Japan erased a nine-point deficit to defeat Canada 26-22 in Vancouver on Saturday.
Wing Taylor Paris and hooker Ray Barkwill scored early tries as Canada raced out to a 12-3 lead against the Brave Blossoms, who recovered well to change the course of the match.
On the stroke of half-time, hooker Takeshi Kizu crossed for a try which Yu Tamura converted before he added a second penalty to put Japan 13-12 up going into the sheds.
Canada regained the ascendancy soon after the break via a unconverted try by Jamie Cudmore. But Japan scored 13 unanswered points late in the match, via a converted try by Kotaro Mutsushima sandwiched between two further Tamura penalties to leave Canada lingering two scores behind at 26-17.
Eighthman Aaron Carpenter, who sat in the sin bin for 10 minutes, made up for his indiscretion with a converted effort, but try as they might, Canada couldn't find a way through to get a winning score.
Canada – Tries: Taylor Paris, Ray Barkwill, Jamie Cudmore, Aaron Carpenter. Conversion: Gordon McRorie.
Japan – Tries: Takeshi Kizu, Kotaro Matsushima. Conversions: Yu Tamura (2). Penalties: Tamura (4).
Canada – 15 Matt Evans, 14 Dan Moor, 13 Brock Staller, 12 Nick Blevins, 11 Taylor Paris, 10 Pat Parfrey, 9 Gordon McRorie, 8 Aaron Carpenter, 7 Lucas Rumball, 6 Kyle Baillie, 5 Evan Olmstead, 4 Jamie Cudmore (c), 3 Jake Ilnicki, 2 Ray Barkwill, 1 Djustice Sears-Duru.
Replacements: 16 Eric Howard, 17 Tom Dolezel, 18 Matt Tierney, 19 Paul Ciulini, 20 Matt Heaton, 21 Alistair Clark, 22 Jamie Mackenzie, 23 Mozac Samson.
Japan – 15 Kotaro Matsushima, 14 Mifiposeti Paea, 13 Tim Bennetts, 12 Harumichi Tatekawa, 11 Yasutaka Sasakura, 10 Yu Tamura, 9 Fumiaki Tanaka, 8 Kyosuke Horie, 7 Taiyo Ando, 6 Yoshiya Hosoda, 5 Naohiro Kotaki, 4 Kazuhiko Usami, 3 Kensuke Hatakeyama, 2 Takeshi Kizu, 1 Keita Inagaki.
Replacements: 16 Futoshi Mori, 17 Masataka Mikami, 18 Shinnosuke Kakinaga, 19 Kotaro Yatabe, 20 Shokei Kin, 21 Kaito Shigeno, 22 Kosei Ono, 23 Rikiya Matsuda.
Photo: Jeff Vinnick/Getty Images