Japan will play away friendlies against world champion Brazil and Thailand this fall, the Japan Football Association said Monday.

Zico’s men are set to face Brazil on Oct. 12 before taking on Thailand two days later, with both matches to be held in Bangkok.

Brazilian Zico had been keen for Japan to play against his countrymen, while the Thailand game will serve as preparation for the Asian qualifiers for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.

Japan was originally scheduled to play Portugal at home in the Kirin Cup in June before a return friendly away in October, but Portugal decided in April to cancel both games citing concerns over the deadly severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) epidemic.

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