Maya Yoshida played the full 90 minutes in the first of Japan’s three World Cup warm-up games, but was powerless to prevent his country slipping to a 2-0 defeat against Ghana.
The Black Stars, who failed to qualify for this summer’s tournament in Russia, scored either side of half time in Tokyo.
Ghana captain Thomas Partey, who plays his club football for Atletico Madrid, opened the scoring after nine minutes, while debutant Emmanuel Boateng of Levante doubled the lead from the penalty spot.
Saints defender Yoshida was winning his 81st cap for Japan, whose new coach Akiro Nishino was taking charge of his first game less than three weeks before his team begin their World Cup campaign against Colombia.
Nishino will select his final 23-man squad tomorrow, before fine-tuning preparations with further friendlies against Switzerland and Paraguay.