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  World League 2007
 JPN / Japan - Team Composition
Team manager Hideo HAGIWARA (Mr.)
Head coach Tatsuya UETA (Mr.)
Assistant coach Yoshito KUBO (Mr.)
Doctor Ikuhiro MORIKITA (Mr.)
Therapist / trainer Kazuhiro YAMAZAKI (Mr.)
Journalist Keitaro WATANABE (Mr.)
  No. Name Lastname Shirt Name Birthdate Height Weight Spike Block Club
2 Hiroaki Kawaura Kawaura 13.11.1975 200 82 357 340 Toyoda Gosei Trefuerza
4   Shunichi Shimano Shimano 05.01.1981 180 65 335 320 Toyoda Gosei Trefuerza
5 Hiroyuki Kai Kai 17.07.1978 189 89 330 320 Toyoda Gosei Trefuerza
6   Ryuji Naohiro Naohiro 01.10.1978 198 84 350 340 JT Thunders
7 Takahiro Yamamoto Yamamoto 12.07.1978 201 98 345 335 Panasonic Panthers
8   Yusuke Imada Imada 20.02.1981 195 78 340 320 Toray Arrows
9 Takaaki Tomimatsu Tomimatsu 20.07.1984 192 85 350 340 Toray Arrows
L 10   Osamu Tanabe Tanabe 10.04.1979 181 73 330 300 Toray Arrows
11 Yoshihiko Matsumoto Matsumoto 07.01.1981 193 80 340 330 Sakai Blazers
12   Kota Yamamura Yamamura 20.10.1980 205 95 350 335 Suntory Sunbirds
13 Yuta Abe Abe 08.08.1981 191 85 342 320 Suntory Sunbirds
14   Ryu Morishige Morishige 18.07.1980 191 83 346 330 Toyoda-Gosei Trefuerza
L 15 Katsutoshi Tsumagari Tsumagari 02.11.1975 183 78 320 305 Suntory Sunbirds
16   Yusuke Ishijima Gottsu 09.01.1984 0 0 345 335 Sakai Blazers
17 Yu Koshikawa Koshikawa 30.06.1984 189 87 340 320 JT Thunders
18   Kosuke Tomonaga Tomonaga 22.07.1980 184 83 320 310 Sakai Blazers
19 Kunihiro Shimizu Shimizu 11.08.1986 193 97 330 320 Panasonic Panthers
 C=Captain  L=Libero
Team Profile   Coach Profile

The Japanese Men’s squad finished 8th at the 2006 World Championship and was quite satisfied with the result. Everyone admitted that Japan’s men’s squad had been rapidly improving since the present head coach, Mr. Tatsuya Ueta, was appointed in 2004 after the disappointment at the OQT. We feel like we have eventually come out of a long dark tunnel.


The year 2007 will be an absolutely crucial year for Ueta’s squad due to the World Cup 2007, on the occasion of which the top three teams will qualify for the Olympics in Beijing next year. Taking into consideration that the schedule will be very heavy prior to the Olympics next year, Japan’s squad is aiming to qualify to the Olympics at the World Cup with the support of Japan's Volleyball fans.


The squad will start with its first training camp in May this year. Ueta named 22 national players for the 2007 World League headed by 37-year old Masaji Ogino. Ogino made his comeback to the international stage in 2005 and played incredible Volleyball in the World Championship in 2006. Most players who competed in the World Championship will remain in this year’s squad.


The players for whom head coach Ueta has high hopes this year are Yu Koshikawa and Yusuke Ishijima. Koshikawa, who just turned 23, showed his potential as an outside hitter in 2005; however, last year was a mediocre year for him. Ueta hopes Koshikawa will be one of the key players in the team this year. Ishijima, who has been playing in Brazil, is expected to show his improved Volleyball. This year will be the second year for Takahiro Yamamoto, a left-handed spiker, as a member of the national team since his comeback and Ueta sets his hope on Yamamoto as an ace as a spiker.


Ueta’s squad is almost mature. Refining individual skills, reducing errors, making offence faster and increasing accuracy in service reception, Japan’s Men’s squad, as a first step to winning a medal at the World Cup 2007, is aiming to advance to the final round in the World League 2007.



In 2004, immediately after the Japanese men’s team failed to qualify for the Olympics in Athens, the Japan Volleyball Association appointed Tatsuya Ueta, then coach of Japan’s junior men’s national team, as head coach of the senior national team. Since then, Ueta, who is considered a hardworking and  progressive coach, has not only been coaching his squad very hard, but also collecting and studying lots of information from abroad. Consequently, he has built up his present Volleyball philosophy and the success of the national team so far has been entirely due to his efforts.


Tatsuya Ueta was born in Shikoku, the smallest of Japan’s four main islands. He started playing Volleyball at the age of 12 and developed into an astute middle blocker. He played Volleyball for high school and university teams and gained a reputation as a good player even in his school days. He joined Nippon Steel Blazers in 1987 and played for the national team from 1989 to 1993.


Ueta was assistant coach of Nippon Steel Blazers from 1995 to 1998, and head coach of Nippon Steel’s successor, Sakai Blazers, from 1999 to March 2001 before joining the Japan Volleyball Association as coach for the junior men’s national team.


His goal is to compete in the Olympics in Beijing and this aspiration is the motivation for his squad. In order to achieve this goal, Ueta regards 2007 as a vital year. He is planning to improve his squad step by step and the forthcoming World League will be the first step of the year – the last step will be, needless to say, qualification for the Olympics in the World Cup in November.


Through the World League 2007, he will discover any weaknesses in the team and correct them. He believes that Japan will have no chance to go to Beijing without achieving accuracy in service reception and lightening speed in offence.


Ueta has confidence in his squad and is looking forward to competing in the World League 2007.