Union Berlin's new Japanese defender Atsuto Uchida said on Tuesday that his decision to transfer out of Schalke was not a difficult one as it was based solely on chasing an opportunity to play.

"I just thought it would be better for me to be somewhere I would have a chance to get games," Uchida said following his first training session with Union.

"I didn't hesitate. And I didn't want to go back to Japan like this, not without giving it one more shot."

Promotion candidates Union announced the signing of the right-back a day earlier on a deal that runs through June 2018.

The 29-year-old Uchida, who spent seven years with Schalke in the Bundesliga, will reunite with his former manager, Jens Keller, as Union looks to jump into to the German top flight after finishing fourth last season in 2. Bundesliga.

"The goal of the team is to win promotion," Uchida said. "I want to help us achieve that."

"Of course I know Jens Keller well. I'm very happy that I'll be able to play soccer again," he said on the club's official website.

Uchida joined Schalke in July 2010, after the World Cup in South Africa, from the J-League's Kashima Antlers.

He has battled injuries to his right knee over the years. Since having surgery on the knee in June 2015, he has made just one appearance across all competitions -- in December 2016 in the Europa League.

Capped 74 times by Japan, Uchida played 104 Bundesliga matches for Schalke.