Japan defeated defending champions New Zealand 2-1 to reach just their second World Baseball Softball Confederation Men's Softball World Championship final in Prague.
They will face Argentina in tomorrow's final after the South Americans defeated Canada 7-0 and a new world champion will be crowned with neither nation winning the title before.
At Svoboda Ballpark, Reo Koyama held New Zealand to just one run and two hits in seven innings, meaning New Zealand will miss the final for the first time since 1980.
At the top of the first inning, veteran Nathan Nukunuku fell down 2-0 in the account but Koyama made his only mistake of the day when he left the pitch in the middle of the zone, allowing the left-handed batter to hit a no-doubter to centre field as the Kiwis went 1-0 ahead.
Japan used a long ball to tie the game an innings later when Takuto Tsutsui found a drop ball in the lower part of the zone and sent it over the left field for an opposite-field home run.
And they scored the game-winning run in the top of the fifth when with two outs, Yusuke Morita connected a single up the middle and one pitch later he stole second.
New Zealand head coach Mark Sorenson decided to intentionally walk Matsuda to face Tsukasa Oishi and the catcher hit a hard line to third base that was touched by Tyron Bartorillo but rolled into the left field.
In a close play at home plate, Morita scored the second and last run for Japan.
Japan's only previous final came in 2000 when they were defeated by New Zealand.
The Black Sox will face Canada in the third-place playoff after their loss to Argentina.
The South Americans scored twice in the first inning off Devon McCoulough, on a two-run homer by catcher Bruno Motroni.
The Canadian pitcher walked Alan Peker in five pitches, before the speedy runner stole second base and the throw went into centre field to reach third with no outs.
McCoulough struck out Teo Migliavacca and Santiago Carril hit a fly to right field as he recorded two outs.
Argentina repeated the trick one inning later as Juan Zara drew a walk.
One out later Federico Eder blasted an opposite-field home run before Gian Scialacomo scored on a wild pitch to make it 5-0.
Argentina added two more runs in the top of the third, with a two runs batted in triple by Peker.
Gustavo Godoy was hit by a pitch and Scialacomo bunted for a single. With two outs Peker launched a line drive to the left-centre field fence to plate both runners as Argentina cruised to victory.
Engelbert Herrera homered twice and recorded five runs batted in as Venezuela beat hosts Czech Republic 7-0 in five innings to reach tomorrow's fifth-place playoff against the United States.
The US saw off a spirited Australian challenge to win 8-6.