Japan coach Masayoshi Manabe fielded a team which included five members of the 2012 Olympic bronze medal squad against the European champions.
What started out as a fairly sluggish affair in the first set heated up in the second with some exciting play from both sides.
Japan took the initiative in the third set with some outstanding defense and fine passing as Russia had problems receiving and the final set proved highly entertaining with the Japan staging a late rally to claim the match.
Star spiker Saori Kimura and sidekick Saori Sakoda added 17 points each for Japan in the win. Riho Otake and Risa Shinnabe chipped in with 13 and 12 points, respectively.
Natalia Malykh was the top scorer for Russia with 16 points in the loss.
Japan held an 11-2 advantage in service winners while Russia finished with 14 blocks to 6 by the winning side.
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