Hideki Matsui and former New York Yankees teammate Derek Jeter during Matsui's retirement ceremony in New York on July 28, 2013 (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
BASEBALL/ Matsui to team up with Jeter for charity in Japan
Hideki Matsui will team up with former New York Yankees teammate Derek Jeter to hold a baseball charity event in support children affected by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.
Japan national soccer team manager Javier Aguirre during a news conference in Tokyo on Dec. 15 (Jun Ueda)
SOCCER/ Japan coach Aguirre named in match-fixing complaint
LONDON--Japan soccer coach Javier Aguirre was among those named as a suspect in a match-fixing probe initiated by Spain's state prosecutor.
Yuzuru Hanyu, of Japan, competes during his Men Free Skating before wining at the Grand Prix Final figure skating competition in Barcelona, Spain Dec. 13. (AP Photo)
FIGURE SKATING/ Olympic champ Hanyu retains Grand Prix Final title
BARCELONA--Olympic and world champion Yuzuru Hanyu successfully defended his Grand Prix Final title after extending his lead on Dec. 13 with a masterful free skate performance worth a personal best score.
Hanyu Yuzuru, of Japan, performs his short program at the Grand Prix Final figure skating competition in Barcelona, Spain Dec. 12. (AP Photo)
FIGURE SKATING/ Hanyu tops short program at Grand Prix Final
BARCELONA--Olympic and world champion Yuzuru Hanyu took the first step toward defending his title at the Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final after he earned the highest score for the short program despite a fall on Dec. 12.
The Olympic caldron at National Stadium in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward is ablaze for the 1964 Summer Games. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
OLYMPICS/ Tokyo governor reluctant to hold 2020 Games events outside Japan
Although the International Olympic Committee has given host cities the green light to hold some Olympic competitions even in other nations, Tokyo Governor Yoichi Masuzoe is not supportive of the possibility.
A woman walks past a wall displaying the Olympic rings at the 127th International Olympic Committee session in Monaco on Dec. 8. (AP Photo)
OLYMPICS/ South Korean governor rejects idea of sharing 2018 Winter Games with Japan
SEOUL--A South Korean governor on Dec. 9 rejected an International Olympic Committee proposal to move the bobsled and luge events for the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang to another country to save money.
Softball teams from Japan, Taiwan and China at the Asian Games in South Korea in October pose with a banner demanding that baseball and softball be included in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
OLYMPICS/ IOC paves way for return of softball, baseball in 2020 Tokyo Games
MONACO--Men’s baseball and women’s softball, two sports that Japan excels in, are expected to return as official events for the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics following revised rules on hosting the Games.
Olympics rings are displayed on a flower bed in front of the Grimald Forum conference and congress center where the International Olympic Committee executive board meeting takes place in Monaco Dec. 5. (AP Photo)
OLYMPICS/ Pyeongchang Games could include events in Japan
MONACO--Pyeongchang 2018 winter Olympics organizers and two international federations are discussing the possibility of moving some sliding competitions from the South Korean city to Japan, sources within the Olympic movement said on Dec. 6.
Daisuke Matsuzaka, left, and Sadaharu Oh, Softbank Hawks chairman, show Matsuzaka's new uniform at a news conference in Fukuoka on Dec. 5. (Ryo Ikeda/ The Asahi Shimbun)
BASEBALL/ Matsuzaka returns to Japan to pitch for Softbank
FUKUOKA--Daisuke Matsuzaka has signed a contract with the Softbank Hawks of Japan's Pacific League after eight years in Major League Baseball.
Japan manager Javier Aguirre returns to Japan on Dec. 4. (The Asahi Shimbun)
SOCCER/ Japan coach Aguirre denies reports of match-fixing in Spain
Japan manager Javier Aguirre met with officials of the Japan Football Association on Dec. 4 and denied allegations that he was involved in match-fixing.
