The Japan Football Association announced a 33-member provisional squad for the national team, including Kashima Antlers defenders Atsuto Uchida, Daiki Iwamasa and striker Yuzo Tashiro, for the first time since Takeshi Okada took over the helm as Japan coach. Uchida, who helped Kashima to its first league title in six years in the J. League first division, received his second call-up, while Iwamasa, Tashiro, FC Tokyo defender Yuhei Tokunaga and Gamba Osaka defender Michihiro Yasuda were named for the first time. Several members who played under former Japan coach Ivica Osim, including Yokohama F. Marinos defender Yuji Nakazawa and Urawa Reds midfielder Yuki Abe, remained on the squad. Players such as Celtic midfielder Shunsuke Nakamura, striker Naohiro Takahara (Eintracht Frankfurt) and Junichi Inamoto (Eintracht Frankfurt) from the European contingent were not named this time. The squad will meet on Dec. 18 before practice gets under way the next day in Narashino, Chiba Prefecture.
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