Japan is 5-0 all-time versus Canada in Davis Cup play going into the best-of-five first round series that begins Friday in Tokyo. The matches are to be played on an indoor hard court.
While the series results are lopsided in favor of Japan, the two haven't met since an America's region series in 1938, 51 years before Nishikori was born.
Canada will be without its highest-ranked player as world No. 11 Milos Raonic was forced to withdraw due to a foot injury. No. 25-ranked Vasek Pospisil is slowed by an injury and will skip the singles matches but is to take a turn in doubles.
Nishikori, 18th in the world and 11-2 in Davis Cup play, is to go against Peter Polansky in Friday's opener with world No. 140 Go Soeda meeting No. 119-ranked Frank Dancevic in the second match. Polansky is 135th in the rankings.
The Japanese team of Yuichi Sugita and Yasutaka Uchiyama is to take on Canadians Daniel Nestor and Pospisil. Nishikori is scheduled against Dancevic in Sunday's first reverse singles match with a Soeda-Polansky match set to wrap up the series.
Canada matched its previous best Davis Cup result, first reached in 1913, with an appearance in the semifinals last year. Japan was the 1921 runner-up for its best finish.
The winner of the Japan-Canada series advances to the April 4-6 Davis Cup quarterfinals against either the Czech Republic or the Netherlands. The Czechs are two-time defending Davis Cup champions.