In Tinseltown this week there is the potential for a golfing script of which even Hollywood itself would be proud.
The story of a young Japanese man who saw an earthquake and tsunami devastate his city before he moved to America and who, once there, without a swing coach, became the first Asian male to become world No 1. The land of the rising son, indeed.
Hideki Matsuyama needs everything to go his way if he is to make history in the LA Open at the revered Riviera Country Club, just a few miles west of Beverly Hills. Yet despite being a multi-millionaire at the age of 24, and a confirmed superstar in his own country, it is fair to say that the route has not always been pathed with gold for this particular golden child.
Inevitably, there were people he knew amongst the near 16,000 killed in the 2011 disaster and when he took the decision that his future as a professional sportsman had to rest in the US, it was a wrench to leave so many loved ones in Sendai. But, six years on, he has the opportunity to achieve a dream and put his country and continent on top of the world.
"It's always been one of my goals and it would be a great to be able to realise it here," Matusyama said. "But whether it happens this week or next week or sometime in the future, I'll just keep working hard."
Seeing as he needs to win and Jason Day finish worse than a two-way tie for 24th, the odds are against Matsuyama making the leap from fifth to first on Sunday, and they are certainly greater than those of Dustin Johnson (who simply needs to win and for Day finishing worse than a three-way tie for third). But they are not as lengthy as might be suspected. Day is nowhere near his best and Matsuyama is undoubtedly the hottest player in the game at the moment, with five wins and a second in his last nine events.
Airbnb estimates that its services contributed 920 billion yen ($8.35 billion) to the Japanese economy in 2016, up 80% from the previous year, as foreign users took advantage of affordable lodging in big cities and rural areas. (Nikkei)
Princess Kako, a granddaughter of Emperor Akihito, will study at the University of Leeds in Britain from September this year to June next year as an exchange student, the Imperial Household Agency said Monday. (Japan Today)
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested the former manager of an illicit parlor in Shinjuku who is suspected of instructing teenage girls to perform sex acts with customers, reports TBS News. (tokyoreporter.com)
The Japanese government has decided to start landfill work at the Henoko coastal area in the city of Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, on Tuesday for the relocation of the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma air base, informed sources said Monday. (Jiji)
The Bank of Japan wants financial institutions to lend more money under its large-scale monetary-easing policy. But it's worried that some regional banks are too eager to offer real estate loans, especially for building rental housing. (NHK)
Two elderly women were hit and killed by a train at a station in Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo, with surveillance camera footage showing the two jumping on the tracks holding each other's hands, police said Monday. (Japan Today)
Rakuten Inc announced the official launch of "Rakuten Super English," a comprehensive English learning service utilizing technology to provide a practical English learning and a new style of studying. The launch of Rakuten Super English marks Rakuten's entry into the English education business. (Japan Today)