Algeria head coach Vahid Halilhodzic reacts on the sidelines of a World Cup round of 16 soccer match between Germany and Algeria at Estadio Beira-Rio in Porto Alegre, Brazil, on June 30, 2014. (AP Photo)
JFA expected to name Bosnian Halilhodzic new Samurai Blue head coach
The Japan Football Association is close to signing Bosnian Vahid Halilhodzic as the new head coach of the men's national soccer team, according to sources.
The last runners of the 1964 Olympic torch relay are seen in Fukushima on Sept. 30, 1964. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
OLYMPICS/ Runners to carry 2020 torch through quake-ravaged Tohoku
The Olympic flame will burn brightly throughout the Tohoku region when the torch relay for the 2020 Tokyo Games travels through areas that were devastated by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami.
Residents in Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture, celebrate the announcement of the city's selection as a venue for the 2019 Rugby World Cup on March 2. (Takaharu Yagi)
Tsunami-hit Kamaishi to host games in Rugby World Cup
The tsunami-ravaged city of Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture, was named as one of 12 sites that will host matches for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
The construction of an arena, which will host ice hockey games during the 2018 Winter Olympics, is underway in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in late January. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
OLYMPICS/ Head of 2018 Winter Games scotches claims of delays
RIO DE JANEIRO--All venues for the 2018 Winter Olympics are on schedule and no events will be held outside host city Pyeongchang and nearby Gangneung, said the head of the Games as he refuted suggestions of delays.
Hiroki Kuroda plays catch at Koza Shinkin Stadium in Okinawa on Feb. 18, wearing a Hiroshima Carp uniform bearing No. 15. (Shinnosuke Ito)
BASEBALL/ Kuroda back in red for spring training
OKINAWA--Pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, fresh off accepting a huge pay cut, appeared at the Hiroshima Carp’s spring training session here on Feb. 18 following his return from the major leagues.
Kei Nishikori returns a shot to Kevin Anderson, of South Africa, in the championship match of the Memphis Open tennis tournament Feb. 15 in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo)
TENNIS/ Nishikori 3-peats as Memphis champ, beats Anderson 6-4, 6-4
MEMPHIS, Tenn.--All the big names from Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe to Pete Sampras, Michael Chang and Andy Roddick are on the list of past champions.
Sara Takanashi competes to win the Ski Jumping World Cup women's event in Ljubno, Slovenia, on Feb. 14. (AP Photo)
SKI JUMPING/ Takanashi wins women's World Cup event
LJUBNO, Slovenia--Sara Takanashi of Japan warmed up for the world championships with a women's ski jump victory on Feb. 14 that also kept alive her chances of defending the overall World Cup title.
Former figure skating star Kim Yu-na, center, and Cho Yang-ho, head of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics organizing committee, right, pose during the game's promotion event in Pyeongchang, South Korea, on Feb. 9. (Toru Higashioka/ The Asahi Shimbun)
OLYMPICS/ Ski federation chief says Pyeongchang Olympic test events in doubt
BEAVER CREEK, Colorado--It is "almost impossible" that ski and snowboard test events for the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics scheduled for next year will go ahead as planned, the president of the International Ski Federation (FIS) told Reuters on Feb. 9.
Japan soccer coach Javier Aguirre (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
Soccer/ JFA sacks Samurai Blue coach Aguirre
The Japan Football Association fired national team coach Javier Aguirre over concerns that allegations of his involvement in match-fixing will interfere with Japan's World Cup qualification.
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.

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