Japan is a country in Eastern Asia. The country uses the CERO rating system to rate all Grand Theft Auto releases, with so far all of the series being rated Z (18+). Japan received Grand Theft Auto releases at a much later time, as it has taken a long time for Rockstar Games to localize them, which is done by Rockstar Japan. Japanese releases of Grand Theft Auto games do not feature dialogue re-dubbed in the Japanese language and instead feature English voice acting and Japanese subtitles. The Grand Theft Auto games are published in Japan mainly by Capcom which had released the following games:
- Grand Theft Auto (August 27, 1998)
- Grand Theft Auto 2 (March 30, 2001)
- Grand Theft Auto III (September 25, 2003)
- Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (May 20, 2004)
- Grand Theft Auto Double Pack (July 29, 2004 Xbox version, February 27, 2007 PS2 version)
- Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (January 25, 2007)
- Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories (July 26, 2007 PSP version, September 6, 2007 PS2 version)
- Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories (December 6, 2007)
- Grand Theft Auto IV (October 30, 2008)
- Grand Theft Auto V (October 10, 2013)
CyberFront has released recent GTA games:
- Grand Theft Auto IV (March 20, 2009)
- Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars (September 24, 2009)
- The Yakuza, a real-life criminal organization based in Japan, is featured in Grand Theft Auto and Grand Theft Auto 2.
- GTA 2 introduces the Zaibatsu Corporation, a mega-corporation and criminal organization named after the Japanese term for a type of business. Although it is later revealed in Grand Theft Auto III that Zaibatsu was founded in Liberty City (located in the United States of America), the organization's name still implies strong ties to Japan.
- In GTA 2, the host of Funami FM is a Japanese woman named Teriyaki-chan.
- Funabashi in GTA 2 is named after a real city in the Chiba Prefecture.
- The Yakuza also appears in GTA III, GTA Advance and GTA Liberty City Stories. Its members Asuka Kasen, Kenji Kasen, Kazuki Kasen and his wife Toshiko Kasen, and Asuka's niece Yuka are all of Japanese origin.
- The country capital, Tokyo, is mentioned in the Liberty Tree article Yakuza Operating With Impunity. It is also the setting for the push up contest in Push-Up - The Movie, which the movie's trailer incorrectly claiming it is in China.
- The Kuruma is a Japanese car, since it has some visual cues from Japanese sedans and 'kuruma' (くるま or 車) means 'car' in Japanese.
- Many other cars in the 3D Universe are also inspired by Japanese cars, however, the Kuruma is the only one with a Japanese name.
- There are also many Japanese manufacturers in the 3D Universe, such as Kakagawa appliances and the Maibatsu vehicles (Based on Mitsubishi).
- The game Space Monkey and its sequel Space Monkey 7 were originated in Japan, according to radio advertisement.
- Middle-aged Japanese tourists can be found around Ocean Beach and Washington Beach.
- Sushi Man is a Japanese sushi shop that appears in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
- The small restaurant chain Sayonara Restaurant from GTA San Andreas, which means 'goodbye restaurant' is a Japanese restaurant chain.
- The musical Wingding Sons of a Bitch Take Flight uses the Rising Sun Flag, which was used as the war flag for the Imperial Japanese Navy.
- There are some Japanese-speaking pedestrians in GTA San Andreas.
- The Katana (かたな or 刀) is a Japanese weapon, which literally means 'sword'.
- The song "Japanese Boy" by Aneka is featured on Flash FM.
- The atomic bombings in Japan in 1945 are mentioned by Mike Toreno in the mission Verdant Meadows.
- Several automotive manufacturers are Japanese:
- The Warrener, while manufactured by the Swedish car manufacturer Vulcar, bears its overall, Japanese style to it, specifically the 1969 Nissan Skyline C10.
- A.M. Beer is a brand of Japanese beer (Based on Asahi Beer).
- Kisama Beer is another brand of Japanese beer.
- Fukaru is a Japanese tire company.
- ONO is a Japanese electronics company.
- Noel Katsuda and Shon Kikuchi are of Japanese origin.
- The TV shows Princess Robot Bubblegum and Full Robo Hickey Hurry Mech Battlesuit are parodies of Japanese animes.
- Another TV show, Kung Fu Rainbow Lazerforce, is a parody of the Power Rangers franchise, which itself is the American adaption of the Japanese Super Sentai series.
- The mission Dragon Haul Z is an obvious nod to the Japanese anime Dragon Ball Z.
- The Uptown Riders, based on the real life Ruff Ryders, mostly ride Japanese bikes.
- The Elegy RH8 is metaphorically described as having been "born in the fires of Mt. Fuji".
- Mark Fostenburg's golf clubs are made in Japan.
- Nutsaki is a Japanese-like restaurant.
- Gozushi is also a Japanese restaurant, named for one of Japan's most famous film series, Godzilla.
- The San Andreas Flight School Update added a Japan flag Chute Bag in GTA V.
- The Japan livery is one of the liveries on the Cheval Marshall.
- There is also a Japanese flag available on the roof of the Dukes.
- During Chakra Attack, Ray De Angelo Harris talks about his koi fish and hibachi.
- The song "Raisins" by the Japanese composer Ryo Kawasaki is featured on Fusion FM.
- Although not bearing any resemblance to Japanese cars, the Coil Raiden's name itself can refer to the word "雷電", literally "thunder".