Japan scored three tries to beat Romania 33-21 in Kumamoto on Saturday, having led 23-9 at half-time.
Wingers Akihito Yamada and Kenki Fukuoka, and flanker Michael Leitch crossed the whitewash for the hosts, with 18 points coming from the boot of flyhalf Jumpei Ogura.
Both of the visitors' tries came from their captain, No 8 Mihai Macovei.
Romania made a good start to the match with two penalties from flyhalf Florin Vlaicu giving them a 6-0 lead, but tries to Yamada and Fukuoka saw the hosts take charge. And when Leitch went over only two minutes into the second half, Japan led 30-9.
Then came the Romanian fightback.
Macovei scored his side's first try, before Japanese replacement Heiichiro Ito was yellow-carded. The Romania captain would get his double while the hosts were down to 14 men to reduce the gap to 12 with 14 minutes remaining.
But the visitors were unable to add to their tally as the Brave Blossoms held on for the win.
Japan – Tries: Akihito Yamada, Kenki Fukuoka, Michael Leitch. Conversions: Jumpei Ogura (3). Penalties: Ogura (4).
Romania – Tries: Mihai Macovei (2). Conversions: Florin Vlaicu. Penalties: Vlaicu (3).
Japan – 15 Ryuji Noguchi, 14 Akihito Yamada, 13 Timothy Lafaele, 12 Derek Carpenter, 11 Kenki Fukuoka, 10 Jumpei Ogura, 9 Fumiaka Tanaka, 8 Amanaki Mafi, 7 Yoshitaka Tokunaga, 6 Michael Leitch, 5 Uwe Helu, 4 Kotaro Yatabe, 3 Takuma Ashara, 2 Shota Horie (c), 1 Koki Yamamoto.
Subs: 16 Yusuke Niwai, 17 Keita Inagaki, 18 Heiichiro Ito, 19 Yuya Odo, 20 Hendrik Tui, 21 Keisuke Uchida, 22 Yu Tamura, 23 Kotaro Matsushima.
Romania – 15 Sabin Stratila, 14 Fonovai Tangimana, 13 Paula Kinikinilau, 12 Sione Fakaosilea, 11 Jack Cobden, 10 Florin Vlaicu, 9 Florin Surugiu, 8 Mihai Macovei (c), 7 Viorel Lucaci, 6 Andrei Gorcioaia, 5 Marius Antonescu, 4 Johannes Van Heerden, 3 Andrei Ursache, 2 Otar Turashvili, 1 Ionel Badiu.
Subs: 16 Andrei Radoi, 17 Constantin Pristavita, 18 Alexandru Tarus, 19 Valentin Poparlan, 20 Vlad Nistor, 21 Tudorel Bratu, 22 Luke Samoa, 23 Ionut Dumitru.
Photo: AFP Photo/Getty Images