第32回オリンピック競技大会(2020/東京) 第32回オリンピック競技大会(2020/東京)
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Games of the XXXII Olympiad
Games of the XXXII Olympiad
Tournament Dates: 23 July 2021 - 8 August 2021
Football Competitions: 21 July 2021 - 7 August 2021

Women:Team History


  • April 2016: Coach TAKAKURA Asako appointed as Head Coach of the Nadeshiko Japan (Japan Women’s National Team)

    Former player of the Japan Women's National Team, Ms. TAKAKURA Asako was appointed as the Head Coach of the Nadeshiko Japan (Japan Women’s National Team), succeeding Mr. SASAKI Norio to become the first ever female coach to lead the senior squad of the Japan National Team. Upon assuming the position, Coach Takakura shared her aspiration, “I hope to unify the veterans and the youngsters to create a new and improved version of the Nadeshiko Japan.”

  • June 2016: International Friendly Match vs USA

    Five players made their first call-up to the Nadeshiko Japan, as the new regime under Coach Takakura started with two away matches against the defending champions USA. With the match being a rematch from the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015™ final, in which Japan lost 2-5, IWABUCHI Mana scored the opening goal to take the initiative. After USA took the lead in the 89th minute, YOKOYAMA Kumi scored the equaliser just before the final whistle, as the match ended in a 3-3 draw. Japan rotated their line-up in the second match, with SUGASAWA Yuika starting upfront. While Japan was trailing two goals behind USA, the match was truncated at the 76th minute due to a thunderstorm. Despite the unexpected ending, Japan showcased a promising performance in the two matches against USA.

  • July 2016: International Friendly Match vs Sweden

    Following their matches against USA, the Nadeshiko Japan faced the Scandinavian powerhouse, Sweden. Facing a Swedish side who were preparing ahead of the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, Japan started a line-up featuring KUMAGAI Saki in the midfield. Despite the attacking efforts showcased by MASUYA Rika, Japan was handed a 0-3 loss by the eventual silver medallists at Rio.


  • March 2017: Algarve Cup 2017

    The first international competition under the regime of Coach Takakura was the FPF Algarve Cup 2017 (Portugal). Japan lost their first match but managed to win the following two matches in the group stage to advance to the 5th/6th place play-off, where they lost to the Netherlands. Despite finishing in sixth place, new players such as HASEGAWA Yui, MOMIKI Yuka, and IKEDA Sakiko thrived in a competition that featured some of the top teams in the world. Following the competition, Coach Takakura renewed her aspiration by mentioning, “We must rethink about our responsibility as the national team, acknowledge the fact that we were defeated, and overcome this wall to reach a higher level.”

  • April 2017: KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2017 @Kumamoto

    The new Nadeshiko Japan played their first match in Japan when they faced Costa Rica in the KIRIN CHALLENGE CUP 2017 held in Kumamoto. Yokoyama, who has shown great form since the Algarve Cup, scored the opening goal to give Japan the lead, which was followed by the goal scored by TANAKA Mina in the second half. With Momiki registering her first goal with the national team, Japan earned a 3-0 victory in front of a crowd of 8,824 people who attended the match.

  • June 2017: International Friendly Match vs Netherlands & Belgium

    The first match played in their Netherlands/Belgium tour, was a rematch against the Netherlands, who they lost to three months ago. With the second half substitute Yokoyama breaking the deadlock, YAMASHITA Ayaka displayed superb saves to defend the goal, giving the Nadeshiko Japan a 1-0 victory. Sugasawa scored the equaliser in their match against Belgium, in which the two sides drew 1-1. Reflecting on the tour, team captain Kumagai commented, “As we spend more time together, we are starting to understand how to bring out the best in each other.”

  • July 2017: 2017 Tournament of Nations

    The Nadeshiko Japan travelled to USA to participate in the 2017 Tournament of Nations, where they drew 1-1 against Brazil, before losing to Australia 2-4. Japan started UTSUGI Rumi as their centre-back, with senior team debutant HAJI Madoka playing upfront in their match against USA but suffered a 0-3 shutout loss to finish the tournament in third place. Following the tournament, Coach Takakura commented, “We must acknowledge that this result is where we currently stand. It made us realise that we need to step it up and strive for a much higher level.”

