Jamie Joseph has re-signed with Japan, ruling himself out of the race to succeed Steve Hansen as All Blacks coach.
Joseph's decision to sign with Japan through to the 2023 Rugby World Cup will also see his highly-regarded assistant Tony Brown continue to work with the Brave Blossoms.
Hansen's successor will now likely come down to All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster or Crusaders coach Scott Robertson, though former Chiefs coach Dave Rennie has yet to be officially ruled out.
Joseph put out a statement on the Japan Rugby website saying there was still more to achieve with the Brave Blossoms, who reached the quarter-finals of a Rugby World Cup for the first time this year.
"We achieved the goal of being among the top eight countries in the World Cup, but there are still more issues to be tackled," Joseph said.
"To that end, I chose the path to challenge with the Japanese national team again. I want to strengthen the team.
"I have a great sense of expectation in Japan of rugby, I think are very pleased to be able to lead the team for the next Rugby World Cup."