Andrew McKirdy is a sports writer for The Japan Times. His main beat is soccer, but he has also covered rugby, tennis, volleyball, golf and even tug-of-war. A native of the Scottish Borders, he has written for The Scotsman newspaper and organized filming for a program on Japanese soccer for ITV television.
Machida Zelvia's Yu Hirakawa (center) is challenged by Albirex Niigata's Yuto Horigome during the two teams' J. League clash at Machida Gion Stadium in Machida, Tokyo, on Saturday.
SOCCER / J. League
Jun 4, 2024
From nonleague to top of the league for upstarts Machida
The team from Tokyo's suburbs tops the table approaching the halfway point of the season.
A visitor to the Japan Olympic Museum walks past a display of the Olympic Rings on a wet day in central Tokyo on May 1.
May 26, 2024
Japan wrestles with legacy of graft-stained Games in Paris warning
Cost overruns, corruption and COVID-19 all tarnished the Japanese public's memory of the Tokyo Olympics.
Mike Tyson (left) and Buster Douglas fight during the seventh round of their world heavyweight title fight at Tokyo Dome on Feb. 11, 1990.
May 3, 2024
Tokyo Dome to host boxing for first time since Buster Douglas upset Mike Tyson
Super-bantamweight world champion Naoya "Monster" Inoue will put his belts on the line against Mexican Luis Nery at the Big Egg.
Yokohama F. Marinos coach Harry Kewell watches the AFC Champions League semifinal first-leg soccer match between his team and South Korea's Ulsan Hyundai FC in Ulsan, South Korea, on Wednesday.
Apr 23, 2024
Kewell tells Yokohama to summon spirit of Istanbul to reach final
The former Leeds and Liverpool winger took over as Yokohama coach at the start of this year.
Badminton star Kento Momota leaves a news conference after announcing his retirement from Japan's national team, in Tokyo on Thursday.
MORE SPORTS / Badminton
Apr 18, 2024
Former No. 1 Kento Momota retires from international badminton at 29
Momota was once badminton's undisputed king, winning 11 titles in 2019 and losing just six of the 73 matches he played that year.
Dodgers' pitcher Yoshinobu Yamamoto pitches during the first inning of his MLB debut in Seoul. The outing was one to forget for the former Orix Buffaloes ace.
Mar 22, 2024
Yamamoto shelled in debut as Dodgers lose to Padres
Yamamoto, who joined the Dodgers on a 12-year, $325 million deal in December, was taken out of the game after just one inning.
An Yong Hak, a former North Korean soccer player, in Yokohama on Thursday. An played 40 times in midfield for North Korea, and appeared with the team at the 2010 World Cup.
Mar 18, 2024
North Korean World Cup player says Japan game more than just soccer
This week's qualifier is a special occasion for some ethnic Koreans in Japan.
Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge speaks during a news conference ahead of the Tokyo Marathon on Friday.
MORE SPORTS / Athletics
Mar 2, 2024
Kipchoge pays tribute to Kiptum ahead of Tokyo Marathon
Kipchoge is preparing to compete in Sunday's Tokyo Marathon in his first race since his Kenyan compatriot was killed on Feb. 11.
Japan defender Hikaru Kitagawa (right) makes a challenge in the first half of an Olympic women's soccer qualifier against North Korea at the National Stadium in Tokyo on Wednesday.
Feb 28, 2024
Japan beats North Korea to clinch Olympic spot
The two sides drew 0-0 in Saturday's first leg on neutral ground in Saudi Arabia.
Qatar forward Almoez Ali scores his team's third goal during against Iran in the semifinals of the Asian Cup on Wednesday.
Feb 8, 2024
'Best yet to come' after Qatar set up Asian Cup final with Jordan
Almoez Ali struck in the 82nd minute in Doha to send Qatar into their second consecutive final.
Japan players celebrate after Ayase Ueda scored the team's second goal during Samurai Blue's win over Indonesia on Wednesday.
Jan 24, 2024
Japan cruises past Indonesia to reach Asian Cup last 16
Ayase Ueda struck in each half to go with a late Indonesia own goal in Doha to send the pre-tournament favorites through as group runners-up behind Iraq.
South Korea's Kim Tae-Hwan (left) battles with Jordan's Anas Al Awadat during Asian Cup group stage play on Saturday in Doha.
Jan 21, 2024
South Korea salvages Asian Cup draw as Bahrain leaves it late
One day after Iraq beat tournament favorites Japan, the Koreans needed an injury-time own goal to salvage a point.
Japan manager Hajime Moriyasu will be wary of making too many changes after admitting that his tinkering against Iraq "had an effect on the players."
Jan 20, 2024
Shock Iraq defeat exposes Japan frailties at Asian Cup
The 2-1 loss leaves Samurai Blue facing a potential last-16 match with South Korea, assuming Japan still qualifies from its group.
Palestine forward Shehab Qunbar jumps to receive the ball during his team's AFC Asian Cup Group C match against the United Arab Emirates in Al-Wakrah, south of Doha, on Thursday.
Jan 19, 2024
Palestine set hearts on Asian Cup 'history' after UAE draw
Some of the Palestinian players have lost loved ones or have family trapped in Gaza, and the team has been forced to train and play matches overseas.
South Korea's Lee Kang-in celebrates after scoring against Qatar during their Group E match at the Asian Cup in Doha on Monday.
Jan 18, 2024
South Korea's Lee Kang-in reaching new heights under Jurgen Klinsmann
Klinsmann has made the 22-year-old the linchpin of his side since taking over a year ago.
Real Sociedad's Takefusa Kubo during a Champions League match in San Sebastian, Spain, in September.
Jan 13, 2024
Ex-Barcelona junior Kubo set for lift-off with Japan at Asian Cup
The 22-year-old has found his feet at Real Sociedad this season, scoring six goals and helping the club top its Champions League group.
Qatar players celebrate after defeating Lebanon in the opening match of the Asian Cup on Friday in Lusail, Qatar.
Jan 13, 2024
Qatar puts World Cup heartache behind it to win Asian Cup opener
The hosts beat Lebanon 3-0 at the 88,000-capacity Lusail Stadium, where a Lionel Messi-inspired Argentina beat France on penalties in the World Cup final 13 months ago.
Japan midfielder Kaoru Mitoma controls the ball during extra time of the team's Round of 16 match against Croatia at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Mitoma was named to the Samurai Blue squad for the upcoming Asian Cup despite an ankle injury.
Jan 4, 2024
Samurai Blue call on Mitoma to help erase Asian Cup 'frustration'
Brighton coach Roberto De Zerbi said late last year that Mitoma would be out for up to six weeks after hurting his ankle in a 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace on Dec. 21.
Naoya Inoue fights Marlon Tapales  during their four-belt super bantamweight title unification match at Ariake Arena in Tokyo on Tuesday.
Dec 27, 2023
Naoya Inoue still hungry after becoming undisputed super bantamweight champ
Naoya Inoue has said that he intends to retire at 35 but he hinted earlier this year that he might prolong his career for two extra years.
Eddie Jones at a news conference after being named as Japan rugby head coach in Tokyo on Thursday
Dec 14, 2023
No guilt for Eddie Jones after taking Japan job
Jones quit his native Australia after leading them to a dismal showing at the Rugby World Cup.


People wait for the main act to begin at Summer Sonic, which holds simultaneous music festivals for those in Tokyo and Osaka.
Can Japan's summer music festivals adapt to a post-pandemic reality?