TOKYO - Japan midfielder Junichi Inamoto was unveiled as a Kawasaki Frontale player on Friday, completing his return to the J-League after almost nine years in Europe.
"It will be easier for me to be part of the national team set-up here than it was abroad," the 30-year-old told reporters after completing a move which brought an instant Japan recall.
"It's obviously a big plus that the Japan coach will see me play more. It's a bonus that I will be more in his line of vision during a World Cup year of course but it's not the only factor."
Hours after he was posing for pictures at his new club, Japan coach Takeshi Okada followed up his assertion that more first team action would facilitate a recall by adding Inamoto to his squad for the February 2 home friendly against Venezuela.
Inamoto, affectionately dubbed "T-shirt" by Arsenal fans after joining the English club in 2001 and spending most of his time on the bench, said he had wanted to return to Japan at 30.
"I saw DVDs of Frontale's games and thought I would be able to bring my style of play to the team," added Inamoto, who joined Kawasaki after a frustrating spell at French side Stade Rennes.
"I'm excited about coming back to play in Japan and hope to help bring a J-League title to Kawasaki. The World Cup is not the only reason I'm back."
Inamoto played a key role in Japan's progress to the last 16 as co-hosts of the 2002 World Cup and was also a member of the squad at the 2006 tournament in Germany.
The tough-tackling midfielder has also had spells at Arsenal's English Premier League rivals Fulham, Turkish side Galatasaray and Germany's Eintracht Frankfurt.
Inamoto has not played for a Japanese side since moving to Arsenal on loan from Gamba Osaka in 2001.