Hosts Japan lead the way after the opening day of the International Skating Union (ISU) World Team Trophy at the Yoyogi National Stadium in Tokyo.
The home nation are edging Russia by virtue of a tie-breaker, with both nations on 44 points following the short dance and men’s and women’s short programmes.
Strong performances by Shoma Uno, Mai Mihara and Wakaba Higuchi helped Japan to establish the narrow advantage.
World silver medallist Uno won the men’s short programme with a personal best score of 103.53 points.
He collected 12 points for his country after putting on an impressive performance to "Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra" by Nigel Hess that included a slightly shaky quadruple flip, quad toe-double toe combination and a triple axel.
Mihara landed a triple Lutz-triple toe combination and triple flip in her short programme to "Rondo Capriccioso", registering 72.10 and third place for 10 team points.
Higuchi turned in a clean performance as well, ranking fifth with 71.41.
World and Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu sits in seventh after popping his planned quad loop and almost falling on his quad salchow.
Ice dancers Kana Muramoto and Chris Reed came fifth in the short dance.
"Today we had the dance event, the women and the men and I really believe everybody did their best and put in a great effort," team captain Muramoto said.
World champion Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia set a new record score of 80.85 in the women’s short programme with an excellent performance to "River Flows in You" and "Winter" that featured a triple flip-triple toe combination, triple loop and level-four spins.
Fellow countrywoman Elena Radionova, the two-time European silver medallist, hit a triple Lutz and a triple loop-triple toe combination to finish second with 72.21.
Russian ice dancers Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev came third in the short dance with 68.44.
Compatriot Mikhail Kolyada placed fourth with 95.37 after a clean performance, while Maxim Kovtun was 11th.
The United States are third in the standings with 43 points.
Madison Chock and Evan Bates got them off to a good start by winning the short dance.
The two-time world medallists scored 79.05 with their Blues "Bad to the Bone" and funky Hip-Hop "Uptown Funk" routine.
Nathan Chen added 11 points to the American team's score by coming second in the men’s short programme, nailing a quad flip-triple toe combination and quad toe for 99.28.
Jason Brown ranked fifth with a clean programme that was highlighted by a triple axel, triple flip-triple toe and superb spins, earning him 94.32.
Ashley Wagner placed sixth in the women’s short programme with 70.75 having under rotated a triple flip-triple toe combination, while Karen Chen currently sits in eighth place.
China are ranked fourth with 32 points, followed by Canada with 31 and France with 19.
The fifth edition of the ISU World Team Trophy is due to continue tomorrow with the pairs short programme, free dance and men's free skating.