Ikeda defeated Australian Marcus Fraser and Korea’s Kyung Tae Kim by three shots last year.
The third of four events on the Japan Tour in 2017 to be co-sanctioned with the Asian Tour, the Panasonic Open carries prize money of (equivalent) AUD$1.82 million.
Panasonic previously sponsored the Asia Pacific Panasonic Open which was also jointly sanctioned by the Asian Tour although that event was played for the last time in 2013.
Australians Brad Kennedy, Brendan Jones, Adam Bland, Won Joon Lee, Kurt Barnes and Todd Sinnott, are the Australian members of the Japan Tour who will tee it up on Thursday, while, from the Asian Tour come Richard Green and Terry Pilkadaris.
Kennedy is the leading world ranked Australian in the field although New Zealander, Michael Hendry, who is ranked seven places higher amongst the Australasians, will also tee it up.
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