World Cup 2018: Japan include Keisuke Honda and Shinji Kagawa in squad

Shinji Kagawa (left) and Keisuke Honda
Shinji Kagawa (left) and Keisuke Honda were both in the Japan World Cup squad for 2014, with Honda also featuring in 2010

Japan coach Akira Nishino has included experienced midfielders Keisuke Honda and Shinji Kagawa in his 23-man squad for the World Cup in Russia.

Honda, 31, has played 94 times for his country and former Manchester United midfielder Kagawa, 29, has 90 international caps.

Both played during Japan's 2-0 home loss to Ghana in Yokohama on Wednesday.

That was Nishino's first game in charge of Japan after he replaced Vahid Halilhodzic, who was sacked last month.

Southampton defender Maya Yoshida and Leicester City forward Shinji Okazaki have also both been named in the squad.

Japan have not won in four matches and play an away friendly against Switzerland in Lugano on 8 June, before facing Paraguay in Lausanne, Switzerland on 12 June.

Nishino's team are in Group H and begin their World Cup campaign against Colombia on 19 June and then face Senegal on 24 June and Poland on 28 June.

This will be Japan's sixth appearance at a World Cup finals and they have gone out in the last 16 in 2002 and 2010 and been eliminated in the group phase in 1998, 2006 and 2014.

Japan's 23-man World Cup squad

Goalkeepers: Eiji Kawashima (Metz), Masaaki Higashiguchi (Gamba Osaka), Kosuke Nakamura (Kashiwa).

Defenders: Yuto Nagatomo (Galatasaray), Tomoaki Makino (Urawa), Wataru Endo (Urawa), Maya Yoshida (Southampton), Hiroki Sakai (Marseille), Gotoku Sakai (Hamburg), Gen Shoji, Naomichi Ueda (Kashima).

Midfielders: Makoto Hasebe (Eintracht Frankfurt), Keisuke Honda (Pachuca), Takashi Inui (Eibar), Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund), Hotaru Yamaguchi (Cerezo Osaka), Genki Haraguchi, (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Takashi Usami (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Gaku Shibasaki (Getafe), Ryota Oshima (Kawasaki).

Forwards: Shinji Okazaki (Leicester), Yuya Osako (Werder Bremen), Yoshinori Muto (Mainz).

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