He’s the only change from the side that drew 16-all with New Zealand in the Rugby Championship in Wellington in July. Kolisi replaces Kwagga Smith, who drops out of the match day 23 altogether.
Japan have played with South Africa only once in the World Cup, their famous victory in 2015.
Up and coming scrumhalf Hershel Jantjies is on the bench for Friday’s game in Kumagaya.
“If you have the vision to be able to do and you actually have the drive, and you put your heart and your soul and everything into it, you can achieve it. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. I’ve never had it easy coming my way. There are guys that make it straight out of school, and there are guys that go on to play 110 games for the Springboks. I inspire to be one of those guys who play 110 or even more games for the Springbok’s. I just want to make myself proud, my parents proud, the people of Kelvin proud and most of all the people of South Africa,” says Jantjies.