FC Tokyo), Seigo Narazaki (Nagoya Grampus Eight)
Defenders: Makoto Tanaka (Jubilo Iwata), Tsuneyasu Miyamoto (Gamba Osaka), Alessandro Santos (Urawa Reds), Yuji Nakazawa (Yokohama F Marinos), Keisuke Tsuboi (Urawa Reds), Akira Kaji (Gamba Osaka), Yuichi Komano (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Koji Nakata (Basel)
Midfielders: Takashi Fukunishi (Jubilo Iwata), Mitsuo Ogasawara (Kashima Antlers), Shinji Ono (Urawa Reds), Yasuhito Endo (Gamba Osaka), Hidetoshi Nakata (Bolton), Shunsuke Nakamura (Celtic), Junichi Inamoto (West Brom)
Forwards: Seiichiro Maki (JEF United Chiba), Keiji Tamada (Nagoya Grampus Eight), Atsushi Yanagisawa (Kashima Antlers), Masashi Oguro (Grenoble), Naohiro Takahara (Hamburg)