Timo Glock gave circuit owners Toyota a boost by setting a surprise fastest time in the second free practice session at Fuji.
In another totally dry session, Glock's early 1:18.383 lap remained unbeaten in the latter part of the afternoon despite the bigger names' best efforts.
Singapore winner Fernando Alonso continued Renault's fine form to take a close second, 0.043 seconds behind Glock, with McLaren's Lewis Hamilton only 0.037 seconds slower than the Spaniard in third, as the top 18 cars all lapped within a second.
The session got off to a much busier start than morning practice, with the McLarens leading the order early on before being usurped by Felipe Massa's Ferrari after 15 minutes.
Alonso then became the first to try soft tyres and looked set to go fastest, only to run wide at the final corner.
Force India had a brief moment of glory as Adrian Sutil grabbed first place for around a minute before first Toyota's Jarno Trulli then Toro Rosso's Sebastian Vettel hit the front.
But it was home team Toyota who would lead the way for the majority of the session, as Glock set a 1:18.383 on soft tyres just after the half-hour mark to beat Vettel by nearly 0.4 seconds.
As had been the case in the morning, most of the quick times were set relatively early in the session, so with few making big improvements, Glock remained unchallenged. Alonso, Hamilton and Massa all closed right in, but none of them managed to beat the Toyota's time, allowing Glock to end Friday practice as the pace-setter.
Kimi Raikkonen took fifth in the second Ferrari, while Mark Webber thrust Red Bull into contention by jumping to sixth with his final lap.
Kazuki Nakajima continued Toyota's good day by taking seventh in his Toyota-powered Williams, ahead of Vettel, Heikki Kovalainen (McLaren) and Trulli.
But while Toyota prospered, their Japanese arch-rivals Honda continued to struggle, with Rubens Barrichello only 15th and Jenson Button slowest of all.
Pos Driver Team Time Laps
1. Glock Toyota (B) 1:18.383 44
2. Alonso Renault (B) 1:18.426 + 0.043 41
3. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:18.463 + 0.080 40
4. Massa Ferrari (B) 1:18.491 + 0.108 40
5. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) 1:18.725 + 0.342 39
6. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:18.734 + 0.351 39
7. Nakajima Williams-Toyota (B) 1:18.734 + 0.351 36
8. Vettel Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:18.761 + 0.378 23
9. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1:18.803 + 0.420 32
10. Trulli Toyota (B) 1:18.863 + 0.480 45
11. Kubica BMW Sauber (B) 1:18.865 + 0.482 39
12. Piquet Renault (B) 1:18.888 + 0.505 43
13. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) 1:18.981 + 0.598 41
14. Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1:19.040 + 0.657 41
15. Barrichello Honda (B) 1:19.258 + 0.875 42
16. Sutil Force India-Ferrari (B) 1:19.287 + 0.904 41
17. Coulthard Red Bull-Renault (B) 1:19.327 + 0.944 36
18. Fisichella Force India-Ferrari (B) 1:19.482 + 1.099 44
19. Heidfeld BMW Sauber (B) 1:19.894 + 1.511 37
20. Button Honda (B) 1:19.999 + 1.616 42
All Timing Unofficial