Japan's Noriaki Kasai and Switzerland's Simon Ammann celebrate their shared victory at the World Cup ski jumping event in Ruka, Finland, on Nov. 29.  (AP Photo)
SKI JUMPING/ Kasai rewrites record book for oldest winner
RUKA, Finland--Noriaki Kasai broke his own record and became the oldest man to win a World Cup ski jumping event on Nov. 29.
Wu Xi of China, left, challenges Luis Garrrido of Honduras during their friendly football match in Xian city, northwest China's Shaanxi province, on Nov. 18. China drew with Honduras 0-0. (Imaginechina via AP Images)
China looks to require soccer in schools in first step to becoming football power
BEIJING--A true soccer fan, Chinese President Xi Jinping is determined to transform his nation into a major football power and someday host the World Cup.
Yuzuru Hanyu performs during the men’s free skate of the NHK Trophy in Osaka on Nov. 29. (The Asahi Shimbun)
FIGURE SKATING/ Hanyu 4th at NHK Trophy to secure spot in GP Final; Murakami wins 1st GP title
OSAKA--Yuzuru Hanyu finished fourth at the NHK Trophy on Nov. 29, a result that allowed the Olympic champion to qualify for next month's Grand Prix Final by a slim margin.
Yuzuru Hanyu performs during the men’s short program of the NHK Trophy figure skating in Osaka on Nov. 28. (The Asahi Shimbun)
FIGURE SKATING/ Hanyu shaky in return from injury at NHK Trophy
OSAKA--Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu fell twice in his short program on Nov. 28 at the NHK Trophy and finished fifth in his comeback from injuries after a collision in warmups at the Cup of China.
Sapporo will bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
OLYMPICS/ Sapporo looking to bid for 2026 Winter Games
SAPPORO--The mayor of Sapporo has announced his city's intention to bid for the 2026 Winter Olympics.
Sony Corp. President Kazuo Hirai (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Sony does not plan to renew FIFA sponsorship contract--sources
Sony Corp does not plan to renew its sponsorship contract with FIFA, the governing body for world soccer, as the Japanese electronics maker needs to prioritize its restructuring efforts, people familiar with the matter told Reuters.
Yokozuna Hakuho is overwhelmed with emotion during the awards ceremony after winning his 32nd career championship in Fukuoka on Nov. 23. (Ryo Ikeda)
SUMO/ Promise made to fabled Taiho drove Hakuho to record-tying 32nd championship
Hakuho flashed a rare display of emotion after capturing the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Nov. 23 to match the all-time record of 32 championships, as if the floodgate of emotions he had kept in check for the past three and a half years had been released.
Hakuho, left, forces out fellow yokozuna Kakuryu on Day 15 of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament at Fukuoka Kokusai Center on Nov. 23. (Ryo Ikeda)
SUMO/ Hakuho claims 32nd championship, ties immortal Taiho on Day 15
A determined Hakuho made short work of fellow yokozuna Kakuryu to take his 32nd career title and a place in the record books alongside Taiho on Nov. 23 on the final day of the 15-day Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament.
Yokozuna Kakuryu throws ozeki Kotoshogiku to the dirt on Day 14 of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament at the Fukuoka Kokusai Center on Nov. 22. (Ryo Ikeda)
SUMO/ Kakuryu keeps alive championship hopes on Day 14
Yokozuna Kakuryu won his 12th match at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Nov. 22 to set up a final-day showdown with Hakuho, who is looking to take home a record-tying 32nd career title.
Yokozuna Kakuryu, left, is forced out by yokozuna Harumafuji on Day 13 of the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament at Fukuoka Kokusai Center on Nov. 21. (Azumi Fukuoka)
SUMO/ Hakuho takes sole lead after Kakuryu falls at Kyushu tourney on Day 13
Yokozuna Hakuho's hopes of a record-tying 32nd championship title got a big boost at the Kyushu Grand Sumo Tournament on Nov. 21 as Harumafuji drove Kakuryu out of the ring--and out of the lead--in the first yokozuna showdown of the competition.

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