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latest japanese sports news.

Rui hachimura joins team japan

Rui Hachimura(Washington Wizards), who made a triumphant return to Japan as an NBA player, captivated the fans with strong plays. He played for Japan for the first time in 680 days and played for about 19 minutes, with 24 points and 6 rebounds for both teams which was a game high. Japan, ranked 42nd in the world outscored Belgium, ranked 37th by 87-59. At the opening ceremony, Rui will represent Japan and hold the flag during the entrance.

NAoya Inoue’s plan on becoming the undisputed champion

Naoya Inoue is the WBA and IBF Bantamweight champion of the world. After Knocking out  Michael Dasmariñas in the 3rd round in Las Vegas on the 19th, his next opponent was supposed to be the winner of the unification bout between WBC Champion Nonito Donaire and WBC Champion John Riel Casimero. However, Casimero camp did not agree to the doping test requested by Donaire camp and decide to call off the fight which would have been historic for Philippine boxing. Naoya tweeted “Let’s go get the belt one by one” after the fight was canceled. But he did not pay respect to Casimero camp after finding out about denial of doping test tweeting “Evading Doping test, Casimero is not qualified to hit big mouth again…”.

Yakult Swallows now in 2nd place with the help from Murakami’s 2-Run HR

Yakult infielder Munetaka Murakami blasted 2 run homerun and his 22nd HR of the season. He is now leading the leading in HR by 3 ahead of Teruaki Sato of Tigers and Kazuma Okamoto of Giants.

In the game against Hiroshima on 23rd, the ball he tipped off hit his right knee during the 4th inning. He was immediately moved to the bench. Fortunately, when he was examined at a hospital in Hiroshima City on the same day, the diagnosis showed no bone abnormalities. Although it showed a painful bruise on his knee, he showed his toughness and was on the mound practicing by the next day.

The team has been excellent in the past 9 games with 8 wins and 1 loss. With the 3rd 4-game win streak of the season, They are now only 5 games behind the Tigers and now at the #2 spot alone. “When we’re in the momentum, we want to get as many W’s as possible”. From the 25th, Yakult will play against Giants and Tigers and Munetaka will be the key person to keep the winning streak going.

Tokyo Olympic banning on Alcohol sales?

The Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Organising Committee announced on 22 March that it had decided to forgo alcohol sales in competition venues.

At first, they were considering limiting sales time until 7 p.m., but after a storm of criticism from the public, the tournament officials said, “It will not be as it is. We have to settle it by tomorrow (23rd), ” he said, referring to the cancellation of the sale.

At the Tokyo Games, Asahi Beer, the sponsor of the tournament, was allowed to sell alcohol exclusively in the venue, but the plan was abandoned from the viewpoint of the new corona measures, such as the request to go directly home and the concern that the ban on loud voices could not be observed due to the drinking permission.

On this day, the Organizing Committee said, “We are considering the sale and provision of alcoholic beverages given the realization of loud deterrence and safe induction and the current general rules. We will not decide on a sales policy based on the intention of the sponsor.”

Samurai Japan has been selected

On 16th in Japan, Manager Atsunori Inaba announced is his 24-man roster for Summer Olympics. 5 players were elected from Hiroshima Caprs which was the most from a single team, and the only team not to be selected were the Chiba Lotte Marines.  

Pitcher

Rakuten Eagles – Masahiro Tanaka (32)

Orix Buffalos – Yoshinobu Yamamoto (22)

Seibu Lions – **Kaima Taira (21)

Hanshin Tigers – **Suguru Iwazaki (29)

Hanshin Tigers – **Kouyou Aoyagi (27)

Yomiuri Kyojin – Tomoyuki Sugano (31)

Yomiuri Kyojin – Kouta Nakagawa (27)

Chunichi Dragons – Yudai Ono (32)

Hiroshima Carps – **Masato Morishita (23)

Hiroshima Carps – **Ryoji Kuribayashi (24)

Dena Baystars – Yasuaki Yamasaki (28)

Catcher

Softbank Hawks – Takuya Kai (28)

Hiroshima Carps – Tsubasa Aizawa (33)

Infielder

Rakuten Golden Eagles – Hideo Asamura (30)

Seibu Lions – Sokue Genda (28)

Yomiuri Kyojin – Hayato Sakamoto (32)

Yakult Swallows – Tetsuto Yamada (28)

Yakult Swallows – Munetaka Murakami (21)

Hiroshima Carps – Ryosuke Kikuchi (31)

Outfielder

Softbank Hawks – Yuuki Yanagita (32)

Softbank Hawks – **Ryouya Kurihara (24)

Orix Buffalos – Masataka Yoshida (27)

Nippon Ham Fighters – Kensuke Kondou (27)

Hiroshima Carps – Seiya Suzuki (26)

**First entry as Samurai Team Japan

NPB Players Association reveals the league’s average pay.

