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Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Okada names first Japan squad since return

TOKYO, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Japan coach Takeshi Okada on Wednesday named a squad made up entirely of home-based players for his first games since taking charge for a second time.

World Cup veterans Naohiro Takahara, Yuji Nakazawa and goalkeeper Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi were among 25 players called up for home friendlies against Chile and Bosnia.

Notable absentees were Celtic's Shunsuke Nakamura and fellow midfielder Koki Mizuno, who could soon be joining Nakamura at the Scottish champions.

Okada, who led Japan to the 1998 World Cup finals in France, took the job after Bosnian Ivica Osim suffered a stroke and fell into a coma.

Osim has since recovered and is likely to make an emotional appearance at Japan's game against his native country in Tokyo on Jan. 30.

Japan face Chile in their opening Kirin Challenge Cup match on Saturday. The three-times Asian champions play Thailand at home on Feb. 6 in their first qualifier for the 2010 World Cup.

Goalkeepers - Yoshikatsu Kawaguchi (Iwata), Seigo Narazaki (Nagoya), Eiji Kawashima (Kawasaki)

Defenders - Yuji Nakazawa (Yokohama F-Marinos), Keisuke Tsuboi (Urawa), Akira Kaji (Gamba Osaka), Yuichi Komano (Iwata), Daiki Iwamasa (Kashima), Hiroki Mizumoto (Gamba Osaka), Atsuto Uchida (Kashima)

Midfielders - Hideo Hashimoto (Gamba Osaka), Yasuhito Endo (Gamba Osaka), Naotake Hanyu (FC Tokyo), Yasuyuki Konno (FC Tokyo), Kengo Nakamura (Kawasaki), Satoru Yamagishi (Kawasaki), Keita Suzuki (Urawa), Yuki Abe (Urawa), Koji Yamase (Yokohama F-Marinos)

Forwards - Naohiro Takahara (Urawa), Ryuji Bando (Gamba Osaka), Seiichiro Maki (Chiba), Ryoichi Maeda (Iwata), Yoshito Okubo (Kobe), Kisho Yano (Niigata)




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