Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tickets On Sale for February UFC Japan Card

In Japan and planning to attend the UFC's return to the Land of the Rising Sun? Get your credit card ready.

Tickets for UFC Japan go on sale today through UFC Mobile. On Tuesday, fans in Japan can get tickets through WOWOW and Nikkan Sports. WOWOW is a subscription-based Japanese broadcasting company; Nikkan Sports is a daily sports newspaper with a circulation of nearly 2 million.

Tickets will range in price from 5,800 Japanese Yen to ¥100,000. Current exchange rates between the Yen and U.S. Dollar (1/0.0128) make those tickets priced from just under $75 to nearly $1,300. The pricing breakdown is similar to major U.S. UFC pay-per-view shows.

Tickets for the general public will be made available starting Dec. 10 through Lawson Tickets, E-Plus and Kyodo Promotion. UFC Japan, as the card is being billed (UFC 144 in the numbered event system), will take place at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, just north of Tokyo. The arena has hosted some of the biggest events in MMA history and was the home for many Pride Fighting Championship events.

The UFC on Monday announced the full fight card for UFC Japan with a press conference in Tokyo that featured many of the card's biggest names. Headlining the event will be a lightweight title fight between champion Frankie Edgar and top contender Ben Henderson. The co-main event will feature a name plenty familiar to Japanese MMA fans – Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, who was a Pride star for many years before coming to the UFC. Jackson will fight Ryan Bader in the co-main event six years to the day from his last fight in Japan.

Also appearing at the press conference alongside UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta, UFC international managing director Marshall Zelaznik and UFC Asia managing director Mark Fischer were Japanese star Yoshihiro Akiyama and Jake Shields, who meet in a welterweight bout on the main card; Mark Hunt and Cheick Kongo; Joe Lauzon and Anthony Pettis; and Japanese fighters Yushin Okami, Takanori Gomi, Norifumi "Kid" Yamamoto, Hatsu Hioki, Takeya Mizugaki and Riki Fukuda, all of whom have fights on the card. The card features seven Japanese fighters, though only Akiyama will appear on the main card.

"Japan is the spiritual home of martial arts," Fertitta said in a release from the UFC. "The world has learned from the Japanese many aspects of how to compete in hand-to-hand combat with respect and honor. But Japan also has a proud history of modern mixed martial arts and I am excited to bring the Ultimate Fighting Championship back here ..."

The UFC last held a show in Japan in December 2000, prior to its purchase by Zuffa. Due to the time difference between Tokyo and the United States, the pay-per-view is scheduled to air live in the U.S. at 8 p.m. Eastern on Feb. 25. There is a 14-hour time difference between Tokyo and the Eastern time zone in the U.S.

Source http://www.heavy.com/mma/mma-news/2011/11/tickets-on-sale-for-february-ufc-japan-card/

Monday, October 3, 2011

Ishikawa fined by Japanese Tour despite earthquake relief fundraising efforts

Ryo Ishikawa's efforts to raise money for the Japanese earthquake relief fund may have been hit after he was fined £16,500 by the Japanese Tour for pulling out of two tournaments.

Japan's golfing superstar is giving his entire earnings for 2011 to the fund, which was set up after the huge quake and tsunami devastated the east coast of the country earlier this year. Ishikawa will also add a further £750 for every birdie he makes this season.

The Japan Golf Tour Organisation took a dim view of the 19-year-old's decision to withdraw from the Kansai Open in August and last week's Toshin tournament, which he missed for the second year running, citing a sore shoulder.

The JGTO handed him the first such fines for three years on the men's tour as punishment.

'Rules are rules,' the tour's executive director Andy Yamanaka said. 'They are put in place to protect the tournaments. They are not rules only for Ryo.'

Yamanaka insisted the Japanese tour would not make any special concessions to Ishikawa's enormous celebrity in Japan, where his grinning face looks down from giant billboards and appears frequently on TV commercials.

'Yes he's a superstar but he is also one of 200 (JGTO) members and everyone plays under one set of rules. You should not change rules for one person.'

JGTO chairman Tadashi Koizumi said the organisation would 'get tough' next year to tighten the rules and prevent players suddenly pulling out of tournaments.

'We want the players to support the Japanese tournaments,' said Yamanaka. 'They can't just pay money and take time off, so we want to amend the rulebook.

'Even if Ishikawa goes off and plays on the American PGA Tour he will still have to abide by our rules.'

