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.
Japan has been stung by its third political scandal in a week after the country's new industry minister - whose predecessor resigned over allegations of misspending - admitted that his staff had spent office money at a sex bar. (The Guardian)
The government said Friday it has chosen Nobel physics prize laureates Shuji Nakamura and Hiroshi Amano and five others as this year's winners of Japan's top cultural award, the Order of Culture. (Kyodo)
In possibly a legal first, a female civil servant on Tuesday sued the government over what she calls institutional sexism at the ministry she works for, citing almost two decades of blocked promotions and pay raises. (Japan Times)