Norio Sasaki has announced the Nadeshiko Japan team for the Olympic Qualifiers.

Despite calling several players into camp during the lead up, the former World Coach of the Year has kept faith with the majority of his silver medal winning World Cup team with 16 players from that squad selected.

Two noticeable omissions include 2011 FIFA Women's World Cup heros Homare Sawa and goalkeeper Ayumi Kaihori.  Former World Player of the Year,  Sawa retired from all forms of football late last year, while the veteran Kaihori retired earlier this year allowing for new upcoming goalkeepers.

With two goals in the five matches since her debut late 2015, 22-year-old forward Kumi Yokoyama is one of the new players looking to impress and the London 2012 Olympics semi finalists look to qualify for a fifth Olympic Games.

“Qualifying out of Asia is an absolute must. It is the same for both the men and the women,” said Sasaki.

Meanwhile for captain Aya Miyama, Olympic qualification would be the start of exorcising some of the 2015 World Cup final demons.

“ What we’d like to do in the Olympic qualifying tournament is start playing like a solid unit again," Miyama said in an interview with

“We need to qualify for Rio and then do well there to ensure that women’s football maintains its popularity in Japan.”

In a re-match of the 2014 AFC Women's Asian Cup final and the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup quarter final, hosts Japan commence their Olympic qualification campaign against Australia on Monday, 29 February 2016.

Japan Squad

Goalkeepers: Miho Fukumoto (Okayama Yunogo Belle), Erina Yamane (JEF United Chiba), Ayaka Yamashita (NTV Beleza)

Defenders: Yukari Kinga (INAC Kobe Leonessa), Aya Sameshima (INAC Kobe Leonessa), Asuna Tanaka (INAC Kobe Leonessa), Megumi Kamionobe (Albirex Niigata), Azusa Iwashimizu (NTV Beleza), Saori Ariyoshi (NTV Beleza), Saki Kumagai (Olympique Lyonnais)

Midfielders: Aya Miyama (Okayama), Nahomi Kawasumi (INAC Kobe Leonessa), Emi Nakajima (INAC Kobe Leonessa), Mizuho Sakaguchi (Beleza), Yuri Kawamura (Vegalta Sendai Ladies)

Forwards: Shinobu Ono (INAC Kobe Leonessa), Manami Takase (INAC Kobe Leonessa), Yuki Ogimi (Frankfurt), Mana Iwabuchi (Bayern Munich), Kumi Yokoyama (Nagano Parceiro Ladies)

* Story was amended to reflect the retirement of Kaihori rather than non-selection.