After being played near Kagoshima in the very south of Japan since its inaugural staging in 1981 the event moved to Kochi in 2005.
The tournament boasts a colourful list of winners especially in its earlier years when international stars were invited to play the event. Lee Trevino was its very first winner but other major winners to have played and won include Bernard Langer, Sandy Lyle, Hubert Green, Larry Mize and Tom Lehman have been included on the list.
In more recent years the winner's list has been dominated by Japanese players and in 2012 Tadahiro Takayama will defend the title he won his 5th Japan Tour title by two shots.
Takayama has not had a good year in 2012, in fact he has recorded only one top ten all year and will be hard pressed to defend his title.
Leading money winners Hiroyuki Fujita and Toru Taniguchi are in the field this week but the third placed Brendan Jones is not. Jones is back in Canberra this week but will be back to play the Golf Nippon Series in Tokyo next week in an endeavour to chase one of the top two positions on the money list.
Other Australasians who will play the event are two time winner, David Smail, Brad Kennedy, Paul Sheehan, Steve Conran and Neven Basic. Smail is missing his own national open in Christchurch this week as is the defending champion of the New Zealand Open, Kennedy, but this event carries nearly five times the purse of that in Christchurch. Given that Kennedy is also playing next week's Golf Nippon Series his decision is even more understandable.
At the completion of this event the leading 70 players on the Japan Golf Tour's money list will retain their status for next season. At present, amongst those starting the event, Paul Sheehan and Neven Basic need something very special this week if they are to have status in Japan in 2013.
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