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Japan's belief is rising, says Manabe

Japan coach Masayoshi Manabe knows the spotlight is on his side but is confident they have the potential to do well at the World Championship

Tokyo, Japan, October 26, 2010 – Japan coach Masayoshi Manabe believes the host nation are ready to take on the challenge of a tough run of matches at the 2010 FIVB Women's World Championship which starts on Friday.

Japan will have the benefit of a partisan crowd when they stage the tournament between October 29 and November 14, yet confidence and spirit levels in the home dressing room will be the key factors if the hosts are to progress according to coach Manabe.

"They will be tough games but we will do our best," he told a press conference on Tuesday. "Our preparations have been based around the team ethic and around establishing our own identity while the players themselves have built up their confidence by beating strong teams like Italy and Brazil."

That development is evident in the "very significant" growth of young players such as Yukiko Ebata and Saori Sakoda. "I look forward to seeing them play," said Manabe, who also explained that his major injury concern, Megumi Kurihara, has "successfully recovered" from a knee problem. "Her condition is getting better," he added.

Japan begin their 1st round campaign against Poland at the Yoyogi National Stadium in Tokyo on Friday before further matches against Peru, Algeria, Costa Rica and Serbia in Pool A.

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