Japan will compete in the FIVB Volleyball World League for the 23rd time, seeking to surpass their sixth-place finishes in 1990, 1993 and 2008. Last time out, Japan finished in joint-fifth in Group 2 with five victories out of twelve matches. Japan missed out on qualification from their World League Group 2 pool in no small part due to a rampant French side winning all their matches on the way to capturing the gold medal at the finals in Rio de Janeiro. They finished joint-bottom of Group 2 with Korea after winning just one of their Pool D matches in 2014, exiting the competition at the first stage.
Japan won a bronze medal at the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games, silver at Mexico 1968 and gold at Munich 1972. Subsequent decades have been less successful. Japan missed three successive Olympic Games before returning to the stage at Beijing 2008 where they failed to win a match. They failed to qualify for the London 2012 Olympic Games and will also miss the Rio 2016 Olympic Games after finishing seventh at the Men’s World Olympic Qualification Tournament in Tokyo. They also failed to qualify for the 2014 FIVB Volleyball World Championship – the first edition they had missed in 54 years.