Kick-off is at 12.30pm. Simon will be along at 12.15, if not sooner. In the meantime, here are some match pointers for you to enjoy, while listening to World Cup Daily, which you can subscribe to on iTunes.
• These two sides have only met once, with Holland winning a friendly international back in September 2009 (3-0)
• Holland have won their three World Cup games against Asian sides, scoring 10 goals in the process
• The Oranje have conceded only two goals in their last five games in World Cup finals
• Six of Japan's last seven goals in World Cup finals have been netted by midfielders, including Keisuke Honda's in the opening game against Cameroon
• Against Cameroon, Wesley Sneijder completed 61 of his 65 passes (94%), creating five goalscoring chances for his team-mates
Preamble: "Lots of players eat sushi in our team," said Dirk Kuyt, looking forward to this match, "and we hope we will have them for dinner tomorrow." If only the Dutch were as good at cooking as they are at football and mildly amusing player quotes, Keisuke Honda might have had a go at an easy riposte. But I'd wager not a single member of the Japan squad, or indeed anyone in the entire world, outside Holland presumably, though frankly I wouldn't bet on it, regularly chows down on snert, or soused herring.
Anyway, enough of this nonsense – I've got some team news to bring you! Er, in just a minute!
Team news: Both sides are unchaged from their opening games. Arjen Robben is fit but on the bench and indeed unlikely to play at any point, says Bert van Marwijk. Japan keep the side that beat Cameroon 1-0.
Holland: Stekelenburg, Van Der Wiel, Heitinga, Mathijsen, Van Bronckhorst, Kuyt, Van Bommel, De Jong, Van der Vaart, Sneijder, Van Persie. Subs: The rest of 'em. Japan: Kawashima, Nagatomo, Nakazawa, Tanaka, Komano, Hasebe, Matsui, Abe, Endo, Okubo, Honda. Subs: Lots of other people. Referee: Hector Baldassi (Argentina).
Refereeing news: It's the referee's second game of the tournament, after Ghana's 1-0 win over Serbia – where he was widely praised for spotting Zdravko Kuzmanovic blink-and-you-missed-it handball, correctly giving Ghana their match-winning penalty. On ITV, Edgar Davids says England "need to go to the pub, you know, have a couple of banters". We could all use a few banters now.
Wind-up latest: "The Dutch themselves think their strength lies in attack so what we need to do is try to wind them up and frustrate them," said the midfielder Yuki Abe. They'll go with a 4-5-1 and presumably 10 of their players are likely to be behind the ball whenever the Dutch have it. As for the winding-up, we'll wait and see. They should try to slag off the snert, that should rile 'em. ITV, 18 minutes into their match coverage and 12 minutes before kick-off, have yet to mention Holland or Japan, and have just gone to an ad break.
Anthem update: The teams are out and they're currently chirping through their anthems, the camera cautiously panning the brightly-coloured Dutch fans, hoping that they can find one whose costume is merely hilariously over the top and not some coded guerilla marketing ploy for a publicity-hungry snert manufacturer or something.
1 min: Peeep! And they're off!
4 min: I'm really looking forward to football-that-isn't-England, which has been entertaining me royally these last few days. It's a totally different sport to football-that-is-England, which I don't like at all.
5 min: Holland have started brightly. Or is it just their shirts? Anyway, they just had a corner. Didn't do much with it, but it was definitely a corner.
8 min: The Dutch tapping it around the half-way line, but eight Japanese players are within 40 yards of their own goal, so they're pretty much at liberty to do so. Van Persie nervously approaches the two banks of opposition players, falls over and wins a free-kick. Indeed, he falls over so emphatically that the man he falls on, Yuichi Komano, still hasn't got up and is now being stretchered off the pitch.
9 min: Sneijder slaps the free-kick over the bar. The Japanese are onto a loser when it comes to food stereotyping, reports "Squelch". "Fortunately for the Dutch, and Dirk Kuyt in particular, their country's entire stash of delicious stroopwafels and (somewhat unsavoury) frikandelles is safely tucked away in the ample gut of Ruud Van Nistelrooy," he says.
10 min: Sneijder's cross deflects off a defender and Kuyt attempts a ludicrous overhead, which he sends straight into a defender's head. Looked very good, mind.
11 min: Left-back Yuto Nagatomo comes forward, cuts onto his right foot and slams a shot just wide from the edge of the area. Rare, in this tournament, to see a shot well hit and travelling at great pace but entirely along the ground. Still missed though.
13 min: Van Persie just received the ball on the right touchline with three defenders clustered around him. He falls over at the unfairness of it all, winning a free-kick. It's going to be fun watching the Dutch break this lot down. Well, fun for a while, then it might start getting boring.