Ishikawa apologised and produced a doctor's note.

'My left shoulder felt like it was about to dislocate,' Japan's brightest hope for a future men's major champion told Nikkan Sports.

'The doctor told me if I played on, it would develop into chronic inflammation so I made the tough decision to withdraw.

'Last year I was playing in Europe so had to pull out. It's bad timing.'

Source http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/golf/article-2037290/Ryo-Ishikawa-fined-Japanese-Tour-despite-earthquake-fund-raising-efforts.html

Friday, July 22, 2011

'Frog king' Kitajima leaps injury hurdle

Japan's Kosuke Kitajima is determined to overcome an injury-plagued build-up to the world championships as he steps up his quest for a third straight golden double at next year's Olympics.

For the Japanese breaststroke superstar, the Shanghai worlds will not just be a vital pre-Olympic test but also a chance to restore his reputation in China, tarnished by a poor showing in November's Asian Games.

The red-hot favourite in Guangzhou, the 28-year-old finished a disappointing fourth in both the 50m and 100m before pulling out of the 200m citing nagging pain in his shoulder and joints.

It was in sharp contrast to his dominant showing at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where he was labelled "Frog King" after retaining the 100m and 200m titles he won four years earlier in Athens.

"I feel I won't be satisfied just by winning," said Kitajima, who saw his world marks shattered when he sat out the 2009 world championships in Rome. "Records or medals. Both will be important after all."

Los Angeles-based Kitajima struggled against rising domestic rivals in April in his battle to qualify for both the 100m and 200m in Shanghai.

He won the 100m at the national trials and in the 200m he finished second to Asian Games champion Naoya Tomita, although it was a painful ordeal as he tore his left adductor muscle early in the race.

"The injury may have something to do with my age but I want to believe I am stronger than ever when it comes to my feeling and my heart," said the straight-talking son of a Tokyo butcher.

"Various kinds of experience make me stronger," he said, adding he has fully recovered and ready to add to his three gold, three silver and four bronze world championships medals since 2001.

Kitajima attributed his positive thinking to his laid-back training regime under American coach David Salo at the University of Southern California since June 2009.

Still remembered for his screams and exclamation "cho-kimochi-ii (I feel super good)" that accompanied his first Olympic double in Athens, the swimmer said he had been freed from pressure.

"We ride balance balls in the water. Sometimes we go to the beach together," Kitajima recently told Japanese media in Los Angeles. "It was a fresh surprise to find there is such a fun kind of swimming."

He attended the 2009 worlds as a TV commentator during his 15-month post-Olympics layoff and could only look on as Australia's Brenton Rickard broke his 100m record and Christian Sprenger lowered his mark in the 200m.

Kitajima said he was raring to beat the Australians and break the world marks they set in the era of high-tech swimming suits.

"I want to hear people say, 'What were those high-speed swimsuits after all?' Then, I'll say, 'Give me a break. Now you know the power of human beings,'" he told the Nikkan Sports daily.

Source http://www.supersport.com/aquatics/international-news/news/110721/Frog_king_Kitajima_leaps_injury_hurdle

Monday, July 4, 2011

Nintendo Japan constructing new $184 Million office building

News publication Nikkan has reported that Nintendo Japan will be investing 16 Billion Yen (roughly $184.4 Million AUD) into a new research and development facility located in Kyoto with their main office. Expected to be a massive 40,582 square meters in size, the new office is being built on a golf course which Nintendo has now bought out.

There will be six floors along with a basement level making the building 41 metres in height. There will be a meeting room located on the first floor with a cafeteria at the top so staff can take in the beautiful view on their lunch breaks.

Currently Nintendo has their research and development team scattered around Kyoto in various offices and buildings, this new office will allow the entire team to work under the one roof and thus improve the overall efficiency, productivity and communication. The new building will house up to 1,500 employees with construction to begin in January next year, Nintendo hopes to have the structure up and running by the end of 2013.

Source http://www.aussie-nintendo.com/news/nintendo-japan-building-new-184-million-office

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Toshiba jumps on report chosen by Apple for small LCDs, Sharp

Shares of Toshiba Corp jumped 4 percent on Wednesday after a newspaper report that Apple Inc would invest in its production of small smartphone-use displays, dropping Sharp from the running for that business in Japan.

