A BATTLE-weary Japan battled on to reach the Thomas Cup semi-finals for the first time after dumping Germany 3-1 last night.
All-England runner-up Kenichi Tago was stretched by seasoned German singles player Marc Zwiebler before prevailing 15-21, 21-18, 21-18.
Hiroyuki Endo-Yoshiteru Hirobe took to the court for the first time but failed to stretch the lead for Japan. Nerves got the better of the newly-formed Japanese pair in crucial moments and they fell to a 21-16, 19-21, 22-24 defeat by Michael Fuchs-Kristof Hopp.
Dieter Domke, who had created a big upset when he downed Dane Jan O Jorgensen on Tuesday, failed to counter the sharp attacks of Sho Sasaki. The Japanese went on to win 21-19, 21-17.
And the reliable doubles pair of Kenichi Hayakawa-Kenta Kazuno did not disappoint as they brushed aside Ingo Kindervater-Johannes Schoettler 21-16, 21-16 in 31 minutes to give Japan the winning point.