16 min: Komano, the defender hurt when Van Persie fell on him earlier on, is now playing in a kind of neck-bandage. It looks quite dapper, like some new kind of cravate.
19 min: "I find it a pity that the Japanese are not wearing white lab coats and carrying clipboards," says Peter McGushin, presumably referring to Kuyt's broad-brushstroke use of Dutch stereotypes. Indeed, the Liverpool workhorse could have said: "Lots of players watch TV in our team, and we really hope we put them on standby tomorrow." Or "Lots of players like the PlayStation in our team, and we really hope we show them the yellow light of doom tomorrow."
21 min: Holland still doing most of the pressing, but Japan aren't just here to defend, and do get numbers up when they have the ball and half a chance to do something interesting with it. Delicately poised, then.
24 min: A gazillion passes from Holland, but they still can't get the ball into, or indeed anywhere near, the Japanese penalty area. Did you prefer the World Cup when all non-European/South American teams were rubbish?
26 min: Van Persie, shielding the ball, places a palm on Yuji Nakazawa's chest. The Japanese defender fair crumples to the ground, clutching his chin. This could be the winding-up we were promised. He wins a free-kick, and Van Persie stolls off, shaking his head.
29 mins: ITV have just referred to this vuvuzela-related injury, which you may not have read about yesterday. I don't want to sound mean, because really I'm a generous, warm-hearted guy, but I hope it happens to the lot of 'em.
31 min: Stephen Durant has dropped us a line from the Fukuoka stadium, where some 5,000 people are watching the game. "Even half chances are met with huge cheers," he reports. "This place is going to go mental if Japan score."
32 min: Last weekend I reported on another low-scoring game, but this couldn't be more different to Algeria v Slovenia. There is evidence of some kind of technique on show here, which makes for a pleasant change. No goals, though. We do like goals.
34 min: Japan have a free-kick, maybe 60 yards out. They spend so long preparing to take it that by the time they do the entire Dutch defence has fallen asleep, and Honda gets a free header. It's a hard chance, 15 yards out, and it goes over the bar.
35 min: Latest match stats: Holland with 71% of possession in the opening half-hour.
35 min: The game's first booking is for Gregory van der Wiel, for a fairly basic, common-or-garden foul on Daisuke Matsui. Referee presumably just bored. From the free-kick, Tulio sends a header wide. It's all about the set-pieces for Japan.
38 min: ...he says, as Matsui is played into acres of space down the right and three men break into the Dutch penalty area to give him a target. He doesn't find any of them, the move ending with the ball falling back to Matsui and a shot blazed way over the bar from distance (and while facing in the wrong direction).
41 min: Japan have been the more aggressive team in the last 10 minutes. Traditional wisdom in these situations is that the team working like busy little bees to protect their goal tires out, leaving space for the more progressive opponents to exploit. On this occasion, it seems the Dutch have tired of beating their heads against the Japanese wall and just stopped bothering.
45 min: Let's make this very clear: Japan are a lot, lot better than Algeria, and a disappointing Dutch are a lot, lot better than England. This is a lot, lot better than Algeria v England. But it is not, by any rational measurement, very exciting.
45 min: We'll have one minute of stoppage time at the end of the first half.
45+1 min: Peeep! That's half-time, folks. Sorry for the lack of breathless chance-description. "Seriously, Holland know they're going to park the bus, what's the point of playing with no width and with Kuyt, Van Bommel and De Jong?" wonders John McLauchlin. "It'll be this way till Elia/Robben comes on, leaving only 20-odd minutes in which we might actually do something as opposed to be being pressed back to Stekelenburg."
Deep breath now: The teams are back out. Almost time for the second half.
46 min: Peeeep! We're off! Again! No substitutions, so no formation change and no wide man for Holland.
46 mins: Say what you like about Japanese centre-back Tulio, he's come a long way since Gangsta's Paradise.
48 min: Van Bronkhorst gets to the byline and sends over a cross, which Van Persie heads towards goal. Very slowly. Eiji Kawashima doesn't so much save it as just catch it. Still, it's the right kind of idea.
49 min: Lovely looping ball from deep from Van Bommel finds Van Persie running beyond the Japanese defence, but his volley is all wrong and (van) bobbles wide of goal. Still, two chances in three minutes – an excellent return!
51 min: Van der Vaart floats in a free-kick from the right wing and Tulio stretches to head it clear as Kuyt prepared for a tap-in. They're knocking on the door, the Dutch.
And somebody's only bloody gone and let them in! GOAL! A GOAL! Holland 1 Japan 0 (Sneijder, 53min) A Van Persie handball in the build-up, a long-range shot, a howler from the keeper and we have lift-off!
55 min: It looked like Van Persie controlled the ball with his arm before it fell to the feet of Sneijder, 23 yards from goal or thereabouts. He thundered it towards the near post, Eiji Kawashima got to it easily but he only punched it into the far corner. Clumsy.
