In our regular Sunday feature, FIFA.com brings you some of the biggest names on Planet Football who will be celebrating their birthdays over the coming week.
On its 15th anniversary, FIFA.com recalls the day a 20-year-old Japanese uncorked Iran in a play-off for a place at France 1998, inspiring Japan to their first-ever qualification for the FIFA World Cup.
Two decades on from the J.League’s inception, FIFA.com reflects on the stars and successes that have contributed to the competition’s ascent.
A third-place finish at Mexico 1968 remains Japan's best finish at an Olympics, however, there's growing hope of a resurgence. FIFA.com spoke to coach Takashi Sekizuka about his expectations for the side at London 2012.
Hidetoshi Nakata will feature in next week's earthquake charity match in Hong Kong, turning out for local side Kitchee against Spain's Villarreal.
Recently-appointed Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni spoke to FIFA.com about life in his new role, his favourites to win the AFC Asian Cup, and his hopes of reaching the next FIFA World Cup.