Toyota Motor Corp. President Akio Toyoda shows off the company's Yaris rally car at a news conference in Tokyo on Jan. 30. (Satoru Sekiguchi/ The Asahi Shimbun)
MOTORSPORT/ Toyota to compete in 2017 World Rally Championship
Former champion Toyota will return to the World Rally Championship in 2017 with a Yaris car prepared in Germany, the Japanese manufacturer announced Jan. 30.
Ichiro Suzuki during a news conference in Tokyo on Jan. 29 (Sayuri Ide/ The Asahi Shimbun)
BASEBALL/ Ichiro: New sense of enthusiasm prompted signing with Marlins
Ichiro Suzuki says a renewed sense of enthusiasm was behind his decision to sign a $2 million (about 240 million yen), one-year contract with the Miami Marlins.
Kei Nishikori is eliminated by Stan Wawrinka in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, on Jan. 28. (The Asahi Shimbun)
TENNIS/ Ousted Nishikori not disappointed with Australian Open showing
MELBOURNE, Australia--U.S. Open runner-up Kei Nishikori was circumspect about his quarterfinal loss at the Australian Open on Jan. 28, saying there's nothing wrong with getting to the final eight of any Grand Slam tournament.
Kei Nishikori responds to the crowd after beating David Ferrer in the fourth round of the Australian Open on Jan. 26. (Hikaru Uchida/ The Asahi Shimbun)
TENNIS/ After making history, Nishikori still getting used to No. 5 ranking
MELBOURNE, Australia--It's only been a couple of months since Kei Nishikori moved into the No. 5 ranking, and he's not yet comfortable with the number.
Kei Nishikori makes a backhand return to David Ferrer during their match at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, on Jan. 26. (Hikaru Uchida/ The Asahi Shimbun)
TENNIS/ Nishikori through to Australian Open quarterfinals
MELBOURNE, Australia--U.S. Open finalist Kei Nishikori advanced to the Australian Open quarterfinals on Jan. 26 with a 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 win over No. 9-seeded David Ferrer of Spain.
Yokozuna Hakuho, right, forces out yokozuna Kakuryu on Day 15 of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo on Jan. 25. (Shiro Nishihata)
SUMO/ Hakuho finishes off New Year tourney with perfect 15-0 record on Day 15
With his record-setting 33rd Emperor's Cup already in the bag, yokozuna Hakuho added a perfect 15-0 finish to his accomplishments on the final day of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan on Jan. 25.
Yokozuna Hakuho forces out yokozuna Harumafuji on Day 14 of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan on Jan. 24. (Takuya Isayama)
SUMO/ Record-setting Hakuho closes in on perfect record at New Year sumo on Day 14
Having already established himself in the sumo pantheon by securing his 33rd Emperor's Cup, Mongolia's Hakuho breezed through his bout against fellow yokozuna Harumafuji at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament on Jan. 24.
Japan soccer coach Javier Aguirre (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
SOCCER/ Japan football officials back Aguirre to stay on as coach
SYDNEY--The head of the Japan Football Association says Javier Aguirre will continue as coach of the national team despite elimination from the Asian Cup at the quarterfinal stage and ongoing investigations into his alleged involvement in match fixing.
Yokozuna Hakuho defeats ozeki Kisenosato on Day 13 of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo on Jan. 23. (Takuya Isayama)
SUMO/ Hakuho overpowers Kisenosato to wrap up record-breaking 33rd title on Day 13
Yokozuna Hakuho beat Kisenosato at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament on Jan. 23 to clinch the title with two days to go and surpass the legendary Taiho on the all-time list with his 33rd Emperor's Cup.
Yokozuna Kakuryu defeats ozeki Goeido on Day 12 of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan on Jan. 22. (Shiro Nishihata)
SUMO/ Hakuho maintains two-win cushion on Day 12
Yokozuna Hakuho took another step toward a history-making 33rd Emperor’s Cup on Jan. 22 when he overpowered Kotoshogiku to stay undefeated and in the sole lead at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament.
Miyabi Onitsuka, center, celebrates her victory with runner up Austria's Anna Gasser, right, and third placed Slovakia's Klaudia Medlova, following the women's snowboard slopestyle event at the Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships in Kreischberg, Austria, on Jan. 21. (AP Photo)
SNOWBOARDING/ 16-year-old Onitsuka wins women’s slopestyle world title
KREISCHBERG, Austria--Miyabi Onitsuka of Japan won the slopestyle championship in the women's event at the Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championships on Jan. 21.
