Coached by All Black legend John Kirwan, and featuring several naturalised Antipodeans, the Cherry Blossoms will this year continue their impressive record of playing in every World Cup.
Kirwan, who starred for the ABs when they won the tournament in 1987, has certainly added a competitive edge to Japanese rugby since he took over in 2007. He will be hopeful that his side can turn over both Tonga and Canada, who both lie just below Japan in the IRB world rankings. But Kirwan won't expect too much against heavyweight poolmates France and New Zealand.
A couple of wins would greatly improve Japan’s overall World Cup record, which is relatively poor - they have just one win in World Cup history to their name, against Zimbabwe in 1991, plus a battling draw against Canada in 2007.
More team guides
Follow ITV Rugby on Twitter