MILTON KEYNES, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 03: Kotaro Matsushima of Japan is tackled by Paul Perez of Samoa during the 2015 Rugby World Cup Pool B match between Samoa and Japan at Stadium mk on October 3, 2015 in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

The Melbourne Rebels have signed Japanese international Kotaro Matsushima for the 2016 Super Rugby season.

Matsushima has signed with the Rebels on a short term contract from the end of February.

“I am very excited to have this great opportunity for the second straight year (in Super Rugby),” Matsushima said.

“I know that this challenge with the Rebels will help me grow and improve my rugby skills.

“I will do my best to participate and contribute to the team."

He is the Rebels' fourth Japanese signing in as many years, with Shota Horie, Male Sau and Keita Inagaki all playing for Melbourne over the past three seasons.