With only four days before they compete in Hong Kong, and then go on to play on home soil in Tokyo, Japan's men's sevens team is looking to take two giant steps forward over the coming week.
In Hong Kong, Japan will line up in a tough 12-team competition to be played alongside the main event. There they will take on 11 other regional qualifiers from around the world in a bid to keep alive their hopes of winning 'core team' status on the 2013/14 HSBC Sevens World Series.
The top four of those 12 sides in Hong Kong will win a place to compete in an eight-team qualifying finale at the ninth and last round of the Series, the Marriott London Sevens at Twickenham in May.
In 2012 Japan were beaten to the third and final 'core' team place on the 2012/13 Series by Portugal, meaning Hong Kong will be their first outing on the world stage this season.
To try and make up for lost time, head coach Tomohiro Segawa currently has the Japanese players in contention for selection in an intensive, three-week training camp at the Ajinomoto National Training Centre in Tokyo, Japan's prime Olympic facilty. Following this camp, he will select his squad of 12 to compete in Hong Kong.
"I still remember the great feeling after beating Scotland in Las Vegas last season," said 21-year-old wing in camp, Kazushi Hano, who is desperate to put in more match-winning performances in Hong Kong.
Japan's other major focus entering the Asian leg of the World Series will be to put on a strong showing at their home event, the Tokyo Sevens on 30-31 March, one week after Hong Kong.