latest japanese sports news.

No fans in the stands again?

Professional baseball, Soccer, and other sports events may go on without fans in the stand again. On 22nd a draft of concrete measures to accompany the government’s declaration of an emergency was announced. The government will hold a meeting on 23rd, and decide on a reoccurrence order in Tokyo, Osaka, Hyogo, and Kyoto Prefecture to declare an emergency for the new coronavirus infection. The sports events are expected to have no audience from 4/25 to 5/11. Japan just recorded the highest daily covid cases in the city of Osaka.  

Hanshin Tigers off to a great start with promising rookie

Hanshin Tigers, who finished 2nd place in the league last season behind Yomiuri giants just beat the Giants on 4/20 with a score of 10-5. Tigers are leading the Central League 4 games over the 2nd place Giants. On other hand, Tiger’s first-round draft pick Teruaki Sato is off to a great rookie season recording 5HR in 20 games. Japanese legendary Star Hideki Matsui even praises this young star saying “It’s like Masayuki Kakefu(aka Osaka God) is coming back. That’s how I see it” he said, comparing Terukai to a 3-time Home run king who he admired growing up. Ex Mets and Tigers player Tsuyoshi Shinjo also commented that Teruaki’s bat movement is spectacular and he should soon be in a clean-up position.

masahiro tanaka make his return to japan

Rakuten Eagle’s pitcher Masahiro Tanaka made his first start of the season against Nippon Ham (Tokyo Dome) on the 17th and gave up 3 Runs in 5 innings.

The team lost 1-4 and Tanaka became a losing pitcher, and it was the first lost he took in Japan in a while. His winning streak record in Japan which started from 8/26/2012 stopped at 28. The last time he pitched in Japan was during the game 7 of Japan series which was 11/3/2013. 

Tanaka pitched in Japan for the first time in 8 years, and this victory would have got him 100th Win in Japan. Although his return was not decorated with victory, the tv rating was great and Masahiro Tanaka gave courage and excitement again in Tohoku area in Japan.


young superstar munetaka murakami shining in JApan

Yakult infielder Munetaka Murakami (21 yrs old) led the team to their first 3-game winning streak of the series this season with the league’s top No. 7 homerun. With 2 outs no runners on base, full count, he swung a lower 126-kilometer changeup into the right-field seat. “I was forced into it, so I waited so that I could respond to whatever came” said Munetaka. With this hit, he tied his longest consecutive games with hits at 11. Earlier this season he said, “I want to pressure myself by setting the bar at least at  .300, 30HR, 100 RBI”. The goal of the individual is to stick to winning the hitting title. Currently, he leads the HR in the league by 2 more HR than 2nd place. Munetaka Murakami signed a management contract with Yoshimoto Kogyo Co., Ltd on March 24th this year. 

Matsuyama returns to japan with green jacket

Hideki Matsuyama, who achieved winning the first Asian Masters in American men’s golf, held a news conference online on April 14th in Japan.

Wearing a green jacket and attending the press conference, Matsuyama said, “Every time I saw the news, I realized that I did something amazing. I think it’s the first time for a Japanese person to wear this, and I’m happy about that” he said with a smile.

Matsuyama returned to Japan on the 13th and is currently in voluntary isolation in Japan. “I haven’t met anyone since I came back, so it’s a strange feeling,” he said. He revealed that he had returned home with the green jacket in his hand for a long time ” I will always carry it around. I think that it is better to have it than to leave it somewhere. Even if I may not wear them, I think that I have it in my hand.”

Torch replay continues as covid cases rise in japan

Osaka Prefecture’s Tokyo Olympic Torch Relay, which was abandoned on public roads due to the rapid spread of infection with the new coronavirus, was held in the World Expo Memorial Park (Suita City, Osaka Prefecture), which became an alternative course on the 13th. Osaka is the 10th prefecture in Japan, but it is the first time that it has avoided holding the event on public roads. It became an unusual torch relay that closed the park and did not enter the general audience. The new coronavirus confirmed on the 13th in Osaka Prefecture has 1099 new infected people. This is the first time that record more than 1000 people and it surpassed 918 people from April 10th which became a record number.

Olympian Karate Athlete injured by her coaching staff

Uekusa Ayumu who represents the Tokyo Olympic Kumite women’s 61 kg superclass of karate, is suing the All Japan Karatedo Federation (Zenkoren) chairman Masao Kagawa for power harassment. Uekusa is considering criminal charges for injury. Officially revealed on the 31st, Uekusa was hit in the face with a bamboo sword during practice on 1 month and bruised her left eye where she has received a diagnosis of”left eyeball bruise” from a doctor and has already consulted the Metropolitan Police Department. Masao acknowledged the use of bamboo swords but said that they would not poke their faces. The Ethics Committee regarded the use of bamboo swords as a problem, not the details of the injury, as “practicing using bamboo swords is very dangerous and is not acceptable at all.”

Japanese Baseball begins the season

The highest Japanese professional baseball league NPB’s (Nippon Pro Baseball) league has kicked-off on 3/26/21. As Japan has lifted the state of emergency last week, all stadiums will welcome a maximum of 10,000 fans to the stadium until further notice. Also due to covid protocol, NPB has decided not to have any extra innings and will end all games at the bottom of the 9th. Some stadiums even have incorporated a smartphone application where fans could check the crowd situation of all bathrooms in the stadium live.

Empty Stadium at Tokyo Olympic?

Affected by the new Coronavirus, the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games may head in the direction of forsaking the acceptance of spectators from overseas. While the number of mutant species was increasing, many people were worried about the event, and there was a fear that opposition to the event would intensify if it were not decided as soon as possible whether to accept overseas customers. This discussion began as early as January and the final decision to decide whether to accept overseas guests will be decided by. It was also confirmed that the decision to limit the number of spectators will be made in April as the next step. The standards are following the government’s upper limit on sporting events. Even in the pandemic, many competitions such as professional baseball and J-League have been held with spectators in Japan. The government’s ruling party also wanted to use the Olympics as an opportunity to revive inbound tourism after Corona ended. However, due to the increasing number of mutant species, it was widely believed that it would be difficult to accept foreign guests even within the Prime Minister’s Office.

Junichi Tazawa began his new season at a place he’s not familiar with.

On 2/25 in Taiwan, Junichi stepped to the mound for the first time as a member of Wei Chuan Dragons which is part of the Chinese Professional Baseball League in Taiwan. It was the first preseason game and he pitched at the top of the 5th inning with no score on the board. After giving up a double to the first hitter, he finished the day with 1K 1H of a scoreless inning. The last time Junichi pitched in Major League was back in the 2018 season as the Angels. After spending in minor leagues from the 2019-2020 season, he returned to Japan, but he had to enter the draft under NPB’s rule where he surprisingly did not get his name called. After spending the rest of the year in the Japanese amateur league, he signed a 1-year contract with the Wei Chuan Dragons. Junichi commented “It will be a challenge to take on a new stage, but I will not forget the feeling of gratitude to the team that prepared for further growth and gave me a place to play baseball, and I will throw my best to win” about joining the team.