It will be played on indoor hard courts at the Bourbon Beans Dome in Miki City, Kobe on Saturday and Sunday. Britain won their two previous Fed Cup meetings with Japan in 1972 and 1985.
Smith is joined in the team by Johanna Konta, Heather Watson and debutante Gabi Taylor, with captain Anne Keothavong saying: “I am delighted to name our strongest possible team for the World Group II play-offs. We have been so close since 2012 and hopefully the fourth time will be a charm.”
The tie will be shown on BT Sport, starting at 5am BST on Saturday and 4am BST on Sunday.