The national team have been given a tough task when it comes to following up Six Nations success with a World Cup win at Tokyo 2019...
"Japan obviously made a memorable impact at the World Cup two years ago, beating South Africa, and will have tremendous support going into the tournament", Townsend said.
England are also set to face either the United States or Canada and Fiji or Samoa in a devilish group.
"I have never felt so fired up than I feel now", said Abe. "We want to win the World Cup so the onus is on us to keep getting better". "We can assume they will be good sides if they're going to make it, so it is what it is". "We have two years to get ready".
As one of the top four seeds, Australia were always guaranteed to avoid the All Blacks, England and Ireland before the quarter-finals. Japan will become the first Asian country to host the World Cup, a move which aims to ignite rugby passions around the region.
In another mouthwatering group, old enemies England and France were drawn alongside Argentina in a tough Pool C.
No team has ever lost in the pool stage and gone on to win the trophy outright.
Champions New Zealand drawn in Pool B with South Africa, Italy, Africa 1 and the victor of the Repechage.
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Hosts Japan will meet Scotland and Ireland in Pool A, alongside a European qualifier and the victor of a play-off featuring teams from Oceania and Europe.
"They have some strong forward play and some gas out wide, so between now and 2019 we're going to have to learn a bit about them".
Kenya-who will face off with Uganda, Namibia, Zimbabwe and Senegal for the sole African ticket-will not avoid New Zealand, Italy, South Africa and the repechage victor if they sail through.
"We will find out the details of which order we will play the teams in our pool and our venues in September which will kick-start the next phase of our detailed planning for the tournament.
They're one of our rivals, along with South Africa, Australia and France". Another eight teams will be added after qualifying.
The Springboks have beaten the All Blacks twice at the World Cup (1995 final and 1999 bronze medal place) and pushed the world champions in an intense clash in the semifinal stage in 2015.
Steve Hansen, whose New Zealand side were barely tested in their pool at the 2015 tournament, said he was pleased to be in a group that would provide "some challenges".