TOKYO -- Japan coach Jamie Joseph feels his side's achievements are being "undermined" by the speculation over whether Sunday's game against Scotland will go ahead and is adamant his side want the match to be played just as much as their opponents.
Joseph was visibly angry at the reports he had read in the media and name-checked one which suggested Scotland would seek legal action if World Rugby cancelled Sunday's game due to the predicted impact of Typhoon Hagibis.
The typhoon is set to hit Tokyo on Saturday and England's match against France in Yokohama has already been called off. Japan's final pool stage game against Scotland on Sunday is under threat and if the match is cancelled, then both teams would be awarded two points and Japan would go through and Scotland would bow out.
Scotland are adamant a compromise must be found in either delaying the match or rescheduling it, but all the pre-emptive talk has angered Joseph.
"These reports have undermined the significance the match holds for Japan," he said. "We have won three Tests so far and put ourselves in the best position in the pool. I would like to remind everyone that this is not a fluke but is down to a lot of hard work by a number of people.
"This team has been in camp for the last 240 days. While the majority of the players are professionals with company-based teams, as a rugby team Japan is amateur. Other than $100 a day [expenses], no one gets paid for being in camp. I will let you guys do the maths and make comparisons with other teams.
"Everyone in our camp, players and staff, want to play the match against Scotland. We all want to earn the right to be considered one of the elite teams in the world. It is important for us to wake up on Monday and understand we are a worthy top eight team or not good enough. My team is motivated by achieving something that is great, not avoiding an embarrassment."
Joseph has long spoken of Japan's goal to cement their spot in the sport's top eight teams and wants his team to make it four from four against Scotland, rather than getting their place guaranteed due to the match being cancelled.
"I just think all the media reports in the last three days are about an uncontrollable thing like a typhoon, and they've lost sight of the significance of this Test match for us," Joseph said.
"The reports I've read are about legal proceedings around the tycoon. The significance for us is that it's a huge Test match for us."