Japan had countless opportunities in the first half but France stopper Marion Romanelli was too good in clearing the attacks from the back.
France had their first chance in the 8th minute when striker Marie-Charlotte Legerin pulled off a powerful left footy but flew inches over the crossbar.
Japan replied, pulling in counter attacks with quick set plays and through balls but France backliners cleared every loose ball from the back.
In the 16th minute, Japan made a clear move through penetrating the France defence from the right wing and found Rin Sumida, who swung in a corner that got the crowd on their feet. However, the ball tipped off the crossbar and went over.
It was a stunning first half for both teams as the second half will be more likely a decider between them.