Japan will face fellow Asian giants Australia and UAE in Group A of the final round of 2018 FIFA World Cup Asian qualifying.
The draw for the last phase was held on Tuesday night at AFC headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, with the 12 remaining teams divided into two groups of six.
Japan, who are aiming for their sixth straight FIFA World Cup appearance, were drawn into Group B along with continental rivals Australia, former World Cup participants Saudi Arabia and 2015 AFC Asian Cup spoilers UAE.
The round kicks off on September 1 and will continue through September 5, 2017. The top two teams from each group will qualify for Russia 2018.
Teams that finish in third-place face off for the right to join the inter-confederation playoff against a CONCACAF representative.
2018 FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifying - Third Round Draw
Group A: Iran, South Korea, Uzbekistan, China, Qatar, Syria
Group B: Australia, Japan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iraq, Thailand