Shares of Sharp tumbled as much as 2.7 percent on the Nikkan Kogyo report but regaining ground after Sharp issued a statement saying the article was inaccurate and demanding the newspaper withdraw it. Nikkan Kogyo declined to comment.

Nikkan Kogyo said Apple had been in negotiations with both Toshiba and Sharp about investing 100 billion yen ($1.2 billion) each in production lines for small LCD displays to be used in an upcoming version of its popular iPhone.

Apple decided to focus its investments in Japan in one company and chose Toshiba, the newspaper said.

The decision, which follows Japan's March 11 earthquake and tsunami, reflects Apple's desire to diversify its risk of having too much investment in one country, the newspaper said.

Source http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/136204/20110419/toshiba-jumps-on-report-chosen-by-apple-for-small-lcds-sharp.htm

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Kitajima ready to break swimming records

Two-time double Olympic champion Kosuke Kitajima is all set to restore his fame as the world's fastest breaststroke swimmer following a ban on high-speed swimsuits, a report said Tuesday.

The 28-year-old Japanese told the daily Nikkan Sports that he was gearing up for the world swimming championships in Shanghai in July, hoping to win gold, although his real ambition was to get into the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

"I'm not just in it for the gold. I want to win an Olympic berth," Kitajima said as he prepared for this weekend's national trials for the Shanghai championships where the winners will get tickets to the London Games next year.

After defending his 100m and 200m Olympic titles in Beijing in 2008, Kitajima took a 15-month layoff, skipping the last 2009 world championships in Rome where both of his world records were shattered.

Brenton Rickard clocked 58.58secs in the 100m, breaking Kitajima's record of 58.91. Another Australian, Christian Sprenger, lowered the Japanese swimmer's 200m mark by 0.2 seconds to 2:07.31.

"They set world records by wearing high-speed swimsuits. I'm raring to break those records some day," said the Japanese, who was hailed as "Frog King" for his feats at the Beijing Games.

"I want to hear them say, 'What were those high-speed swimsuits after all?' Then, I'll say, 'Give me a break. Now, you know the power of human beings.'"

High-tech, high-speed "sharkskin" swimsuits, which helped shatter dozens of world records in Beijing and Rome, were banned at the start of 2010.

Kitajima, who moved his training base to Los Angeles in April 2009, won the 100m and 200m at the Pan Pacific championships in August last year by beating Rickard and Sprenger.

"I realised that I still had chances to compete globally," said the Japanese, who has changed his swimming style after the Beijing Games where he tried to reduce the number of strokes in order to swim faster.

"I have a different kick and the number of my strokes has increased... I can still use my hands well and kick well," he said. "I'd thought my swimming style was perfect in Beijing. But I've come to believe I can expand my style."

Kitajima said he was shocked when on March 11, while training in Los Angeles, he watched an earthquake and tsunami devastate his home country on television.

He said he wished to cheer up people in the disaster zones. "It may be difficult to convey my feelings merely by swimming but it'll be great if they can share my high spirits."

Source http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jso5O__mvzHxgo4bNAuYDUB_0EHg?docId=CNG.897aaf456d2691082257863ec5125653.141

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Central League's reputation takes hit in scheduling row

The league's old-school, bull-headed desire to begin the season on March 25 at all costs gave way slightly to the voice of reason on Saturday night. Not, however, before its reputation took a beating in some circles.

Agreeing to push its openers back to March 29 — a mere four days later — looks less like a concession and more like a bully, used to pushing people around, grasping for the last modicum of control it had left.

To its credit, the league will play as many day games as possible to save power, and will not allow games to go extra innings this year.

In the wake of the tragic events in the Tohoku and Kanto regions after a 9.0 magnitude earthquake and an ensuing tsunami battered a section of the country and in hours nearly wiped decades-old cities off the map, baseball was in its proper place on the back burner.

The Pacific League, which fields a team in one of the hardest hit areas — Sendai's Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles — decided in the wake of the tragedy, and the logistical problems it caused, that it would be best to delay the start of the season, planned for March 25, to April 12.

Rather than stand in solidarity with the six PL clubs, the CL teams, with the Yomiuri Giants reportedly at the head of the train, steadfastly stuck to a March 25 start.

Predictably, the decision was met with widespread criticism from many corners, including some members of the government, respected minds from the academic community and even the league's own players, namely Hanshin Tigers star Tomoaki Kanemoto and Tokyo Yakult Swallows veteran Shinya Miyamoto, who each issued scathing criticisms.

