Two years before hosting the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Japan have been established as one of the core participants of the 2017 FIVB Volleyball Nations League.
Japan won a bronze medal at the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games, followed by silver at Mexico 1968 and a gold at Munich 1972. The years after this have been less successful. Japan missed three successive Olympic Games before returning at Beijing 2008, where they failed to win a match. Japan then failed to qualify for the London 2012 Olympic Games and also missed Rio 2016 after finishing seventh at the World Olympic Qualification Tournament in Tokyo.
They also failed to qualify for the 2014 FIVB World Championship - the first edition they had missed in 54 years. They had previously won World Championship bronze medals in 1970 and 1974.
Japan have been crowned Asian champions eight times and have won golds at the Asian Games.
In 2017, Japan took part in the FIVB World League for the twenty-fourth time, making it to the Final Four in the Gold Coast and beating hosts Australia 3-2 in the semi-finals of Group 2, before losing in straight sets to Slovenia in the final. Their fourteenth place overall ranking fell short of their sixth place finishes in 1990, 1993 and 2008.