57 min: And suddenly Japan have adopted a shoot-on-sight policy, Yoshito Okubo sending their second effort in as many minutes high from just outside the area. The goalkeeper got two good hands on that Sneijder shot, from which point the ball really shouldn't be flying into his net.
59 min: Three successive corners for Japan, none of which found the head of Tulio, their likely aerial ball-winner.
60 min: "Come on, calling that a howler is a bit harsh," protests Eric Calhoun. "Sneijder crushed it. The standard for howlers has been set high this tournament, that was more of a yelper." I take your point – it wasn't great, but Kawashima is no Robert Green.
64 min: Praise be for the power of the goal! And the really good news is there's surely more to come here yet, with half an hour to go. Both teams attacking now, which makes for a wonderful change. Another wonderful change, perhaps: Nakamura is replacing Matsui in Japan's midfield.
67 min: "Much as I'm used to world cup commentators referring top Africans as 'athletic but tactically naïve' ITV have so far referred to the Japanese coach as 'inscrutable' on two occasions so for this tournament and today have added 'fiendish'. Jesus wept," moans Pat Pitt-Jones from London. If the World Cup isn't an opportunity for casual cultural stereotyping, when is?
69 min: Huge expanses of space suddenly appearing in Japan's rearguard, one of which was just this moment filled by nothing but a very much onside Wesley Sneijder. Just Sneijder, though. Not the ball, which ended up being frittered away in midfield.
71 min: Sneijder controls a hopeful defensive punt in a technically brilliant instant, and then sends a ludicrous and inexplicable 60-yard crossfield pass straight out of play for a Japan throw-in midway into the Dutch half.
72 min: And here, at last, is Elia, impressive against the Danes in Holland's first game and on now for Van Der Vaart.
75 min: Van Persie is having a pretty poor game. He got an assist of sorts for the goal, but otherwise has been seen more often in his own area than his opponents'. Another pass, to Sneijder, is overhit as I write.
75 min: Japan are preparing a strikertastic double-swap. Full news as I get it.
77 min: And here they come: Okazaki replaces Hasebe and Tamada comes on for Okubo.
79 min: "After watching the gazillionth game where all flair has been strangled out through the unfavoured team adopting a relentless pressing style, I can only suggest that FIFA stick to staging World Cups in summer months," moans Pete Connick. "Modern teams are simply not going to tire over 90 minutes in a temperate country even if playing the most mind-numbing 'relentless motion' style imaginable. If I wanted to watch people run around all day, I'd watch athletics." Yeah, but football's a winter game, isn't it. There's got to be a better way to encourage attacking football than that. Four points for a win? Five? Ten? How many would it take?
83 min: Afellay replaces Dutch goalscoring hero Wesley Sneijder.
85 min: Afellay bursts through the inside left channel. His first touch since coming on brings him into Japan's penalty area, and his second is a shot at the keeper from point-blank range, his first having been a bit heavy if truth be told.
88 min: Huntelaar is replacing Van Persie for the last few minutes. In entirely unrelated news, Nicolas Anelka is apparently to be sent home tomorrow after telling Domenech where to go during Thursday's defeat to Mexico.
89 min: Huntelaar, with his first touch, plays the ball to Afellay (well, I think he was planning on keeping it for himself, but Afellay took it anyway) who has another shot from an almost identical place to his first, again straight at the advancing keeper.
90 min: Amazing chance for Japan! A long ball from the right is flicked on and Shinji Okazaki blazes over with a left-foot volley, eight yards out. It was a sharp chance, but that really could have flown in."
90+2 min: Holland win a goal-kick! But it could have been a penalty! It wasn't, but it might have been! A couple of Japanese players tried to claim one as someone whose name I didn't take in time fell over, the referee blew his whistle and pointed vaguely spotwards, but it turned out he was only giving a goal-kick.
90+4 min: Peeep! It's all over! Another three points for the knockout-stage-bound Dutch, another disappointing World Cup match for the rest of us to moan about!
Final thoughts: Well, it wasn't a classic. But to be honest, after last night (involuntary shudder), it was brilliantly refreshing to see two teams whose players were capable of passing the ball accurately over short distances and controlling it when it reached them. Sometimes, that's enough. For a long while though one of those teams wasn't very interested in attacking and the other didn't look that much like forcing the issue. It took yet another goalkeeping error to assist the only goal, and after that everything improved immeasurably. The Dutch must avoid getting carried away with their 100% record, achieved without being breathtakingly inventive and despite requiring lucky breaks to take the lead on both occasions. More width and pace in attack would help them, certainly. And me, next time I watch them.
This is not a news report and may contain views expressed by the author which are not supported by GNM.