The Japan Professional Baseball Players Association announced the results of the annual salary survey for this season (730 players, excluding foreign players). For 2nd year in the row, Softbank Hawks became the team with the highest average paid player in NPB with $629,818.23 each. On the other hand, Orix became the lowest in the league for the first time in 2 years with average paid players of $239,861.53.

The average paid players for Hanshin Tigers who are 1st in Central League is appx 100k lower than the previous season. They are in 11th place this season with an average of $262212.26. The average pay was greatly reduced by the departure of veteran players like Fujikawa, Fukudome, and Nomi. Rakuten Eagles who are leading the Pacific League are in 3rd place in average annual salary which is the same as last season. But due to the return of Masahiro Tanaka the team’s average became about 75k higher of $534,873.04.

The average annual salary of the entire league was $1500 lower from last year, but it was the all-time 2nd highest with an amount of  $ 379235.62.

Shun YAmaguchi return to yomiuri giants

On the 10th in Japan time, the Yomiuri Giants announced that they had agreed to sign a free-agent pitcher, Shun Yamaguchi, from AAA Sacramento, a Major League Baseball affiliate of the Giants. Yamaguchi will be a Giant for the first time since 2019.

Yamaguchi returned to Japan urgently on the 5th. Due to the self-quarantine period, the Giant made contact without direct contacts, such as by phone or email. It is not difficult to imagine that Yamaguchi felt indebted to the giants who happily sent him to the majors with the posting system during the off-season of 2019, and there was no obstacle to his return to his old club.

Last season, he pitched in 17 games with the Blue Jays, going 2-4 with an 8.06 ERA. He signed a minor league contract with the Giants in February where he pitched 5 games and went 0-3 with a 6.17 ERA.

Shun Yamaguchi returning home in mid-season.

San Francisco Giants affiliate 3A pitcher Shun Yamaguchi will go back to Japan in mid-season. He posted a message to fans on his Instagram on May 2 saying, “I have decided to return to Japan. I followed my dream and challenged myself to the Major League, but I will return home in the middle of the season due to lack of my strength” as he confessed his tough days in the United States for the past 2 years. “From tomorrow, I will reset my mind, look for my new team, and devote myself so that I can show up to the fans who had high hopes for me” he added.

Yamaguchi pitched in 17 games for the Blue Jays last season, going 2-4 with an ERA 8.06 record. He did not play in the majors this season and recorded ERA of 6.17 in 5 games in AAA minor. His former team Yomiuri Giants are top candidates for Yamaguchi’s return, and they are immediately entering into negotiations. He continued to have a good relationship with the Giants(JP) even after his move to the Major so there should be no obstacle to his return.

NOrichika Aoki reaches another honorable milestone in japan

Norichika Aoki recorded #2,500 hits in a match against Nippon Ham at Jingu Stadium. This was the 1726th hit of his professional baseball career in Japan, and with 774 hits in the Major League, he has a total of 2,500 hits in the United States and Japan combined. He became the 4th Japanese player in history to record this number combined with NPB and MLB after Kazuo Matsui, Hideki Matsui, and Ichiro Suzuki.

Below is the list of +2500 hits club in Japan:

  1. Ichiro Suzkuki               4367 Hits            (JP:1278, US:3089)
  2. Isao Harimoto               3085 Hits
  3. Katsuya Nomura     2901 Hits
  4. Sadaharu Oh                  2786 Hits
  5. Kazuo Matsuo            2705 Hits            (JP: 2090, US: 615)
  6. Hideki Matsui               2643 Hits            (JP: 1390, US: 1253)
  7. Hiromitsu Kadota        2566 Hits
  8. Sachio Kinugasa           2543 Hits
  9. Yutaka Fukumoto        2543 Hits
  10. Tomoaki Kanemoto     2539 Hits
  11. Norichika Aoki              2500 Hits            (JP: 1726, US: 774)

Historical day for Women in J-league

Referee Yoshimi Yamashita made history on the 16th as she became the first female referee in the history of the J-League Soccer. After the historic debut match, Referee Yamashita stroked her chest saying, “The feeling of relief is the best.” In the 29th year of the J-League, a female referee ruled the match for the first time. With the confidence of her seniors and colleagues, she made her debut, which, according to the Japan Association, was said by both clubs to be “a stress-free referee and they were able to watch it with peace of mind.” She reaffirmed her role by adding “It should be my goal to have female referees in charge of male matches”

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