The Japan national football team formed in 1921. The team affiliated to FIFA in 1929 and joined the Asian Football Confederation in 1954. Japan is dedicated to the promotion of fairness in and around football. The team’s motto reads:
Green grass and a ball expands the circle of friendship.”
Japan’s first international match was a friendly against China in 1917, four years before the team was officially organised. The team will not like to remember the 5-0 scoreline, or the 15-2 defeat to the Philippines the same year. Without a professional domestic league in the country, Japanese football found successes rare. The team’s first major tournament was the 1968 Olympics. Japan played well and won the bronze medal, drawing with Brazil and beating France and Mexico on the way.
In 1993 Japan created the fully professional J-League and their footballing fortunes began to change.