Team Players

Team Info

Since making their debut at the IHF Men's Youth World Championship in 2013, Japan have been constantly improving their status in the subsequent three editions they took part in. At Georgia 2017 and North Macedonia 2019, they even broke through into the top 10, ending up on the eighth place in 2017 and on the ninth place in 2019.

This time around, though, Japan will have their work cut out if they want to seal another finish in the first ten places, as this means the Asian side needs to progress to the main round, which will certainly be difficult in a well-balanced group, probably the toughest at Croatia 2023, where they face reigning champions Egypt and two European sides in Iceland and Czechia.

Their credentials will certainly be tested, especially after a disappointing outing last summer at the 2022 AHF Asian Men's Youth Handball Championship, where they started well, finishing on the second place in the preliminary round, but finished with three consecutive losses to miss out on a medal.

In the semi-finals, Japan conceded a 21:23 loss against the Republic of Korea, while the bronze medal match was lost against Saudi Arabia by the slightest of margins, 24:25, which highlighted Japan's potential but also proved there is plenty to grow.

Over the last years, serious emphasis was put on developing good back players and it looks like everything works towards that goal after Naoki Fujisaka finished as the top goal scorer at the 2023 IHF Men's Junior World Championship. Key players for this side are also back players who impressed at the 2022 AHF Asian Men's Youth Handball Championship, like Kippei Furukawa or Koshiro Hori, who can both create chances and shoot from distance.

Key players: Kippei Furukawa (right back), Masaki Sakai (right back), Koshiro Hori (centre back)
Qualification for Croatia 2023: 2022 AHF Asian Men's Youth Handball Championship – 4th place
History in the tournament: 2013: 17th, 2015: 20th, 2017: 8th, 2019: 9th
Group at Croatia 2023: Group C (Egypt, Iceland, Japan, Czechia