TOKYO (AP)Japan coach Hajime Moriyasu has been reappointed to the job after the Samurai Blue reached the last 16 of this month’s World Cup, the Japan Football Association said on Wednesday.

He is now expected to lead the team again at the 2026 World Cup which will be hosted by Mexico, Canada and the United States.

Moriyasu guided Japan to wins over former world champions Spain and Germany in group play in Qatar before the team lost to Croatia in a penalty shootout.

The Japan Football Association did not disclose contract terms.

Moriyasu’s retention makes him the first Japan coach to remain in the job following a World Cup.

Japan has appeared in the finals seven times, reaching the round of 16 on four occasions. It has never advanced further.

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