The Asian side made five changes to side who beat Brazil 5-0, but still controlled the first-half throughout, but it took a while for them to get going.
Having controlled possession, the Little Nadeshiko began to find joy down the left, with three inswinging crosses causing New Zealand problems. Yui Momiki provided two, with captain Yui Marumiya clipping the latter narrowly wide.
Risa Shimizu then tried one, with her centre finding the head of Hina Sugita, but Lily Alfeld saved superbly at the far post. This came just minutes after Alfeld had put an earlier Sugita effort over the bar with a fabulous fingertip save.
Alfeld had been on fine form in New Zealand’s 1-0 defeat to Mexico too, but she could do nothing to stop half-time substitute Hasegawa’s rasping drive. Saki Ishii flicked a corner towards the edge of the box, where the NTV Menina midfielder was on hand rifled into the far corner.
Her second was even better, with Alfeld having no chance of stopping it. Pouncing on a sloppy touch, Hasegawa strode forward before unleash a fine strike from 25 yards over the stretching goalkeeper and just under the bar.
Right at the death Sumida is brought down in the area, stepping up to stroke home the penalty and complete the win.
"It's pretty tough facing Japan, we spent a long time trying to analyse their game and I thought we tactically did what we needed to do today, so I am really proud of the way the team executed the game plan. But they only need a second of lapsed concentration and they punish you for it. If you are not perfect for 30 seconds they score three goals and that is the sign of a world-class team." Paul Temple, New Zealand coach