Tokyo - Japan's Rugby Football Union will seek to keep Jamie Joseph as coach after he took the Brave Blossoms to a historic World Cup quarter-final at home, its president said Thursday.
"The selection committee has decided to ask him to serve as the head coach in light of results of the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan," JRFU President Shigetaka Mori said in a short statement.
"We will enter into more concrete negotiations going forward," he added.
Kiwi Joseph oversaw a campaign by Japan that exceeded all expectations and lit up the World Cup - the first one held in Asia and outside the traditional rugby heartlands.
Japan beat Ireland 19-12 and Scotland 28-21 to top their pool and lift their world ranking to an all-time high of sixth.
They eventually met their match in the quarter-finals against South Africa, who produced a bruising defensive effort combined with dominance at the set-piece to run out 26-3 winners.
But their brave performances have captured the hearts of fans across the nation and raised the profile of rugby in a baseball-mad country.
Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus paid tribute to the Japanese team, saying that his much-fancied team had been "very nervous" at half-time when they were only 5-3 up.
World Rugby chief Bill Beaumont said that their style of rugby had made the rest of the world "sit up and take notice" and that they deserved to be counted at the top table of the global game.
Joseph himself had been tight-lipped about his future after the South Africa match.
Asked what was next for him, he replied: "I can't tell you. Japanese rugby is in a good place now. I am going to really celebrate the achievements of this team. There's been a lot of work and it's been relentless."
His achievements with Japan have even led to him being linked to a job with the All Blacks after current coach Steve Hansen leaves.