Akira Kaji

Akira Kaji

Kaji with Gamba Osaka in 2010
Personal information
Full name Akira Kaji
Date of birth (1980-01-13) 13 January 1980
Place of birth Minamiawaji, Hyōgo, Japan
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Playing position Right back
Club information
Current team
Fagiano Okayama
Number 21
Youth career
1995–1997 Takigawa Daini H.S.
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1998–1999 Cerezo Osaka 24 (0)
2000–2001 Oita Trinita 75 (3)
2002–2005 FC Tokyo 89 (1)
2006–2014 Gamba Osaka 225 (2)
2014 Chivas USA 15 (0)
2015– Fagiano Okayama 36 (0)
National team
1998–1999 Japan U-20 8 (1)
2003–2008 Japan 64 (2)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23 February 2016.

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 30 January 2010

Akira Kaji (加地 亮 Kaji Akira) (born 13 January 1980 in Minamiawaji, Hyōgo) is a Japanese professional footballer who last played for Fagiano Okayama FC. He is a specialist on the right-hand side of the pitch playing as a full back or a wide midfielder.[1]

Playing career


After graduating from Takigawa Daini High School, Kaji joined Cerezo Osaka in 1998. He made his first league appearance on 25 July 1998 against Avispa Fukuoka. At the club, he found it difficult to break into the first team and was loaned out to J. League Division 2 side Oita Trinita at the start of the 2000 season.

After spending 2 years at Oita, Kaji came back to Division 1 in 2002 to play for F.C. Tokyo. The manager Hiromi Hara made him a regular and assigned a more attacking role. His club won the 2004 J. League Cup by beating Urawa Red Diamonds in the final which ended 0–0 after the extra time. The penalty shoot-out was required and his successful conversion as the last penalty taker for Tokyo finally broke the deadlock.

He was transferred to Gamba Osaka at the beginning of the 2006 season and scored in the beginning league match against Urawa Reds. He was selected as a member of the 2006 J-League Team of the Year.

After eight years with Gamba Osaka, Kaji signed with Major League Soccer club Chivas USA on 24 June 2014.[2]


He was a member of the Japan team for the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship finals where the team finished runners-up.

He gained his first cap for Japan when national coach Zico played him on 8 October 2003 in a friendly against Tunisia. He was rated highly by Zico who made him the first-choice right full-back. He was a member of the Japan team who won the 2004 Asian Cup in China.[3] In a 2005 FIFA Confederations Cup against Brazil, his goal was disallowed by a controversial offside decision.[4] His first goal for the country finally came on 17 August 2005 in a World Cup qualifier against Iran.[5]

He made the final squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals. In a preparation match against Germany just before the tournament, he injured his ankle when tackled by Bastian Schweinsteiger.[6] Zico considered his replacement but decided to keep him. He missed Japan's first game in the tournament against Australia with Yūichi Komano filling in for his place, but he returned to the team and played in the rest of the competition.

After the 2006 World Cup, Zico was replaced by Ivica Osim who also regularly picks him for the national team. He was a member of the Japan team for the 2007 AFC Asian Cup and played all the Japan games in the tournament.

On 20 May 2008 he announced retirement from international football.

Club career stats

Updated to 23 February 2016.[7]

Club Season League Emperor's Cup J. League Cup Continental1 Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Cerezo Osaka19981501011-171
Oita Trinita20003432010-373
F.C. Tokyo20022011060-271
Gamba Osaka2006291510050392
Fagiano Okayama201536010370
Career total 449638332134055810

1Includes AFC Champions League and FIFA Club World Cup.

National team career statistics


Japan national team

Appearances in major competitions

Team Competition Category Appearances Goals Team Record
Start Sub
 Japan1999 FIFA World Youth ChampionshipSenior0302nd place
 Japan2003 Confederations CupSenior0Group Stage
 Japan2004 AFC Asian CupSenior600Champions
 Japan2005 Confederations CupSenior0Group Stage
 JapanEast Asian Cup 2005Senior02nd place
 Japan2006 FIFA World Cup qualificationSenior1Qualified
 Japan2006 FIFA World CupSenior300Group Stage

Goals for Senior National Team

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 17 August 2005 Yokohama, Japan  Iran 2–1 Won 2006 FIFA World Cup Qualification
2. 17 October 2007 Osaka, Japan  Egypt 4–1 Won 2007 Afro-Asian Cup of Nations

Personal Honors

Team Honors

National Team


External links

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