News On Japan

New Boston Red Sox Star Masataka Yoshida Looking To Make Impact In MLB After Stellar World Baseball Classic

Mar 16 ( - Boston Red Sox Chief Baseball Chaim Bloom made two notable moves this offseason following a disappointing last-place finish in the AL East division.

The big one was the lucrative contract extension handed out to franchise star and face Rafael Devers. The stalwart third baseman agreed to an 11-year deal worth $331 million, ensuring that he stays in Beantown for at least the remainder of his prime years.

Bloom’s other big move? Signing Japanese star Masataka Yoshida to a five-year, $90 million contract roster. Yoshida was far-and-away Boston’s biggest offseason addition, and his incredible performance at the World Baseball Classic thus far should have the Red Sox fans highly optimistic about what’s to come.

With baseball season around the corner, now is a good time for Boston sports fans to sign up and take advantage of the FanDuel Massachusetts promo code where you’ll get $200 in bonus bets if you wager $5.

The Red Sox will open their 2023 season with a home game against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park on Mar. 30 (2:10 p.m. EST). Their three-game series will conclude on Apr. 2, and then Boston will begin a three-game home series with the Pittsburgh Pirates the following day.

Yoshida Has Turned Heads AT 2023 WBC

Japan finished with a perfect 4-0 record in the round-robin, picking up victories against Australia, Korea, Czech Republic and China. Incredibly, Japan allowed just eight total runs in those four games.

Yoshida, of course, was a huge reason for Japan’s dominance in round-robin play.

Los Angeles Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani has been earning most of the attention, but make no mistake: This is a deep and powerful lineup from top to bottom that has Japan in contention to win it all again.

In round-robin play, Yoshida batted .417 with five hits and eight RBI to go along with an OPS of 1.026. Needless to say, Yoshida’s bat has Japan in excellent position to win their third World Baseball Classic; they also won it all in 2006 and 2009.

Yoshida Will Bring Much-Needed Offense To Boston

The Red Sox usually field one of baseball’s best lineups, but replacing the offense and leadership of fan favorites like Xander Bogaerts (signed with the San Diego Padres) and J.D. Martinez (signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers) is easier said than done.

Bogaerts and Martinez were instrumental in Boston’s 2018 World Series championship season. Bogaerts constantly flirted with a .300 batting average, and a healthy Martinez could threaten for 30-plus homers and 100-plus RBI.

Keeping Devers was an absolute must for the Red Sox. But there’s good reason for Boston fans to think that Yoshida will also help replace some of the offense that both Bogaerts and Martinez leave behind.

Yoshida starred for the Orix Buffaloes from 2016 to 2022, winning two Pacific League batting championships (2020 and 2021) while also earning four NPB All-Star selections. Yoshida and the Buffaloes climbed to the mountaintop by winning the 2022 Japan Series.

The 5-foot-8 Yoshida batted .327 with 133 homers and 467 RBI over his seven seasons in Japan. His versatility, ability to get on base combined with solid power will make him a grand addition to Boston’s lineup — especially at the hitter-friendly venue of Fenway Park.

The Red Sox have taken noticeable steps back since winning the World Series in 2018, making the playoffs only once while suffering two losing seasons. They made a surprise run to the ALCS in 2021, falling to the Houston Astros in six games.

Boston has it tough in the AL East, a division that produced three playoff teams in 2022 (the New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays and Tampa Bay Rays) as well as a Baltimore Orioles club that won 83 games.

But this is the second season of MLB’s expanded postseason format that features three division winners and a trio of wild card teams. The Red Sox have found ways to exceed expectations with manager Alex Cora, and it’s not wise to bet against them at any given time.

If Yoshida comes as advertised, the Red Sox should once again field one of baseball’s most potent lineups. This group used a powerful offense to make up for a shaky pitching staff in 2021, and it got them within two games of the World Series.

Even if the Sox aren’t a playoff team in 2023, Yoshida gives the fans plenty to be excited about in the short-term and the long-term.


or as long as Shohei Ohtani plays for the Dodgers -- which will be at least for the next decade -- May 17 will be known as “Shohei Ohtani Day” in Los Angeles County. (MLB)

Two residents of Sapporo who died earlier this month likely succumbed to food poisoning caused by mistakenly consuming toxic autumn crocus, according to the Sapporo City Health Department. The department confirmed on May 17 that the deaths were indeed due to poisoning from this plant.

A revised Civil Code introducing 'joint custody' for children after divorce has been passed by the Diet. This marks the first time in 77 years that Japan has reviewed the approach to post-divorce custody.

Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested three leaders of the political group 'Tsubasa Party' on suspicion of violating the Public Offices Election Act by disrupting the speeches of other candidates during a House of Representatives by-election in Tokyo's 15th district. Investigators view this as a "challenge to democracy" and plan to pursue a thorough investigation.

An event allowing visitors to experience life in 2050 has launched in Tokyo, including an elevator which enables transportation to space via a cable extending from a satellite to Earth.



or as long as Shohei Ohtani plays for the Dodgers -- which will be at least for the next decade -- May 17 will be known as “Shohei Ohtani Day” in Los Angeles County. (MLB)

Shohei Ohtani's bobblehead dolls were distributed to the first 40,000 fans at Dodger Stadium, for free!

Tennis in Japan has seen a fascinating evolution, driven by a host of players who have not only dominated domestically but have also made significant marks on the world stage.

Shohei Ohtani's former interpreter made his first public appearance on Tuesday, two months after confessing to massive bank fraud, walking alongside his lawyer on his way to court where he formally entered a 'Not Guilty' plea in a five-minute hearing. Despite numerous questions from reporters as he walked alongside his lawyer, 39-year-old Ippei Mizuhara remained silent.

A women-only sumo tournament was held in Fukushima Town, Hokkaido, featuring 62 female wrestlers from across Japan. This town, known for producing sumo greats like Chiyonoyama and Chiyonofuji, saw intense competition among the participants.

In the quest to determine Asia's top club team, Yokohama F. Marinos faced off against the United Arab Emirates' Al Ain in the first leg of the AFC Champions League (ACL) final on the evening of the 11th in Yokohama City. Striving for their first championship title, the Marinos turned the game around with a 2-1 victory.

During the second round of the Super GT at Fuji Speedway on May 4th, Tsuchiya Takeshi, director of the "Hoppy Team Tsuchiya," set a simple yet profound goal before the staff: "First and foremost, our goal is to take the chequered flag. That's my primary goal, to do it in front of everyone here."

"Every time I have a dream, somehow I accomplish it." These are the words of Naomi Osaka, a remarkable tennis player from Japan.