'Japan debut' for Shinji Kagawa as Manchester United announce July friendly against Yokohama F. Marinos

The match at Nissan Stadium will feature a face-off between Japan's current and former No. 10's when the United attacker meets Marinos' Shunsuke Nakamura
Manchester United on Tuesday announced Japan as the first stop on a 2013 pre-season tour that already includes Hong Kong.

The July 23 friendly at Nissan Stadium will see the Premier League leaders face Yokohama F. Marinos, who finished last year's J-League campaign in fourth place.

"Manchester United has great memories of playing in Japan," chief executive David Gill said in an announcement posted to United's homepage. "and our game against Marinos will play an important part of our pre-season preparations."

The friendly will mark United's first visit to Japan since 2008, when they became the first English side to win the Fifa Club World Cup. Their last match against a Japanese club came in that tournament's semi-finals, when a Rooney double held off a late Gamba Osaka fight-back in a 5-3 win for the European champions.

"We are very honoured to be given this opportunity to play against Manchester United," Marinos president Akira Kaetsu said in his statement. "[Marinos] will show our best performance during the 2013 season, so that on [July 23], as a team that represents Japan, we can make a great impact on the soccer fans of the world."

The match is expected to be Shinji Kagawa's first in Japan as a United player, and the country's current No. 10 will face off against Marinos captain and former Celtic star Shunsuke Nakamura, from whom he inherited the shirt following the 2010 World Cup.

United will become the first major European club to play a summer friendly in Japan since 2008, when Bayern Munich faced Urawa Reds in Saitama. Asia has recently become a popular destination for Premier League clubs, who have in the last few years held tours in Indonesia, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and China.