Japan beat Australia at the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships ©World Curling

Defending champions Japan and hosts China claimed victory in their opening matches in the men's tournament at the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships in Shenzhen.

Japan, skipped by Yuta Matsumura, beat Australia 8-5 to get their campaign off to a winning start at Shenzhen Universiade Sports Center.

The Japanese rink were 5-2 ahead at the halfway stage before Australia reduced the deficit to 5-4.

Matsumura scored two points and then stole one in the next two ends to guide his side to victory.

"That was tough," he said.

"We kept it as simple as possible, we kept it as open as possible and gave ourselves as much space to play as possible. 

"Australia put a lot of stones up in front, making it tougher."

China were in good scoring form as they beat New Zealand 10-4.

Nigeria's debut at the Pacific-Asia Curling Championships ended in defeat as the first African team to compete at the event lost 13-6 to Kazakhstan.

South Korea beat Qatar after the Gulf nation ran out of time, while Chinese Taipei thrashed Hong Kong 12-1.

In the women's event, China eased to a 12-4 victory over Hong Kong.

Defending champions South Korea, fielding an entirely different rink to the one which clinched the title last year, were on the wrong side of a 6-5 scoreline in their clash with Japan.

Chinese Taipei edged out Kazakhstan 12-11 and Australia hammered Qatar 12-3 in the other two matches played today.

The competition continues tomorrow.