Japan recovered from a slow start and continued their recovery after losing the 3 × 3 Olympic debut on day one to the Russian Olympic Committee.
Title cravings France face question marks after dividing their opener against the United States and Italy.
Paget is quite passing
France are yet to step up a gear in Tokyo, but Marie-Eve Paget was arguably their best player on day one and recalled her skills with a brilliant pair of dimes at the start.
She then hit a two to give France a practical 8-4 lead near the halfway point.
France is cooling down
France then went through a cold streak as Japan took to the skies led by the determination of Mai Yamamoto, who dominated the boards despite his lack of size.
A huge two with Stephanie Mawuli’s shot clock dropping was spectacular and Yamamoto did something similar from the corner as Japan took control.
Yamamoto, 21, had Ana Maria Filip on an island and her whimsical dribbling rocked the towering French women as she found room to step back and hit a difficult jumper.
A huge offensive rebound and a pullback from Mio Shinozaki on a missed free throw from Mawuli proved the final score of the match as France looked out of sync in the final stages.