Japan climbs to 21st in FIFA rankings


Japan’s men’s soccer team rose one spot from 22nd to 21st in the world rankings published Thursday by world soccer body FIFA.

Japan is currently on the verge of qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Asian rival South Korea moved up one spot to 34th, while Australia remained unchanged at 36th.

Spain remain No. 1, followed by Germany and Argentina. Italy, which will play Japan at the Confederations Cup in June, is ranked fourth. The other two Group A teams, Mexico and Brazil, are ranked 15th and 18th, respectively.