Team Japan 2018-19 will be a mix of seasoned veterans and rising stars. Two former champions are back in the mix, though only one is currently slated for international competitions.
Daisuke Takahashi is preparing for a comeback. His goal is to make it to nationals. Should he place top three at that event, he would be eligible to be named to the Four Continents or World teams.
Likewise, Sota Yamamoto, the 2015 Japanese junior champion, who disappeared from the junior circuit in 2016 after suffering a broken ankle shortly before the World Junior Championships has returned to competition. He won the first Challenger Series event, 2018 Asian Trophy, at the beginning of August and is in the running for the open spot Japan is holding at NHK Trophy.
Yuzuru Hanyu will once again open his season at the Autumn Classic International in Canada. Wakaba Higuchi and Yura Matsuda are also scheduled to compete at this event. Tickets for this competition are on a first-come, first-served basis with no reserved seating. Arrive early and be prepared for long line-ups at the ticket office.
Japan lost its top ice dance team in August when Kana Muramoto and Chris Reed announced the end of their partnership. Reed was blindsided by the decision made by Muramoto, but said he plans to find a new partner and continue competing.