"It might make sense to promote baseball when things improve," Miyamoto told Nikkan Sports last week. "If they are thinking it would help now, they are not thinking about it in the right way."

As with anything, there were differing opinions. While there were more players publicly against playing, some said it couldn't be helped.

As for the CL leaders, they touted baseball's role in the nation's recovery.

Others pointed out playing games so soon after one of the most tragic events in the nation's history wasn't such a great idea.

Those voices should've been heeded earlier.

After all, it's not like baseball was spared the impact of last week's event. The Eagles have a stadium that at the moment is unusable and a fan-base that was among the worst off in Japan after the disaster. So why not stand together with the Pa. League and have both leagues open simultaneously on April 12?

Central League leaders cited professional duty and baseball's place in Japanese culture as the reason they absolutely had to get on the field as soon as possible. It's a fine goal, that in this case looks misguided at best and self-serving at worst.

Which is a shame, since on some level the CL is right.

Baseball could be a great way to help lift spirits and aid the recovery process.

But not yet. The wounds are still too fresh, the images of destruction still too vivid.

There is a time and a place for everything and baseball will have its day. The game is embedded in the very fabric of the nation and it can be a healing salve when the country begins to move on.

Yes, the games must go on, but at the right time.

The Central League had a chance to stand up and do the right thing from the beginning.

Instead, the league took a giant hack and struck out swinging.

Source http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/sp20110322jc.html

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

B2ST to hold two Japanese expo concerts for 40,000 fans

In anticipation of their Japanese “Shock” debut, B2ST will play their music video on the streets of five major cities, and will also host two expo concerts at the Tokyo Big Sight and at the Dojima River Forum in Osaka. Together, the two expo concerts will house a cumulative figure of 40,000 fans!

B2ST already held a successful showcase last November despite the fact that they haven’t officially debuted; the tickets for that November showcase managed to sell out 10,000 tickets within 10 minutes. News of the group’s larger-scale concerts have already stirred Japanese fans into a frenzy.

On February 26th, Japan’s Nikkan Sports and other media outlets reported, “The Korean beasts will be landing in Japan. All of the members are known for their exceptional vocal and dancing talents, and the group itself has managed to leap into the ranks of other top artists with their talent. One industry representative revealed that their popularity had the ‘possibility to overtake TVXQ and Big Bang.’ B2ST will become the eye of the storm in K-pop this year.”

B2ST’s debut album, “Shock,” will be available on March 16th. All special versions of the album, including the DVD and standard edition, have managed to rank in on the top 10 of Tower Record’s pre-order chart.

Source http://www.allkpop.com/2011/02/b2st-to-hold-two-japanese-expo-concerts-for-40000-fans

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

2 Pokémon Feature Films to Open on Same Day in July

Two feature-length Pokémon anime films will open in Japan on July 16 instead of the usual one feature-length film with an anime short. According to the Nikkan Sports newspaper, this is the first time that two feature-length Japanese animated films from the same franchise have opened on the same day. In addition to the previously announced Gekijōban Pocket Monster Best Wishes! Victini to Kuroki Eiyū Zekrom, there will also be a second feature called Gekijōban Pocket Monster Best Wishes! Victini to Shiroki Eiyū Reshiram. The same theaters will show both films, one after another.

In the story of the two films, the protagonist Satoshi (Ash in English) and his Pokémon creature Pikachu take part in a battle held during the harvest festival in Aintoōku, and they encounter the mysterious Pokémon Victini. The two films will also feature two different legendary Pokémon — the black hero Zekrom appears before people who seek the pure "ideal," while the white hero Reshiram appears before people who seek the pure "truth." Not incidentally, these two are pivotal Pokémon in the latest games in the franchise, Pokémon Black and White. They also appeared as miniature floats at last year's 84th Annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City.

Pokémon anime feature films have often opened in theaters with an anime short, similar to how American Pixar films have often opened in theaters with an animated short. However, the two Pokémon films that will open in July are both feature-length. The last time that Japanese theaters opened two features from the same franchise on the same day was in 2009, when the live-action franchise Ju-on (The Grudge) marked its 10th anniversary with Ju-on: Shiroi Rōjo and Ju-on: Kuroi Shōjo.

Source http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/0003-89-25/2-pokemon-feature-films-to-open-on-same-day-in-july

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Japanese fans praise coach for Asian Cup win

Japanese football fans praised Italian coach Alberto Zaccheroni on Sunday after he guided Japan to a record fourth Asian Cup title with a 1-0 win over Australia in Doha.

