Munich - FC Augsburg's loan signing of South Korea international Ji Dong-Won is only the latest reminder of the blossoming relationship between the Bundesliga and the Far East.

On loan from Sunderland, the young striker should need little time settling in to life in Bavaria, where he joins compatriot Ja-Cheol Koo - another Asian import to have made Germany his home in recent seasons.

Eastern promise


It's a bond that dates back to the 1980s when Cha Bum-Kun, father of Fortuna Dusseldorf's Cha Du-Ri, made a name for himself at Eintracht Frankfurt and Bayer 04 Leverkusen. Ahead of his time by a couple of decades, the original Cha proved the forerunner for a veritable glut of young Asian footballers now making a huge impression on the Bundesliga.

Former Borussia Dortmund star Shinji Kagawa took the bar to an altogether new level prior to his departure for Manchester United in the summer of 2012, but the Japanese international has already found some notable heirs. bundesliga.com takes a look at seven players from the Far East to watch out for over the coming year.

After impressing at Bundesliga 2 level with VfL Bochum, has swiftly banished any doubts as to whether he could perform to the same standard in Germany's top flight. The attacking midfielder has been one of the driving forces behind Eintracht Frankfurt's incredible start to the 2012/13 Bundesliga campaign. With 47 shots on goal, he is up there with the very best goal threats the Bundesliga has to offer, and has also created 70 scoring chances, as well as finding the net three times himself.

is another player very much in the Kagawa moud, but neither he nor Inui want to be compared to the ex-BVB playmaker. "Shinji is Shinji, Hiro is Hiro", was the simple answer from Inui when asked about the comparisons. Yet it's easy to see the similarities between the three players. Of the 18 goals Nuremberg have scored so far this season, Kiyotake has been directly involved in five, scoring three himself - including a wonderful solo effort against Gladbach, which won Nuremberg the game.

Having already hit the net six times this season, South Korean international has already surpassed his tally for the entire 2011/12 Bundesliga campaign. Son is quick, capable of using both feet, technically gifted and clinical in front of goal. After playing a peripheral role in the team last season, the striker is repaying the faith shown in him by head coach Thorsten Fink with some match-winning performances, and seems to have struck up an excellent relationship with returning playmaker Rafael van der Vaart.

After failing to assert himself in FC Bayern Munich's star-studded ranks, making just three cameo appearances, Usami has been seeing plenty more action with 1899 Hoffenheim. The young Japanese attacking midfielder has had 21 shots on goal so far this season - only 13 attempts behind striker Joselu - and has thrice found the back of the net, including a superb effort against VfB Stuttgart, when he beat five defenders before firing past the goalkeeper. The future certainly looks bright for the Gamba Osaka loanee.

Beating the likes of FC Bayern's Philipp Lahm and Dortmund's Lukasz Pisczcek into our 2012 Dream Team, FC Schalke's is a man on the up. The Japanese international enjoyed 850 touches in 999 minutes of Bundesliga action during the first half of the 2012/13 campaign, whilst committing just eight fouls in 12 league outings. Versatile, well-balanced, assured on the ball and confident off it, it's little wonder the gifted right-back has earned a firm place in Schalke hearts following his June 2010 transfer from Kashima Antlers.

played a blinder as VfB Stuttgart thrashed Steaua Bucuresti 5-1 in the Group Stages of the UEFA Europa League in November 2012. The forward-thinking right-back scored one and laid on another for fellow countryman Shinji Okazaki. The Japanese international is very much the archetypal modern day full-back, eager to bomb forward at every given opportunity. Take his Bundesliga statistics for the season so far for example: making 581 attacking forays, he's the only defender to earn a place in Stuttgart's rankings for 'most runs' and has also completed 80.5% of his attempted passes.

23-year-old midfielder has been at FC Augsburg, on loan from Wolfsburg, since the start of 2012 and played an integral part in their top-flight survival down the home straight during the 2011/12 campaign. He scored a memorable goal in defeat to FC Bayern Munich that same season, but - much like many of the Far East representatives in the Bundesliga - it's his eye for a pass that singles him out. Only 13.6% per cent of his attempted passes have failed to find their target in ten Bundesliga games in 2012/13.