Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2008
Naotake Hanyu has joined FC Tokyo from J. League first-division rival JEF United Chiba, Tokyo officials said Tuesday. The 28-year-old Hanyu becomes the latest big name to leave Chiba, with Japan Under-23 stars Koki Mizuno and Hiroki Mizumoto both having all but sealed moves away from Fukuda Denshi Arena. Mizuno is on the verge of following in the footsteps of Shunsuke Nakamura and signing with Scottish powerhouse Celtic while Mizumoto is poised to sign for Gamba Osaka. Japan midfielder Satoru Yamagishi, meanwhile, is expected to leave Chiba for Kawasaki Frontale. Hanyu helped Chiba win back-to-back Nabisco Cup titles in 2006. He made his Japan debut the same year and was part of the squad that finished fourth at last year's Asian Cup.