Mitoma: Japan will give Albion a great welcome

Albion head to Mitoma's homeland in July.

By BHAFC • 23 May 2024

By Paul Hazlewood
Kaoru Mitoma has scored ten goals in 52 Premier League appearances for Albion.

Kaoru Mitoma is expecting his country to give Albion a warm welcome when we head over to Japan for pre-season in July.

The Japanese winger will be fit to play in our two friendlies at the 68,000-capacity National Stadium in Tokyo, where we will come up against J1 League sides Kashima Antlers on Wednesday 24 July, before facing Tokyo Verdy on Sunday 28 July.

“First of all, you don’t often get the opportunity like this,” Kaoru said. “I am hoping a lot of people will come and watch us live in these two matches. I’ve heard that there are a lot of fans who watch the Premier League in Japan, and we have fans in Japan who watch Brighton.

“I am very excited for them to be able to see Brighton’s football live and in person, and we are really looking forward to spending part of our pre-season in Japan preparing for the new season.

By Paul Hazlewood
The winger has made 67 appearances for us in all competitions.

“Since I came to Brighton, there are quite a lot of fans who are now watching the Premier League. Of course there were always many fans watching the Premier League, but Brighton’s popularity is increasing as one of the most-watched teams. 

“I think it is a wonderful thing, that a fan follows you to a new club and is watching and following the football from another country. It helps the development of the football culture in Japan.

“I hope the fans will give us an incredible welcome in Japan, and it I know it will be a wonderful experience for the players and the club to see Japan and what a great country it is.”

Kaoru is also excited for his return to action after a spell on the sidelines with a back injury.

By Paul Hazlewood
The Japan international can't wait to visit his country with Albion.

“I am looking forward to showing my teammates my home country, and these will be my first matches after the injury. My recovery is going very well, and I am preparing to play well in Japan, and neither game is going to be easy against strong opponents. 

“It is also a great opportunity for both Kashima Antlers and Tokyo Verdy to show the world the quality and the skill that we have in the Japanese league.”

Tickets for both games will be available to Albion fans and details will be announced soon, with 2024/25 season-ticket holders, 1901 Club members and My Albion+ members able to buy from this coming Sunday 26 May.

Check out our dedicated Japan tour page here.