  • October 2017: MS&AD Cup 2017 @Nagano

    Despite the heavy rain, 6,261 spectators gathered to watch the MS&AD Cup 2017 held in Nagano, where the Nadeshiko Japan faced Switzerland. With NAKAJIMA Emi and Tanaka scoring a goal apiece, Japan won the match 2-0 to register their second straight shutout victory at home. The win allowed Japan to regain their confidence, as Kumagai later mentioned, “The fact that we were able to play against a team that utilised a lot of long-balls is a big plus for the team.”

  • November 2017: International Friendly Match vs Jordan

    The Nadeshiko Japan travelled to Jordan with their eyes set on the AFC Women's Asian Cup Jordan 2018, where they defeated Jordan 2-0 thanks to the brace scored by Iwabuchi. The team showed signs of maturity in this match, as they made adjustments on the pitch despite entering with limited information about their opponent. Also in this match, Utsugi marked her 100th cap with the national team. Coach Takakura reflected on her team’s performance, “The three goal scorers, Iwabuchi, OYA Ayumi, and MIYAKE Shiori played with great intensity. We were also able to gain experience playing in a unique away environment.”

  • December 2017: EAFF E-1 Football Championship 2017 Finals

    The Nadeshiko Japan entered the EAFF E-1 Football Championship 2017 Finals with their eyes set on their first title since launching the new team. Their in-form striker Tanaka led the offence to propel Japan past Korea Republic and China PR but lost to DPR Korea 0-2 at the final. After failing to capitalise on the opportunity to win a tournament held in their own country, SAMESHIMA Aya, who also played as a centre-back at this tournament, vowed to claim the Asian title in April, “We will try to make the most of this tournament and strive to win the title at the AFC Asian Cup.”


  • February 2018: Algarve Cup 2018

    ARIYOSHI Saori returned from injury, while players like Yokoyama, who plays for clubs abroad, were called-up for the Algarve Cup 2018. After losing to the Netherlands, who eventually won the title, Japan won back to back matches against Iceland and Denmark to enter the 5th/6th place play-off against Canada. With the team struggling to play in the rain, Japan conceded a goal in each half to lose the match 0-2, finishing sixth for the second straight year. SAKAGUCHI Mizuho, who played the full 90 minutes in all four matches, reflected on their performance, “We need to become a team that can score two goals for each goal we concede.”

  • April 2018: MS&AD Cup 2018 @Nagasaki

    One week ahead of the AFC Women's Asian Cup Jordan 2018, the Nadeshiko Japan played against Ghana in the MS&AD Cup 2018 held in Nagasaki. With Tanaka opening the action, Japan scored seven goals to win the match 7-1. KAWASUMI Nahomi, who was called-up for the first time in nearly two years, got herself involved in two goals as a substitute, making this a fruitful match for the Nadeshiko Japan ahead of the AFC Asian Cup.

  • April 2018: AFC Women's Asian Cup Jordan 2018

    The Nadeshiko Japan entered the AFC Women's Asian Cup Jordan 2018 to defend their title, as well as to clinch their spot into the FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019™. After finishing second in their group, Japan clinched their eighth FIFA Women's World Cup appearance on their way to the final, where they faced Australia. It was Yokoyama who score the decisive goal to give Japan the win, while Iwabuchi, who played the full 90 minutes in all of their matches, was named as the tournament MVP. Yamashita, who started as the goalkeeper at the final, shared her excitement after Japan defended their title, “This was the best performance we have shown, both as a team and as an individual.”

  • June 2018: International Friendly Match vs New Zealand

    Coach Takakura shared her aspiration to “raise the overall quality ahead of the FIFA Women's World Cup” for the team’s New Zealand tour. It was Tanaka who shined at this tour, as she scored a hat-trick in the first half. After finishing the AFC Women's Asian Cup Jordan 2018 with just one goal, Tanaka mentioned, “The disappointment from the AFC Asian Cup fuelled my motivation.” SAKAGUCHI Moeno and MIURA Narumi showcased stellar performances in their debuts, providing additional options for the team.

