Arsenal's Takehiro Tomiyasu said Thursday his decision to wear the No. 22 jersey for Japan at the Asian Cup in Qatar is a sign of his willingness to do the dirty work in central defense like those who have donned the number in the past.

Former captain Maya Yoshida and longtime stalwart Yuji Nakazawa are among the previous wearers of the number traditionally associated with Samurai Blue central defenders.

"I will take on that role," Tomiyasu said. "It gives me a sense of the responsibility that I want to continue while showing leadership."

Tomiyasu is still dealing with the effects of an ankle injury and is undertaking a training program separate from the rest of manager Hajime Moriyasu's squad in Doha.

The versatile defender had a breakout tournament as a 20-year-old at the previous Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates but was ultimately left choking back tears following Japan's 3-1 loss to Qatar in the final.

This time around, he is determined to help the record four-time Asian champions secure the trophy once more.

"We need to overwhelm our opponents so we can win convincingly and show Japan is No. 1," he said.

The Samurai Blue kick off their campaign against Group D opponents Vietnam on Sunday.