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 Press Release
Manabe eyes improvement for 2010

Japan coach Masayoshi Manabe is looking for further improvement from Japan as they look to better their sixth place finish in last year's World Grand Prix and set their sights on London 2012

Tokyo, Japan, May 13, 2010 – Japan women’s coach Masayoshi Manabe has declared 2010 as a year to improve receiving skills with an eye to finish in the top three at the London Olympics in 2012.

The Japan senior women’s team “Hinotori Nippon” (Hinotori meaning phoenix in Japanese) held a press conference at the Ajinomoto National Training Centre in Tokyo on Thursday, and allowed media access to its very first training of the season, where Manabe also set the theme for 2010 for his team “to establish the originality of Japan.”

“We will do our best in the World Grand Prix in August and in the World Championship in autumn,” Manabe said.

“For 2012, this year is very important,” Japan captain Erika Araki added. “I want to do what can only be done now and challenge some new things. We will do our best as a team.”

Japan’s first training camp will continue until May 27 before holding another training camp in England. In June, the team will participate in the Montreux Volley Masters to be held in Switzerland, and then move to Brazil for training, which is scheduled from June 15 – 26. The list of 15 players participating in this Europe-Brazil tour was also announced. The members are as follows:

Hiroko Matsuura (Setter/Wing Spiker), Masami Yokoyama (Setter), Kaori Inoue (Middle Blocker), Ai Yamamoto (Middle Blocker), Mai Yamaguchi (Wing Spiker), Chie Yoshizawa (Wing Spiker), Mizuho Ishida (Wing Spiker), Yuki Shoji (Middle Blocker), Yukiko Ebata (Wing Spiker), Mai Fukuda (Wing Spiker), Yoshiko Yano (Middle Blocker), Koyomi Tominaga (Setter), Saori Sakoda (Wing Spiker), Akiko Ino (Libero), Kanari Hamaguchi (Libero).

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