Cape Town - Hurricanes assistant coach John Plumtree has been appointed as Japan's defence coach for their upcoming end-of-year Tests.
Plumtree will help prepare the Brave Blossoms for Tests against Australia and France, and a non-international match against a World XV.
The 52-year-old said he sees this as an opportunity for personal development but will retain his job with the Wellington-based Super Rugby team.
"I see my coaching future as being firm with the Hurricanes, but I jumped at the chance when Japan approached me about the prospect of coaching at international level," Plumtree said via a statement.
"It's a great opportunity to be exposed to a new culture and new ways of coaching. Japan has a strong coaching team with Jamie Joseph and Tony Brown and working alongside them will only add to the knowledge and experience I can add to the Hurricanes."
Hurricanes chief executive Avan Lee believes Plumtree will gain valuable experience from his stint with the Brave Blossoms.
"We are always looking at ways of developing our staff and growing their knowledge and this is another example," he said.
"I'm sure Plum will benefit from the experience."
Plumtree only international experience as a coach was when he was Ireland forwards coach prior to his Hurricanes appointment.
Japan play the World XV on October 28 in Fukuoka, followed by Tests against Australia and France in November.