Celtic announce Japan Tour – Two matches expected, South Korea add-on likely

Celtic this morning confirmed that the club will be heading over to Japan this summer for a pre-season tour. This week-long visit will see the Hoops, who currently have five Japanese stars within the squad, expected to be playing two matches in front of the many new supporters that the club has gained in Japan since the arrival of Ange Postecoglou and Kyogo to Celtic in the summer of 2021.

Kyogo and the manager have been followed by Daizen Maeda, Reo Hatate, Timoki Iwata and Yuki Kobayashi with all making a real impact. Celtic’s media team have been active in promoting the club in Japan, opening social media channel, posting in Japanese and growing the audience to levels that some the the top clubs in the English Premiership and the biggest clubs in the Champions League enjoy.

The official Celtic FC website this morning confirmed that the club will, as widely expected, by heading to Japan this summer after the squad take part in an initial European training camp, with more details expected in the coming days. These details we understand will be to confirm that Celtic will play TWO matches in Japan and will undertake a variety of promotional activities.

imago/AFLOSPORT Shunsuke Nakamura (Celtic legend)

Celtic previously visited Japan back in 2006 when Japanese superstar Shunsuke Nakamura was at the club. Ange Postecoglou had this to say about the forthcoming tour of Japan: “We are really looking forward to our summer tour to Japan, and we’re sure it will be hugely successful for the club and excellent preparation for next season.

“Clearly, Celtic has a real, long-standing connection with Japan, through previous visits and players such as Shunsuke Nakamura and, of course, now through our current squad members, so it will be great to visit and really bring this relationship to life.

“As we saw from our brilliant visit to Australia last year, the appetite for Celtic globally is huge and it is right that we maximise these great opportunities and show the world all that is great about our club.

“We wanted to pay respect to Japanese football so we are delighted to be engaging with the J-League and its clubs. Japanese football is on a real upward trajectory at the moment, so we know we will be facing real tests, something which will be great for the team as we go into the challenges of next season.”

Just like that tour to Australia, this trip to Japan will be financially lucrative for the club. And don’t be too surprised if there is an additional stop-over to play a match in South Korea, which of course is the homeland of Celtic striker Hyeongyu Oh.

And there’s also the possibility that Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou might add to his squad while in the Far East by bringing back a signing or two or arranging for these deals to happen in the January window to tie in with the end of the J-League season.

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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