Number of WCh so far: 16
Best achievement so far: 7th – 1965
Qualified as: Number 2 at Asian Championships 2015
Coach: Masamichi Kuriyama
While the first finals of the women's handball World Championship in 1957 was purely a matter between nine European nations, Japan appeared at the second championship - in 1962 - as the first non-European participant. The Japanese ended up on the ninth and last place and they played eight World Championship matches before they got their first victory at the 1965 championship. Poland was beaten 6-5 in a match for seventh place.
Since then the Japanese have been at most World Championship finals and rated according to the number of participating countries the Asians have performed best during the last two - in 2011 and 2013 - when they both times have been number 14. In Brazil 2011 Japan was as close to the quarter-finals as they could get. Four minutes before the final whistle of the eighth finals they led Denmark by 19-16. The Danes tied the game at 19-19 on penalty in the last second and went on to win 23-22 after extra time.
Today the Japanese present a very young and exciting team with experienced Yuko Arihama as the central figure.