Scottish Premiership Player of the Year Kyogo Furuhashi and Celtic teammate Reo Hatate were named in Japan's 26-man football squad announced Thursday for next month's friendlies at home against El Salvador and Peru.
Forward Furuhashi, scorer of a league-leading 25 goals, and midfielder Hatate helped Celtic clinch their second successive title in Scotland after both being left out of the Samurai Blue's World Cup squad late last year.
On Furuhashi, Japan manager Hajime Moriyasu said, "I want him to get into positions to score and assist many times."
Japan will take on El Salvador on June 15 at Toyota Stadium in Aichi Prefecture and Peru five days later at Panasonic Stadium Suita in Osaka Prefecture.
The squad also includes Brighton's Kaoru Mitoma, Real Sociedad's Takefusa Kubo and Al Rayyan's Shogo Taniguchi, while Nagoya Grampus' Ryoya Morishita, Sanfrecce Hiroshima's Takumu Kawamura and Kyoto Sanga's Sota Kawasaki got their first call-ups.
Goalkeepers: Daniel Schmidt (Sint-Truiden), Kosuke Nakamura (Portimonense), Keisuke Osako (Sanfrecce Hiroshima)
Defenders: Shogo Taniguchi (Al Rayyan), Ko Itakura (Borussia Monchengladbach), Ryoya Morishita (Nagoya Grumpus), Hiroki Ito (Stuttgart), Ayumu Seko (Grasshoppers), Yukinari Sugawara (AZ Alkmaar)
Midfielders/Forwards: Wataru Endo (Stuttgart), Junya Ito (Reims), Takuma Asano (Bochum), Kyogo Furuhashi (Celtic), Hidemasa Morita (Sporting), Hayao Kawabe (Grasshoppers), Daichi Kamada (Eintracht Frankfurt), Yuki Soma (Casa Pia), Kaoru Mitoma (Brighton), Daizen Maeda (Celtic), Reo Hatate (Celtic), Ritsu Doan (Freiburg), Ayase Ueda (Cercle Brugge), Takumu Kawamura (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Keito Nakamura (LASK), Takefusa Kubo (Real Sociedad), Sota Kawasaki (Kyoto Sanga)
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