Hong Kong edged one step closer to winning the Pacific Rim Championship yesterday after they held on to score a narrow 17-16 win over Japan in Tokyo yesterday. Hong Kong trailed Japan 10-13 at half-time, but a try two minutes into the second half by scrum-half Sean O'Hara was enough to give them the lead, which they hung on to despite concerted Japanese pressure. The victory avenged Hong Kong's only loss in the tournament so far - the 38-31 defeat last month by Japan at the Aberdeen Stadium - and also gave the SAR a valuable four points to keep them at the top of the four-team standings. Defending champions Canada defeated the United States 37-3 at Burlington, Vermont on Saturday to stay just one point adrift of Hong Kong who are currently on 14 points. It has set up a showdown confrontation this Saturday (Sunday morning HK time) in Vancouver. This game is likely to decide the champions this year - and Hong Kong will be going all out to win it. Coach Phil Campbell said: 'It was important that we won this game before going on the North American tour against the United States and Canada.' Hong Kong destroyed a stronger Japanese scrum near their goal line to ensure the narrow victory. O'Hara combined superbly with centre Nigel D'Acre and fullback Vaughan Going to score the crucial try which was converted by flyhalf Chris Yates to give Hong Kong the lead. Hong Kong faced a repeated threat near their goal line but kept the onslaught at bay, only allowing flyhalf Stephen Miln one opportunity at a penalty goal which he converted to close the gap to a single point. Winger Chris Gordon had earlier touched down for a third-minute try, while Yates added the conversion and put over a penalty goal in the 35th minute. On Saturday Hong Kong will take on Canada while Japan will meet the United States in San Francisco. Canada were led superbly by captain Gareth Rees who scored 22 points in the 37-3 thrashing of the United States. Rees was on the mark with eight out of nine attempts. He kicked his first penalty just 10 minutes into the game. Three more penalty goals by Rees and a 25th-minute try by Pat Dunkley, converted by Rees, gave Canada a 19-3 lead at half-time. Canada finished off the rout in the second half with tries by Joe Pagano and Neil Whkowski and two more penalties by Rees. Hong Kong return today from Japan. They will leave for Vancouver on Wednesday. Campbell is expected to name his 23-man squad tomorrow.