Jones, whose last win in Japan came two years ago at the ANA Open in Hokkaido, played with fellow Australians Brad Kennedy and Anthony Quayle in his morning round and stormed to the turn in 6 under 30.
The momentum slowed a little on the back nine but a round of 64 has he and his fellow leaders ahead by one over Yoshinori Fujimoto and China’s Wen Chong Lian.
Jones's record in the Japan Open has not equalled that in many of the other events he has played on the Japan Tour but he has made the near perfect start this week and appears well placed to improve on a previous best of 3rd in 2008.
Of the other Australasians in the field, rookie Anthony Quayle again impressed with his round of 66, Matthew Griffin and Adam Scott had 67, Brad Kennedy 68, Michael Hendry and amateur David Micheluzzi 71, Won Joon Lee 76 and Scott Strange 77.
Scott, the highest ranked player in the field, indicated his intentions when he reached 4 under through 10 holes but he was unable to make any further progress.
He is however well placed heading into tomorrow's second round when he has a morning tee time.
MATT BALLARD: THE OPEN BUNKER STANCE MYTH
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