In a busy year for Japanese football at all age-group levels, it's important not to forget about the women's team.
The Japan Football Association certainly didn't forget on Tuesday, staging a lavish draw ceremony for Asia's qualifying tournament for the Athens Olympics women's football tournament.
The general secretary of the Asian Football Confederation, Peter Velappan, conducted the draw, assisted by four young, futsal-loving beauties.
In all my years watching football, they were the best "golden quartet" I have ever seen, far more attractive than Zico's Nakata-Ono-Inamoto-Nakamura combination!
The outcome of the draw was that Japan will play Vietnam and Thailand in Group C, and should have few problems qualifying for the semifinals, where they can expect to meet North Korea.
The North Koreans have eclipsed China's "Steel Roses" as Asia's top women's team, and Japan will have to work hard in the Tokyo semifinal on April 24 to book one of two places for Asia in the Athens lineup.
All the speakers, led by JFA president Saburo Kawabuchi, spoke of the growing appeal of women's football.
And the praise was not without justification.
I have been an admirer of the women's game for many years, after attending the Asian championship in Kota Kinabalu in 1995.
There were many aspects of the game I liked, particularly the spirit in which it is played.
Unlike the men's professional game at the highest level, there was no diving, no cheating, no feigning injury and no trying to con the referee.
For me it was a very pure form of the game, innocent and free of the negative traits listed above.
Also, with the women lacking the natural power of the men, there was a lot of emphasis on skill, technique and movement.
But this did not mean there wasn't some powerful play, and guests who attended Tuesday's Olympic qualifing draw could not have failed to be impressed by the highlights of the 2003 Asian women's championship.
The qualifying tournament for Athens will be held between April 18-26.
Group A, featuring North Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong, and Group B, with China, Myanmar, South Korea and Guam, will both be held in Hiroshima on April 18, 20 and 22.
Group C will take place in Tokyo. Japan will play Vietnam on April 18 and Thailand on April 22, with Thailand and Vietnam clashing April 20.
The semifinals will be on April 24, with Japan meeting North Korea in Tokyo if everything goes to plan, with the third-place playoff and final both at Hiroshima on April 26.
I know it's a hectic, expensive year for Japanese football fans, but I would strongly recommend a trip to watch what will surely be an exciting women's tournament.
You might be surprised by the skill level and the tactical expertise of the top teams.