"Victory for Zaccheroni Japan," read the headline in the Nikkan Sports newspaper. Thousands of fans celebrated the win in the streets of Tokyo's Shibuya entertainment district after Tadanari Lee's volley in the 109th minute gave the Blue Samurai the win.

Fans chanted "Nippon! Nippon!" after the match ended at about 2:30 a.m. local time on Sunday.

The mass circulation Asahi Shimbun ran a four-page special edition with a banner headline that read "Japan, the champions of Asia."

The 57-year-old Zaccheroni, who took over from Takeshi Okada after the World Cup, won praise from both Japanese fans and media for his ability to get the most out of his young players.

He used 21 of the 23 players on his squad. Against Australia, he moved hard-working Cesena fullback Yuto Nagatomo into midfield and the player responded by supplying the cross for Lee to volley home the winner.

"Zaccheroni quickly grasped a feeling for his players and that was obvious by the performance of the team in Doha," said office worker Makoto Inoue, who stayed up late to watch the match.

Japan Football Association president Junji Ogura told Japanese media in Doha that he was pleased with the decision to hire Zaccheroni.

"I feel we have chosen a great coach and the players have complete confidence in him," Ogura said.

Zaccheroni surprised many in Japan when he chose Lee, a 25-year-old ethnic Korean who made his debut in the team's opening match against Jordan and scored his first international goal in the final.

"At times, we found ourselves in difficulties, in numerical disadvantage," said Zaccheroni. "But this team has always found the necessary resources to win the match."

The former AC Milan and Juventus coach was chosen by the JFA after an exhaustive search that dragged on for months. He signed a two-year deal with an option of two more years, despite a lack of experience abroad and at international level.

Source http://www.usatoday.com/sports/soccer/2011-01-30-2010700206_x.htm

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ichihashi’s stated celibacy while on the lam possibly exaggerated

Garnering a fair bit of attention in recent days has been the book written by Tatsuya Ichihashi, the accused murderer of Briton Lindsay Hawker. Naturally, Nikkan Gendai (Jan. 28) felt it necessary to verify his claims about his sex life while on the run.

In March of 2007, police arrived at Ichihashi’s apartment in Chiba Prefecture to investigate the disappearance of the 22-year-old Hawker. Ichihashi bolted from the scene and officers discovered Hawker buried in sand inside a bathtub on his balcony. The suspect was captured in November 2009.

Released last week by publisher Gentosha, “Records of What Happened During the Two Years and Seven Months Before Being Arrested” tells stories of his stops in 23 prefectures (including Tokyo), his partaking in ohenro, or the touring of the 88 temples in Shikoku, and his stay on a remote island in Okinawa.

There are also details on his sexual activities, or lack thereof.

In July 2007, four months into his escape, the 32-year-old ventured into a fuzoku (red-light) area of Okinawa. “A few ladies were standing outside the doors of various place,” he writers. “One was in her 30s. She offered me services for 5,000 yen. But after recalling what I had done, I couldn’t answer her.”

He also worked at a construction company in Osaka for a year and three months. “While I told colleagues that I’d go out on weekends to buy hookers,” he continues, “I was actually saving my money for plastic surgery, so nothing happened. When I thought about Lindsay-san, I got scared.”

Nikkan Gendai is skeptical that such recollections have led to a feeling of deep remorse. A former colleague and roommate at the construction company’s dormitory offers further speculation. “Ichihashi used to go out a lot on Sundays,” says the source. “Some people witnessed him walking around the Tobita Shinchi area (the largest largest brothel district in Kansai). He had cash, and I noticed half of condoms in a 12-pack box were gone.”

Certified clinical psychologist Yo Yahata says that in the days immediately after one begins his runaway, a tremendous amount of pressure is exerted. “But with time and money building up,” the psychologist adds, “one starts to have the appetite and a sex drive will return.”

The article also cites Ichihashi’s sushi dinner with a boss, trip to a movie theater, and date with a woman in Koza, Okinawa as further evidence that his stated contrition is probably overdone. (A.T.)

Source http://www.tokyoreporter.com/2011/01/31/ichihashis-stated-celibacy-while-on-the-lam-possibly-exaggerated/

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Brewers nearing one-year deal with Saito?

