FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup record
Japan are among the most successful nations on the international scene at this age level, having progressed beyond the group phase in each of the past five FIFA U-17 Women's World Cups. Notably, they stormed to the final three times, and were crowned world champions at Costa Rica 2014.
The road to Uruguay
Japan eased through the AFC U-16 Championship group stage with an unblemished record, which included a 2-1 win over holders Korea DPR. However, they suffered an unexpected defeat against a resilient Korea Republic in the semi-final. Despite that setback, the Little Nadeshiko pulled off a 1-0 victory over China PR in the third-place play-off as they booked passage to Uruguay 2018.
Coach Naoki Kusunose is no stranger to the international scene, having taken Japan to the final in the last FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup at Jordan 2016 only to lose out to Korea DPR on penalties. A former Honda FC defender, Kusunose's coaching success began with the Japan U-17 women's team when he was appointed head coach in February 2015. It didn't take him too long to repay that confidence by taking Japan to the AFC U-16 Women's Championship in late 2015, where his side sealed passage to Jordan 2016 as runners-up.
*3 - *Japan sit alongside Korea DPR having been crowned Asian champions on three occasions.