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.
The Japanese government is planning to reduce penalties for those who plot serious crimes like terrorism but turn themselves in before actually committing them under a contentious anti-conspiracy bill it is preparing, sources close to the matter said Monday. (Kyodo)
Car-bicycle collisions accounted for about 40 pct of fatal traffic accidents in Japan last year in which passenger cars bumped into other vehicles as they encountered at intersections or other parts of the road, a National Police Agency survey has revealed. (Jiji)
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday sought to deny allegations that he is linked to an Osaka-based ultranationalist kindergarten as the public outcry over the operator and its alleged efforts to indoctrinate children with xenophobia and pre-war militarism grows. (Japan Times)
Manhole covers are trending high in Japan and for good reason -- they're stunning! Only in Japan are manholes to cover sewage designed so beautifully that they now make MANHOLE TRADING CARDS! (ONLY in JAPAN)