Zipang Casino Japan Darts Masters Draw
THE draw for the Zipang Casino Japan Darts Masters has handed Michael van Gerwen a clash with Chikara Fujimori, while Phil Taylor will take on Masumi Chino when the PDC World Series of Darts event begins on Saturday.
The PDC's first visit to Japan will see eight top stars joined by eight Japanese representatives competing across two days at the Osanbashi Hall in Yokohama.
World number one Michael van Gerwen, who won last month's opening World Series of Darts event at the Dubai Duty Free Darts Masters, will play 31-year-old Chikara Fujimori in Saturday's first round.
Phil Taylor, the 16-time World Champion and the winner of last year's World Series of Darts events in Perth and Sydney, has drawn Tokyo's Masumi Chino, who was the runner-up in the PDJ's World Championship qualifier last year.
Leading Japanese ace Haruki Muramatsu, the 38-year-old who has played in four World Championships and holds a PDC Tour Card, will take on Peter Wright in a tasty first round contest.
Muramatsu's recent World Cup of Darts team-mate Morihiro Hashimoto has drawn eight-time major champion James Wade in another high-profile clash.
Sho Katsumi, who played in the 2013 World Cup of Darts for Japan, will take on Adrian Lewis - who he defeated 4-3 when they met during that tournament.
World Champion Gary Anderson is up against Fukuoka's 31-year-old Yuki Yamada, while Raymond van Barneveld will play Kanagawa's Katsuya Aiba and Stephen Bunting plays Tokyo's Shintaro Inoue.
PDC Chairman Barry Hearn launched the tournament in Yokohama on Friday, and said: "We're delighted to be in Japan for the first time and this is a very exciting event for us all at the PDC.
"The Zipang Casino Japan Darts Masters will give Japanese fans their first chance to see the world's best players live in Yokohama, as well as the cream of the crop from Japanese darts.
"Japanese players have been emerging on the international stage over the past decade, and this is their chance to shine in front of their home fans. The live crowd are in for a fantastic tournament!"
The Zipang Casino Japan Darts Masters will be televised by JSport in Japan, as well as worldwide through the PDC's series of broadcast partners and online through www.LIVEPDC.TV for International Pass Subscribers.
Zipang Casino Japan Darts Masters
First Round Draw & Tournament Draw Bracket
Michael van Gerwen (1) v Chikara Fujimori
Stephen Bunting (8) v Shintaro Inoue
Peter Wright (5) v Haruki Muramatsu
Adrian Lewis (4) v Sho Katsumi
Phil Taylor (2) v Masumi Chino
Raymond van Barneveld (7) v Katsuya Aiba
James Wade (6) v Morihiro Hashimoto
Gary Anderson (3) v Yuki Yamada
First Round - Best of 11 legs
Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals, Final - Best of 15 legs
First Round Order of Play
Stephen Bunting v Shintaro Inoue
Raymond van Barneveld v Katsuya Aiba
Adrian Lewis v Sho Katsumi
Phil Taylor v Masumi Chino
James Wade v Morihiro Hashimoto
Gary Anderson v Yuki Yamada
Michael van Gerwen v Chikara Fujimori
Peter Wright v Haruki Muramatsu
JSport - Japan
ITV4 - UK (Delayed)
Setanta - Ireland
OSN - Middle East & North Africa
Fox Sports - Australia
Sky - New Zealand
RTL7 - Netherlands
PPTV Online - China
www.LIVEPDC.TV for International Pass Subscribers outside of UK, Ireland & Netherlands.
Coverage of the Zipang Casino Darts Masters on ITV4 will be shown delayed at 6.30pm-11.30pm (BST) on Saturday June 27 and from 6.15pm-11.15pm (BST) on Sunday June 28.