While the rest of Japan went to the elections, their national rugby team went and stuffed Hong Kong at the 17th Asian Championships yesterday. Japan defeated Hong Kong 75-0 at a mostly empty Aomori Stadium on the outskirts of this sleepy fishing town. The public voted with their feet, probably knowing that only South Korea can provide any opposition to their beloved Cherry Blossoms. 'Most of the crowd will turn up when Japan play Korea,' Koji Tokumasu, spokesman for the Japan Rugby Union, said. The few who did turn up saw an exhibition of fleet-footed rugby from Japan who ran in 11 tries against a brave but simply outclassed Hong Kong outfit. 'They [Japan] are very skilful and very fast. We gave them too many opportunities and space,' coach Phil Campbell said. Skipper Roger Patterson was more blunt. 'They are getting better while we are weaker across the board,' he said. Patterson, 35, who had the captaincy hoisted on his shoulders after the last-minute pull-out of Paul Dingley, is most qualified to talk about Japan - it is his fourth Asian tournament and the 10th time that he has played Japan. 'The guys don't have to feel embarrassed by the defeat. Everyone gave it their best shot,' Patterson said. Hong Kong's best was not enough to stop Japan from piling on the points. With their loose forwards punching through the midfield, they ran in tries from all over the field. Japan led 23-0 at half-time but it was after the break that they really got down to business, running in a further eight tries. Hong Kong never entered the Japanese 22 in the first half. But never mind the territorial disadvantage, they were also relegated to the role of defence with the Japanese dominating the set pieces. The stark first-half statistics, that showed Hong Kong losing four lineouts on their own throw-in, was a mark of how much the home team held sway. Hong Kong's only chance of scoring came early in the second half when centre Jon Clarke skipped through two tackles but was brought down 10 metres from the goal-line. Apart from that, Hong Kong were left to try to stem the tide. Fullback Matt Reede showed that he has the pace to match the best of Japan when he saved two certain tries with good tackles from behind. Flanker Justin Gregory, playing at his first Asian tournament, put in a number of bone-crunching tackles, but the pace of the game was too much for him and the rest of Hong Kong. Japan fielded 11 players who had only won their first caps this season at the Pacific Rim competition and the young team is being groomed for the next World Cup. Japan's top try-scorers were dashing winger Michinori Oda who scored four tries and fullback Toru Kurihara who touched down on three occasions. The defeat would have been greater had it not been for Kurrihara kicking astray five conversions. He was relieved of goal-kicking duties in the second half and veteran Keiji Hirose was brought on. Hirose then knocked over the next six conversions to pile on the agony for Hong Kong. South Korea defeated Taiwan 55-19 in the other Group A game, while China defeated Singapore 15-13 in a Group B match, their first win over Singapore, which came hot on the heels of their shock 17-15 win over Hong Kong. In another group B game, Thailand defeated Sri Lanka 38-28.