The Samurai Blue are coming from increasingly far away.

Head coach Hajime Moriyasu's squad for Japan's Thursday friendly against Paraguay and next Tuesday's Asian joint qualifier at Myanmar in Yangon features 19 Europe-based players — the largest overseas contingent ever summoned for the side.

The number of J. League players in Japan's squad has steadily declined from 1998's all-domestic lineup in France to just eight in Russia last year. While some have pushed back on Moriyasu's decision to include so many players from overseas, the former Sanfrecce Hiroshima boss is confident in the path he's laid out to Qatar 2022.