Nagatomo will risk Inter spot for Japan
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Inter Milan defender Yuto Nagatomo said today he is willing to risk his place in the Serie-A side to play for Japan in a domestic charity match to help victims of the quake-tsunami disaster.

"It is not that I don't have any worry but there is something more important than myself," the 24-year-old told reporters as he arrived in Osaka for the 29 March match there pitting the national team against a J-League select.

Nagatomo moved to Inter from Cesena after Japan won a record fourth AFC Asian Cup in January. He has since been in and out of the Inter line-up as the FIFA Club World Cup champions try to overtake Serie-A leaders AC Milan. "I have not come here just to play a match. I want to show how important it is not to give up. We must help many people gain courage and hope," the full-back saud.

European clubs have released 12 Japanese players for the charity event, a replacement for a friendly against New Zealand which was cancelled after the earthquake and tsunami disaster and the subsequent of nuclear emergency.

Nagatomo said all of his club were behind Japan in the nation's struggle to overcome the tragic 11 March disaster which has left more than 22,000 dead or missing on Japan's Pacific coast.

It is not that I don't have any worry but there is something more important than myself.
Inter Milan's Yuto Nagatomo on risking his club place to play in a Japanese chairty game

"Everybody has cared about Japan. Everybody has been cooperative," the hard-running player said, showing a football shirt autographed by Inter manager Leonardo and teammates. "I want to use it for charity."

The former FC Tokyo left back was seen carrying a red-sun Japanese flag, reading "You'll never walk alone", with teammates on the pitch after Inter beat Bayern Munich 3-2 on 15 March to reach the UEFA Champions League last eight.

Japan captain Makoto Hasebe also returned home, taking a timeout from his midfield duties for Wolfsburg. He said the Blue Samurai managed to book a historic last-16 berth at the FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa last year and regain the Asian Cup due to support from home fans.

"I will play all-out and make them feel something, although it may not be enough to repay them for their support," said the 27-year-old. "The news of the disaster has been reported as the top news in Germany every day," he said. "I was feeling impatient as I could do nothing there. I wanted to come home as soon as possible to do something for Japan."

The European-based players in Alberto Zaccheroni's squad also include CSKA Moscow midfielder Keisuke Honda and Schalke defender Atsuto Uchida.