The Lionesses were too strong for the Asian side and finish top of Group B after an emphatic win in Ausberg that secures their passage to the quarter-finals of the tournament
Coach Hope Powell made a number of changes to the starting line-up, including a start for Jessica Clarke over goalscorer Yankey.
Japan began the game well, testing England keeper Karen Bardsley early on with a long-range shot. England withstood, however, and were showing signs of their own with threatening long throws from Sophie Bradley.
Powell's side did finally break the deadlock with a well-struck lob on the volley from White on 15 minutes.
The game turned into a battle for possession, with calm and collected football from both sides. A chance from Japan's Aya Sameshima was parried wide just before the break - the counter-attack from England leading to a overhead-kick chance, also parried.
A slow start to the second half led to an England break, as left-back Rachel Unitt's cross fell to Yankey, who calmly chipped the ball over Japan keeper Kaihori in the 66th minute.
England's win places them top of Group B, one point ahead of Japan and the Lionesses will play either Germany or France in the quarter-finals.