• Kyodo

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Captain Makoto Hasebe has given Japan a timely boost by declaring himself fit and ready to play the full 90 minutes in Japan’s World Cup opener against Cote d’Ivoire in Recife on Saturday.

Hasebe has only recently returned to action after suffering a serious knee injury. He did not feature in Japan’s last two warm-ups for the finals against Costa Rica and Zambia at the team’s training camp in Florida and has been working to regain fitness.

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