New Zealand fly-half Dan Carter believes Japanese rugby is in great shape ahead of this weekend's Test in Tokyo.
The national side defeated Wales in their last match earlier this year in a major win for Eddie Jones' side. The former Australia coach will be missing from the team's operations over the next few months as he recovers from a stroke.
Japan's domestic league is benefiting from a number of high quality imports, whilst Highlanders scrum-half Fumiaki Tanaka has been a star in Super Rugby.
Seeking to start New Zealand's tour well, Carter insisted there would be no complacency before facing the Brave Blossoms.
"I think Japanese rugby is on a high at the moment," Carter told TVNZ.
"The club competition is very strong and they [Japan] had a couple of great Test matches against Wales.
"You know, they beat Wales in the last Test match so we have to make sure we do our homework on the Japan side so we can play well on Saturday.
"It's important that we start the tour well. We've got some really important games away from home so we have to make sure we continue the momentum that we have built throughout the season and play well."