FIFA World Ranking (as at June 6): 32nd
Qualified: As Asian champions
Best Confederations Cup result: Runners-up 2001
Other major honours:
Asian champions (4): 1992, 2000, 2004, 2011
Coach: Alberto Zaccheroni (appointed August 2010)
Prospects: There is something quite fitting about Japan opening the Confederations Cup tournament against Brazil on June 15 as they became the first nation to qualify for next year's World Cup finals on Tuesday.
Their Italian coach Alberto Zaccheroni said it was not enough any longer for Japan just to be happy to qualify for finals, he wanted them to make an impression, and there could be no better place for them to do that than in Brazil.
Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa summed up the feeling when he added: "We want to win on the world stage and we want everyone to have this kind of mentality. We have a lot of talented players but we need to show more determination and willpower."
Despite their good intentions Japan look set for a tough battle in Group A which also includes Italy and Mexico.