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Japan Kit: Through the years

Design: Perhaps set to be the most controversial kit of the tournament, Japan have stuck with their traditional blue with white and red trim. However, lines across the strip which bear a resemblance to the country's former rising sun flag have already caused mutterings in several East Asian countries, including South Korea.

Short history: Now in their fifth World Cup, Japan have largely stuck to certain commonalities in their shirt design across that time. Their first effort in 1998 was a lighter shade of blue and featured a flash of red in its flame motif on both arms. However, since Adidas took over the shirt design in 2002, a dark blue design with stripes down the arm in white has been prominent. For the home World Cup in 2002, simplicity was the order of the day. However, in 2006, red was upstaged as the kit's second colour for the first time, as light-blue stripes ran in waves down the side of the shirt. In 2010, though, normality was resumed with a red square appearing under the collar for the tournament. As with 2010, Japan will play in dark blue shorts in Brazil, rather than the traditional white, with a blue and red pattern on the socks

The greatest kit: For the 2002 World Cup in their homeland, Japan removed the majority of trimming from the kit to produce a tasteful dark blue shirt that featured only their manufacturers' three-stripe pattern in white running down the arms and a thin red line running across the shoulders.

Kits through the years:

Japan have made every tournament since 1998.
Japan have made every tournament since 1998.

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