The Japanese, who humbled bitter rivals China 3-0 in their opening game, had to work hard against a plucky Malaysia but goals from Kensuke Nagai and Hotaru Yamaguchi were sufficient to hand them the win. It leaves them top of Group A with maximum points, and piles the pressure on China, who play Kyrgyzstan in a crucial game later in the day.
In Group C, Korea Republic made amends for their upset defeat to neighbours North Korea in their opener by cruising past Jordan 4-0. Koo Ja-Cheol got the ball rolling on 24 minutes with a fine strike and they went into the break two-up after he got another in the dying seconds.
The outcome was put beyond doubt by Kim Bo-Kyung a minute into the second-half and Cho Young-Cheol wrapped up the victory with a fourth goal 12 minutes from time. It leaves Jordan in danger of being eliminated, with only the top two from each group and the four best third-placed teams staying in the tournament.
Korea DPR, who have brought 10 players to Guangzhou who featured at the FIFA World Cup™ in South Africa, play the Palestinian territories in an evening match. Turkmenistan, meanwhile, romped to a 6-2 win over Vietnam. It should have been 6-0 but the West Asians went to sleep in the final minutes to hand the Vietnamese two late consolation goals.
Iran play Bahrain in the other Group B game later on Wednesday.