The Manchester City striker volleyed home Toni Duggan’s centre with seven minutes remaining after the former City winger capitalised on a Japanese error on the edge of the box.
White was ice cool to secure the Lionesses first win of the tournament, which leaves them third behind the USA and Spain after two games and keeps alive their hopes of retaining the SheBelieves Cup.
Ellie Roebuck, Steph Houghton, Demi Stokes, Keira Walsh, Georgia Stanway and Lauren Hemp all started at the Red Bull Arena, with Jill Scott a stoppage time substitute after White had wrapped up the game.
The 30-year-old’s late showing might not have been needed had Phil Neville’s side taken their earlier chances.
Hemp, retained after her impressive showing against the USA, shot straight at the 'keeper with the best chance of the first half, whilst Stanway fired over from the edge of the area.
Elsewhere, Caroline Weir helped Scotland secure the Pinatar Cup with a game to spare as she played the full 90 minutes in a 1-0 win over Iceland.
Abbi Grant got the goal for Shelley Kerr’s side, who might have doubled their lead through Weir late in the second half.
There were more City representatives involved as Belgium, Canada and Portugal took part in various international tournaments.
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Pauline Bremer was an unused substitute as Germany scored four without reply against Norway in the same competition, but that emphatic result means she’ll have the opportunity to lift the trophy if Die Nationalelf can beat Italy in the final.
In the Tournoi de France, Janine Beckie was introduced with 24 minutes remaining as Canada played out a goalless draw with the Netherlands. They remain bottom of the group ahead of their final game against Brazil.
There was more positive news for the on-loan Esme Morgan, who helped England U21s to a 2-0 victory over France at St George’s Park.
They suffered a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Denmark in La Manga, where Park completed 72 minutes, with Bissell introduced as a late substitute.
England v Spain: Wednesday 11 March (9:15pm UK time), Toyota Stadium, Frisco. BBC Four and BBC iPlayer.
Northern Ireland v Scotland: Tuesday 10 March 2020 (7:30pm UK time), Pinatar Arena. Live on BBC ALBA.
Brazil v Canada: Tuesday 10 March (7pm UK time), Stade de l'Épopée, Calais.
Belgium v Denmark: Tuesday 10 March (5:30pm UK time), Estádio Municipal Fernando Cabrita, Portugal.
Portugal v Sweden: Tuesday 10 March (8pm UK time).
Germany v Italy: Wednesday 11 March (6:45pm UK time), Complexo Desportivo Belavista, Portugal.