World ranking: 11th
Qualification: Third in 2015 pool
Best result: Pool stage
TAB odds: $201
Chances: While they have never moved past the World Cup pool stages, the 'Brave Blossoms' pulled off one of the greatest all-time upsets, when they toppled South Africa four years ago.
They're on home turf this time and probably need to beat Samoa and Scotland to advance - if they're ever going to do it, this is the time.
Japan v Russia, Tokyo, 10:45pm
Japan v Ireland, Shizuoka Prefecture, 7:15pm (live updates)
Japan v Samoa, Toyota City, 11:30pm
Japan v Scotland, Yokohama City, 11:45pm (live updates)