According to Japan's Nikkan Sports, the Brewers are nearing a one-year contract with right-hander Takashi Saito worth around $3 million.

Saito posted a quality 2.83 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 69/17 K/BB ratio over 56 relief appearances for the Braves this past year. He's battled some shoulder problems recently, but the 40-year-old right-hander is very reliable when healthy and should do well in an eighth inning role for Milwaukee. That $3 million price tag includes performance-based incentives.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Samurai spirit: Liberated Japanese lasses turn seductresses in name of country

Nikkan Gendai Jan. 1This may be the Year of the Rabbit, but Nikkan Gendai (Jan. 1) predicts that Japanese women will not be satisfied nibbling on mere carrots.

The evening tabloid says that the rise of nikushokukei joshi (肉食系女子), or carnivorous women, will continue to pick up steam in 2011. Fuzoku writer Yukio Murakami explains that women are increasingly viewing themselves differently.

“Women believe that they too should be able to freely enjoy sex just as men do,” the sex scribe says. “Even with steady boyfriends they’ll still approach men at train stations as the evening’s last train approaches. The rationale behind such behavior is rooted in simple sexual desire that occurs right before their menstrual period or the thought that it’s better to stay at a love hotel than going home.

“Most of these ladies, aged in their late 20s to late 30s, do not ask for financial compensation,” Murakami continues. “They are simply looking for excitement.”

A similar type of woman can be spotted in the youth Mecca of Shibuya, specifically the Center-gai area.

“Girls with flexible jobs roam around during the day and give signs, such as a wink, to handsome guys,” comments a female writer. “They approach boys of their liking by saying, ‘I don’t need money so let’s go straight to a love hotel.’ Unlike a prostitute, it’s not for quick cash so they won’t pick up just any guy.”

Of course, the question is: Why is this unfolding now?

“While they say it is due to sexual liberation, that is nominal,” asserts Murakami. “The reality is that they see the unease with North Korea and China’s aggression and find it worrisome. Their maternal instinct is making them aggressive in wanting to leave behind more offspring.”

The article surmises that this is similar to the samurai eras of shoguns Oda Nobunaga and Toyotomi Hideyoshi, when similar scenes took place just as their regimes were about to crumble.

2011 could be a dream for womanizers, drools Nikkan Gendai, but the challenge is for you, dear reader, to up your game if you want to be a player. (K.N.)

Source http://www.tokyoreporter.com/2011/01/06/samurai-spirit-liberated-japanese-lasses-turn-seductresses-in-name-of-country/

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Japan football players want bigger rewards: report

Japan's football stars are considering boycotting international matches unless the national association improves bonuses and other conditions, a daily said Saturday.

Lawyers for the Japan Football Association and the Japan Pro-Footballers Association (JPFA) have been negotiating without progress on players' demands, the Nikkan Sports said.

The FA has yet to give a "concrete answer" to the demands, which were in place before this year's World Cup in South Africa, JPFA lawyer Taisuke Matsumoto told the daily. "We must think about our next move."

Matsumoto said the players cannot walk out on World Cup qualifiers and other official tournaments. But the daily said it is highly possible that they would boycott international friendlies.

The lawyer is to hold a meeting with the players on December 27 to discuss their next move when they start a training camp at home for the January 7-29 Asian Cup in Qatar, the Nikkan Sports said.

They are also seeking salary guarantees for injury sustained in internationals, as well as their image rights.

Japan's players are paid no appearance money but are given a daily allowance of 10,000 yen (120 dollars) for taking part in an international. A win or draw gives them a bonus payment which is decided on the ranking of the opponents.

The bonus was 150,000 yen each for the 1-0 friendly win over Paraguay on September 4 and 200,000 yen for the historic 1-0 upset of powerhouse Argentina on October 8, both at home, the daily said.

It was 50,000 yen for the October 12 goalless away draw with South Korea.

The Japanese players would have pocketed 100,000 yen each if they had won the match, compared with a victory bonus set at three times that for the South Koreans, the Nikkan Sports said.

"The FA hasn't changed the amounts of payments since the 2002 World Cup," an anonymous veteran international was quoted by the daily as saying.

"Of course, everyone tries to work hard for the country and themselves. But everyone is a professional and they are staking their life on every match. I want the FA to rate us as other countries do."

Source http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5guy93msVVAhtFvRRgpXCoPNPc1Hg?docId=CNG.9771ea7b2bd897ef76fdca4c0de58582.611