  • July 2018: 2018 Tournament of Nations

    The 2018 Tournament of Nations held in USA turned out to be a bitter experience for Japan. After suffering their first loss in eight matches, the team’s defence failed to function sufficiently, as they conceded goals in each match to finish in last place. “It is frustrating, but we need to accept this result,” said Iwabuchi, who also shared her optimism, “We showed signs of improvement when taking control of the ball possession, so that is something we can build on.” SUGITA Hina made her debut at this tournament.

  • August 2018: The 18th Asian Games (Jakarta Palembang 2018)

    The Nadeshiko Japan showcased their resilience in the 18th Asian Games (Jakarta Palembang 2018), in which the entire squad was selected from the domestic league. With the team gaining momentum from their win over DPR Korea at the quarterfinals, Japan went onto beat Korea Republic and China PR to claim their second Asian title of the year. Sugasawa, who scored a goal in both the semi-finals and final, shared her aspiration to reach for a higher level, “Even if we are successful in Asia, we still have plenty of room for improvements to do well at the world stage.”

  • November 2018: International Friendly Match @Tottori

    The team faced Norway in an international friendly match held in Tottori, in which Iwabuchi scored a brace to help the team earn a 4-1 victory in their final match of 2018. NAGANO Fuka and MIYAZAWA Hinata, who were members of the U-20 Japan Women’s National Team that won the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup France 2018™, made their debuts in this match. Following the match, a ceremony was conducted to commemorate Sameshima and Kumagai’s 100th cap with the national team.


  • March 2019: 2019 SheBelieves Cup

    Ahead of the 2019 SheBelieves Cup, Coach Takakura mentioned that she wanted to “increase the speed of the team’s development ahead of the FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019™.” With Momiki scoring in the first two matches, the team carried an undefeated record to face England in their third match but lost 0-3 to finish in third place. In a tournament where KOBAYASHI Rikako and MINAMI Moeka earned their first cap, the team was able to identify their strengths and weaknesses ahead of the FIFA Women's World Cup.

  • April 2019: International Friendly Match - Europe Tour

    The international friendly matches against France and Germany provided an opportunity for Japan to strengthen the team ahead of the FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019™ in June, while also serving as trial matches to finalise the team roster. Although Japan finished the tour without a win, they did not come home empty handed, as they were able to test a new system with Kumagai and Minami playing as the centre-backs, in which Coach Takakura mentioned, “We saw a lot of potential.”

  • June 2019: FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019™

    Entering her fourth year as the Head Coach of the Nadeshiko Japan, Coach Takakura led the team into the FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019™ where they sought to reclaim the coveted title. However, after conceding a late PK to the Netherlands, the team was eliminated at the round of 16. Following the match, Kumagai was left in tears as she commented, “The team was getting better each match, so this is a very disappointing loss.” Other players also mentioned that they will “use this experience as motivation to do well at the Tokyo Olympics.”

  • October 2019: International Friendly Match @Nihondaira

    With the Nadeshiko Japan resuming their action ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, the team faced Canada in an international friendly match, where they earned a 4-0 shutout victory to bounce back from the FIFA Women's World Cup France 2019™. Players who experienced the FIFA Women's World Cup, such as Iwabuchi and Hasegawa, showcased a strong performance that mesmerised the 8,123 spectators who attended the match. Momiki, who scored the teams second goal, commented after the match, “I will continue to think of ways to contribute for the team ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.”

  • November 2019: MS&AD Cup 2019 @Kitakyushu

    The Nadeshiko Japan faced South Africa in the MS&AD Cup 2019 held at Kitakyushu. The team revealed the Japan National Team’s new kits for 2020, as Kumagai scored her first national team goal wearing the newly designed jersey. With Sugasawa adding onto the tally, Japan won the match 2-0. “We were not able to find our rhythm,” said Coach Takakura, but continued by praising her players’ performance, “they did a great job to keep their aggression.”

