The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift was released in 2006, the third film in the action franchise. However, it’s chronologically set in between Fast and Furious 6 (2013) and Furious 7 (2015). A spin-off, Tokyo Drift failed to secure any of the original cast from the first two movies, however, Vin Diesel’s Dom Toretto did cameo in a race between him and Lucas Black’s Sean Boswell at the end of the film. After this, Diesel gave the franchise a soft reboot with Fast and Furious, shaping it into the billion-dollar success it is today.
WARNING SPOILERS FOR FAST AND FURIOUS MOVIES AHEAD.
But the main reason Tokyo Drift was shifted into the future of the Fast and Furious timeline was that it saw Sung Kang’s Han Lue die in a car crash.
Presumably, so that fans could see more of Han, Kang returned for Fast and Furious, Fast Five and Fast and Furious 6.
As prequels for his character, he mentions in these films how he intends to go to Tokyo to his lover, Gal Gadot’s Gisele Yashar, which he does after Fast and Furious 6 when she loses her life.
The latter film included an end credits scene which showed Han’s death from Tokyo Drift from a different angle, revealing the car that hit him to be Jason Statham’s Deckard Shaw.
After all, Han had just been involved in defeating his brother, Luke Evans’ Owen Shaw in Fast and Furious 6.
This then explains why Dom was in Tokyo street racing against Sean because he’d come to collect Han’s body for a funeral.
In fact, the moment after this scene takes place features in Furious 7, when Lucas Black reprised his role as Sean for a conversation between him a Dom.