Japan women won their second straight East Asian Football Federation E-1 Championship on Tuesday after playing out a 0-0 draw with China.
After beating South Korea 2-1 and Taiwan 4-1, Nadeshiko Japan knew they only needed a draw to secure the silverware and they got the job done at Kashima Stadium.
"I've been saying we want to attain that winning habit and it's a good start for the year ahead," captain Risa Shimizu said with the 2023 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand in mind.
"We gained strength in not conceding during difficult spells (from this tournament). The biggest plus was managing to turn tough matches into wins and a title."
A young domestic-based Japan side enjoyed the lion's share of possession against China, but they lacked the final touch to score a celebratory goal.
Manager Futoshi Ikeda, however, was pleased with his team's effort throughout the competition.
"Players matured with each passing game and many were vibrant," he said. "It's great that they get to know what it's like to stand on top of the podium at a tournament."
Japan won the tournament with seven points, two ahead of China. South Korea finished third on four points, while Taiwan were winless.