  • December 2019: EAFF E-1 Football Championship 2019 Finals

    The EAFF E-1 Football Championship 2019 Finals which took place in Busan, Korea Republic, gave the Nadeshiko Japan a great opportunity to regain their confidence. Japan faced Korea Republic in their third match, where they needed a draw or better to win the title. Despite the away atmosphere, Japan took the initiative and won the match with a late PK scored by Momiki to claim their third East Asia title. Minami was named as the tournament MVP for her contribution that helped Japan earn three consecutive clean sheets, as the modest centre-back commented, “This is an MVP won by my teammates.”


  • March 2020: 2020 SheBelieves Cup

    At the 2020 SheBelieves Cup, the Nadeshiko Japan squared off against potential contenders of the Tokyo Olympics. Despite the efforts showcased by Iwabuchi, Japan lost all three matches. Following their third match against USA, Coach Takakura did not shy away from showing her disappointment, as she mentioned, “We reined the match with our own mistakes.” But the Japanese coach also shared her optimism, “We were able to figure out the capabilities and roles of each player. We just need to continue making forward progress.” However, the team’s activities were suddenly restricted with the worldwide spread of COVID-19.

  • ―Hiatus (Introduction of “Sports assist you”)―

    While team activities were being shutdown due to the spread of COVID-19, JFA streamed variety of online contents through the “Sports assist you ~What sports can do for you now~” Project. From the Nadeshiko Japan, Kumagai sent out a message towards the players who were preparing to compete in the Inter-High School Championships, while Kawasumi shared exercises that can be done at home. Nadeshiko Japan’s Physical Coach HIROSE Norikazu also shared a video that explained some of the things junior and high school women’s football players need to keep in mind.

  • October/November 2020: Training camp @J-Village

    After the decision to postpone the Tokyo Olympics was made, the Nadeshiko Japan resumed their activities at J-Village while taking measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Players thriving at the Nadeshiko League were newly called up, as SHIOKOSHI Yuzuho and STAMBAUGH Hannah were added to the squad. The players expressed their joy of playing football as they scored numerous goals in their training match against a men’s high school football team.


  • April 2021: International Friendly Match @Sendai, Japan National Stadium

    The Nadeshiko Japan played their first official match in nearly 13 months, as they welcomed Paraguay in an international friendly match held at Miyagi. KITAMURA Nanami, HAMADA Haruka, and KINOSHITA Momoka made their national team debut, as the team won the match 7-0. Just three days later, Japan faced Panama at Japan National Stadium, where Sugasawa scored a hat-trick to propel the team to another 7-0 victory, as the striker later commented, “This match made my feelings towards the Olympics even stronger. I will continue to work hard to make a case for myself.”

  • June 2021: International Friendly Match vs Ukraine

    On Thursday 10 June, the Nadeshiko Japan played an international friendly match against the Ukraine Women's National Team at Edion Stadium Hiroshima, where they earned an 8-0 victory. Coach Takakura started Kitamura in the left full-back position, while playing TAKARADA Saori as a centre-back. Shiokoshi made her national team debut, as she started the match as the right midfielder. In a match played under the heat of 33 degrees Celsius, the team was able to simulate their matchups against European opponents at the Olympics.

  • June 2021: MS&AD Cup 2021 vs Mexico

    On Sunday 13 June, three days after their match against Ukraine, the Nadeshiko Japan faced the Mexico Women's National Team in the MS&AD Cup 2021 at Kanseki Stadium Tochigi. In their final match before announcing the roster for the Tokyo Olympics, Coach Takakura made six changes from the starting line-up against Ukraine, as Ikeda started in goal with Minami and MIYAGAWA Asato featuring the defence line, while Tanaka was paired with Iwabuchi upfront. With five different players scoring a goal, Japan won the match 5-1. Continuing from their match against Ukraine, a round of applause was given ahead of the match to express respect and gratitude towards the medical and essential workers who are fighting the pandemic on the front line.