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InvestmentsBanners, lights as Japan hails MVP award for baseballer Ohtani By Reuters

Banners, lights as Japan hails MVP award for baseballer Ohtani By Reuters

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¬© Reuters. A person reads an additional version of a newspaper, reporting Japan’s Shohei Ohtani of the Los Angeles Angels was named Most Valuable Player of Major League Baseball’s American League, in Tokyo, Japan November 19, 2021. REUTERS/Issei Kato

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By Akira Tomoshige Elaine Lies

TOKYO (Reuters) – From the prime minister to individuals on the street, Japan on Friday celebrated Shohei Ohtani successful certainly one of U.S. baseball’s high awards with pleasure, banners and newspaper extras crammed with satisfaction on the achievement of certainly one of their very own.

Ohtani, 27, with the Los Angeles Angels, received the Most Valuable Player (MVP) award for Major League Baseball’s American League, changing into solely the second Japanese participant after Ichiro Suzuki, then with the Seattle Mariners, did so in 2001.

“I’m proud. He worked hard and showed Japanese presence,” stated Minoru Tanaka, 68 and a part-time employee.

Others have been much more enthusiastic.

“I’m simply happy, I think it’s amazing,” stated workplace employee Chihiro Nakamura, 36. “I want to keep cheering him on.”

Newspapers handed out extras and the long-lasting Tokyo Tower was set to be illuminated within the Angels’ colors with a congratulatory message at precisely 17:17, or 5:17 p.m., to match Ohtani’s jersey quantity.

City corridor employees in Ohtani’s hometown of Oshu, in rural northeastern Japan, gathered in Angels jerseys, cheering and clapping. Later, banners proclaiming the win have been hung from metropolis corridor.

Even Prime Minister Fumio Kishida joined, telling reporters: “It’s an extraordinary accomplishment and as a Japanese citizen, I feel very proud.”

Ohtani’s recognition stems from each his athletic skill and his character, which mixes quiet power and the humbleness Japan respects most in its heroes, stated Hirotaka Matsuoka, a sports activities advertising and marketing professor at Tokyo’s Waseda University.

“Ohtani is earnest and humble, so even if he doesn’t say anything he’s appealing – and he appeals to men, women, young and old,” he added.

Though Suzuki was standard, Ohtani goes one higher, stated Robert Whiting, the creator of a number of books on Japanese baseball.

“He gives Japan a certain status in MLB it has never had before …,” he stated in remarks made to Reuters earlier than the award announcement. “Some people are calling him the best baseball player they’ve ever seen.”

Shares in sporting items agency Asics rose, whereas Zett Corp, a little-known sports activities firm whose share value soared in July when Ohtani appeared within the All-Star recreation, fell after an preliminary spike simply after the information got here out.

Though baseball has misplaced floor to soccer in Japan lately, Ohtani’s MVP is more likely to encourage extra to play the sport – and extra to observe, giving Japanese skilled baseball a lift, Matsuoka stated.

“After all, who knows when you might be able to see the next Ohtani in a game right here?” he stated.

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