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The biggest surprises from Thursday's announcement were the over-age spots, as defender Yuhei Tokunaga and goalkeeper Akihiro Hayashi joined centre-back Maya Yoshida

The Japan Football Association (JFA) on Thursday announced its provisional squad list for the upcoming 2012 London Olympics, but left out Manchester United-bound Shinji Kagawa and CSKA Moscow attacker Keisuke Honda.

The list of 35 players, which includes nine currently playing for or scheduled to join European clubs, will be trimmed down to a final roster of 18 members plus four reserve players before Japan host New Zealand in a send-off match on July 11.

Notable selections include Arsenal starlet Ryo Miyaichi, incoming Hannover right-back Hiroki Sakai, Stuttgart left-back Gotoku Sakai, and Hoffenheim midfielder Takashi Usami.

After the Under-23's poor showing at the Toulon Invitational in May, Coach Takeshi Sekizuka chose to use his three over-age player spots on defensive players. The selection of FC Tokyo defender Yuhei Tokunaga, who started twice at the 2004 Athens Olympics, came as a surprise to many.

"[Tokunaga] can play as a centre-back, on the sides, or even at defensive midfield if we need him to," said JFA technical director Hiromi Hara, also noting the 28-year-old's familiarity with team-mate and Under-23 starting goalkeeper Shuichi Gonda. "He'll fit in well with our younger players."

Shimizu S-Pulse goalkeeper Akihiro Hayashi's presence on the list only underscored fears held by the JFA over the team's lack of defensive depth.

"Gonda is our starting goalkeeper, but the other two goalkeepers [Sanfrecce Hiroshima's Takuya Masuda and Kawasaki Frontale's Shunsuke Ando] haven't had many J-League appearances," Hara told reporters in explaining the selection. "We put [Hayashi] in the squad in case something happens to Gonda, as well as to help him stay competitive."

The team's third over-age spot will be filled by VVV defender Maya Yoshida. Japan will compete with Spain, Morocco, and Honduras in Group D.

Japan's preliminary roster for the 2012 London Olympics:
Name Club
Akihiro Hayashi Shimizu S-Pulse
Shuichi Gonda FC Tokyo
Takuya Masuda Sanfrecce Hiroshima
Shunsuke Ando Kawasaki Frontale
Yuhei Tokunaga FC Tokyo
Maya Yoshida VVV Venlo
Yuki Saneto Kawasaki Frontale
Yusuke Higa Yokohama F. Marinos
Kazuki Oiwa JEF Chiba United
Kazuya Yamamura Kashima Antlers
Daisuke Suzuki Albirex Niigata
Yutaka Yoshida Shimizu S-Pulse
Hiroki Sakai Kashiwa Reysol
Mizuki Hamada Urawa Reds
Gotoku Sakai Stuttgart
Kosuke Yamamoto Jubilo Iwata
Hiroshi Kiyotake Cerezo Osaka
Taisuke Muramatsu Shimizu S-Pulse
Kota Mizunuma Sagan Tosu
Keigo Higashi Omiya Ardija
Hotaru Yamaguchi Dnipro
Takuji Yonemoto FC Tokyo
Akimi Barada Kashiwa Reysol
Takahiro Ogihara Cerezo Osaka
Takashi Usami Hoffenheim
Yoshiaki Takagi Utrecht
Kensuke Nagai Nagoya Grampus
Ryohei Yamasagi Jubilo Iwata
Yuki Otsu Borussia MG
Manabu Saito Yokohama F. Marinos
Yuya Osako Kashima Antlers
Hiroshi Ibusuki Sevilla Athletico
Genki Haraguchi Urawa Reds
Kenyu Sugimoto Tokyo Verdy
Ryo Miyaichi Arsenal