Defense, finesse, power and poise. As usual, Japan has it all, and it is returning to the Little League World Series title game again.
Takuma Gomi led off the top of the sixth inning with a tiebreaking home run, and Tokyo beat Tijuana, Mexico, 3-2 on Saturday to win the international title.
It was the 11th win a row in the international bracket for Japan, which hasn't lost a game since 2009. Japan will make its sixth appearance in eight years in the World Series finals and will play either Chula Vista, Calif., or Westport, Conn., on Sunday.
The U.S. title game was played later Saturday.
Japan and Mexico have faced off 15 times in World Series history, and Japan improved to 10-5 against its rival when Gomi homered over the wall in right-center field.
More than 1,000 seismic events had been recorded in Kumamoto and Oita prefectures by Thursday in the two weeks since a magnitude-6.5 earthquake struck southwestern Japan, while over 30,000 people remain evacuated from their homes. (Japan Today)
Japan has lodged a protest with Taiwan over a statement made by its president challenging Tokyo's claim to waters in the Pacific. Ma Ying-jeou described Japan's southernmost island as a rock around which it cannot claim an exclusive economic zone. (NHK)
A 28-year-old nursery school teacher who forced a 4-year-old boy to eat fried chicken covered with wasabi and recorded it on her smartphone, has received a suspended sentence from the Tokyo District Court. (Japan Today)