Yokozuna Hakuho, right, thrusts out ozeki Goeido on Day 11 of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo on Jan. 21. (Reina Kitamura)
SUMO/ Hakuho moves step closer to history as Harumafuji falters on Day 11
Yokozuna Hakuho overpowered ozeki Goeido on Jan. 21 to open a comfortable two-win cushion when his nearest rival, yokozuna Harumafuji, was upset at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament.
Japan’s Shinji Kagawa, reacts after scoring his country's second goal during the AFC Asia Cup soccer match between Japan and Jordan in Melbourne, Australia Jan. 20. (AP Photo)
SOCCER/ Japan advances to Asian Cup quarterfinals
MELBOURNE, Australia--Keisuke Honda scored in a third straight Asian Cup game as Japan weathered a determined Jordan 2-0 to advance to the quarterfinals as a group winner on Jan. 20.
Yokozuna Hakuho, left, forces down sekiwake Aoiyama on Day 10 of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo on Jan. 20. (Shiro Nishihata)
SUMO/ Hakuho overpowers Aoiyama to stay in sole lead on Day 10
Yokozuna Hakuho outfoxed Aoiyama on Jan. 20 to stay undefeated and move a step closer to rewriting the history books at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament.
WBSC President Riccardo Fraccari, third from left, and NPB Commissioner Katsuhiko Kumazaki, center, pose during a news conference in Tokyo on Jan. 19. (Yuki Yamaguchi/ The Asahi Shimbun)
BASEBALL/ Japan, Taiwan to host new 'flagship' tournament in November
In a boost for baseball's bid for inclusion in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Japan will co-host a new international baseball tournament this year.
Norichika Aoki practices in Urasoe, Okinawa Prefecture, on Jan. 15. (Yuki Yamaguchi/ The Asahi Shimbun)
MLB/ Aoki finalizes 1-year deal with World Series champion Giants
SAN FRANCISCO--Free agent outfielder Norichika Aoki of Japan has finalized a $4.7 million, one-year contract with the San Francisco Giants.
Yokozuna Hakuho, left, pulls sekiwake Ichinojo over the edge on Day 9 of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan in Tokyo on Jan. 19. (Jun Ueda)
SUMO/ Hakuho retains sole lead, Kisenosato suffers second loss at New Year tourney on Day 9
Unbeaten yokozuna Hakuho dashed upstart Ichinojo's hopes of an upset at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan on Jan. 19, while ozeki Kisenosato fell to his second loss at the hands of rival Kotoshogiku.
Yokozuna Harumafuji, right, pushes out maegashira No. 5 Kaisei with a throat thrust on Day 8 of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan on Jan. 18. (Takuya Isayama)
SUMO/ Hakuho remains unbeaten, rival Harumafuji bounces back on Day 8
Sole leader Hakuho, unbeaten and closing in on the record for most tournaments won, dominated another opponent to grab his eighth consecutive win at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament on Jan. 18.
Yokozuna Harumafuji, right, is defeated by maegashira No. 4 Jokoryu on Day 7 of the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament at Ryogoku Kokugikan on Jan. 17. (Shigetaka Kodama)
SUMO/ Harumafuji tumbles to first loss, Hakuho takes lead at New Year's Sumo on Day 7
Unpredictable yokozuna Harumafuji hit the dirt for the first time at the New Year Grand Sumo Tournament on Jan. 17, opening the way for unbeaten compatriot Hakuho to assume the lead as he pursues an unprecedented 33rd career championship title.
An IOC delegation led by Gunilla Lindberg, second from left, who chairs the coordination commission for the 2018 Winter Games, talks with another delegation member as Cho Yang-ho, right, president of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics Organizing Committee, stands during their visit to the construction site for figure skating and short track games in Gangneung, South Korea, on Jan. 15. (AP Photo)
OLYMPICS/ IOC accepts Pyeongchang's refusal to move venues
The International Olympic Committee accepted South Korea's venue plans for the 2018 Winter Games in Pyeongchang on Jan. 16 after organizers declined its request to move events to save money.

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