Shinji Kagawa spared Japan's blushes with an injury-time equalizer as Vahid Halilhodzic's side drew 3-3 to Haiti in a friendly on Tuesday evening.
The three goals were the most conceded by Japan under Halilhodzic, and the first since October 2014 when they were thrashed 4-0 by Brazil in Singapore.
Shu Kurata and Kenyu Sugimoto staked Japan to a 2-0 lead in the first half. But Haiti, ranked 48th in the world against Japan at 40th, hit three unanswered goals by Kevin Lafrance and Duckens Nazon (two) before Kagawa bailed out the hosts in the 92nd minute.
Yuto Nagatomo, who deputized as captain on this night in place of Makoto Hasebe, admitted Japan were far from impressive.
"It was a pretty difficult game, but we managed to produce a draw in the end," the Inter Milan defender said. "It would be a stretch to say we played well, and we should have won to be honest."
"We need to be more accurate in front of goal. For us, the game left a lot to be desired."
Halilhodzic made nine changes from Friday's 2-1 win over New Zealand in Toyota, Aichi Prefecture, handing first-time starts to Cerezo Osaka striker Sugimoto and Heerenveen midfielder Yuki Kobayashi.
Kurata, the match-winner on Friday, picked up where he left off against the All Whites by glancing a header from a Nagatomo cross to open the scoring after seven minutes.
Sugimoto doubled the lead for Japan 10 minutes later, netting off the rebound of Kurata's shot for his maiden international strike.
The visitors, though, pulled one back in the 28th minute as Lafrance split the defense right down the middle.
Haiti restored parity eight minutes into the second half through Nazon's first of the evening, and the Coventry City forward struck again in the 78th minute to put his side up 3-2.
Japan looked bound for defeat but Kagawa, laying down on the ground in the heart of the area, redirected Gotoku Sakai's shot into the net as Halilhodzic's men heaved a sigh of relief.
Japan travel to Europe during next month's international window to play Brazil on Nov. 10 and Belgium four days later.