Coming out of Japan...Nobunari Oda is the Men's National Champion. He defeated Takahiko Kozuka (who took Silver) by a little over 18 points with an impressive 243.70.
After the ladies short program, it is very close between the top three. Yukari Nakano (67.26) leads Mao Asada (65.30) who is just ahead of Miki Ando (65.02)...all three ladies are separated by just a little over two points. Yukari is leading due to a huge Technical Element Score compared to the other competitors.
She spoke with the Japan Times after her short program:
"It was one of my best short programs ever. I'd never had the lead after the short program, so I'm thrilled. I have to admit I feel pressure heading into the free skate, but I'll just focus on four minutes of free skating tomorrow. I'll do what I have to do and hopefully I can earn a place at the world championships." she said.
Also according to the article Mao under rotated the second jump in her combination and was only credited with a triple-single combination.