• Kyodo News

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Japan coach Takeshi Okada said Thursday he has decided not to call up key players such as Yasuhito Endo and Keiji Tamada for a training camp set to get under way on Jan. 10 to give them some rest.

“I want to have those players rest for at least two weeks,” Okada said after a national team staff meeting in Tokyo.

Endo and Tamada are expected to play in an Emperor’s Cup quarterfinal match between Gamba Osaka and Nagoya Grampus on Dec. 25.

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