AFC Under-19 Championship 2010 Qualifiers
The Japanese, who came close to winning the crown on several occasions, have been placed in Group F of the qualifiers against Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei and Hong Kong.
But the road is not easy either for the rest of the ASEAN member nations with Thailand, Laos and Vietnam having to contend with 11-time winners Korea Republic in Group E.
The other teams in the group are Macau and Bangladesh.
Malaysia, Myanmar and the Philippines on the other hand will be up against China – who last won the tournament in 1985 – in Group G with 2006 winners DPR Korea and also Guam.
Only the group winners and runners-up will advance to the main draw alongside the one best third-placed team from the West Zone and one best third-placed team from the East.
AFC U-19 CHAMPIONSHIP 2010 QUALIFIERS
Group A – Tajikistan, Jordan, Yemen, Nepal*, Palestine, Kyrgyzstan
Group B – UAE*, Syria, Qatar, Bahrain, Bhutan, Sri Lanka
Group C – Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Oman, Kuwait, India, Afghanistan
Group D – Uzbekistan, Iran, Lebanon, Turkmenistan, Maldives, Pakistan*
Group E – Korea Republic, Thailand*, Laos, Vietnam, Macau, Bangladesh
Group F – Australia, Japan, Indonesia*, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong
Group G – China*, DPR Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar, Guam, the Philippines