Entrance of Samsung headquarter in Gangnam, Seoul (AP Photo)
OLYMPICS/ Samsung signs local sponsorship deal for 2018 Games
SEOUL--South Korea's Samsung Group has signed a 100 billion won (10.98 billion yen, or $92.22 million) local sponsorship contract to support the 2018 Winter Games, Pyeongchang organizers (POCOG) announced on April 6.
Kazuyoshi Miura of Yokohama FC during a match on March 8 (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
SOCCER/ King Kazu, 48, extends Japanese scoring record
The goals may not be as frequent now and the famed celebratory dance not as slick, but 48-year-old Kazuyoshi Miura again proved his worth on April 5 by extending his record as the oldest goal-scorer in Japanese football.
New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka delivers against the Minnesota Twins in the first inning during an exhibition spring training baseball game on March 31, 2015 in Fort Myers, Fla. (AP Photo)
MLB/ Yankees opening day starter Masahiro Tanaka expects his velocity to be down this season
WASHINGTON--New York Yankees opening day starter Masahiro Tanaka says his fastball speed could be down this season as he makes adjustments to the way he throws.
Yoshihide Kiryu becomes the first Japanese to break 10 seconds in the 100-meter sprint in a wind-assisted race at the Texas Relays on March 28. (Ryusei Takeda)
ATHLETICS/ Teen star becomes first Japanese to break 10 seconds in 100-meter sprint
AUSTIN, Texas--Teenage track sensation Yoshihide Kiryu has become the first Japanese to clock a time under 10 seconds in the 100-meter sprint with a wind-assisted mark of 9.87 seconds.
Hiroshima Carp pitcher Hiroki Kuroda at Mazda Zoom-Zoom Stadium in Hiroshima on March 29 (Shinnosuke Ito/ The Asahi shimbun)
BASEBALL/ Former Yankees pitcher Kuroda wins in Japan comeback
HIROSHIMA--Former New York Yankees pitcher Hiroki Kuroda won his first game in his return to Japanese baseball on March 29.
Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu fails to win successive titles at the world figure skating championships in Shanghai on March 28. (The Asahi Shimbun)
FIGURE SKATING/ Hanyu, upset by Fernandez, fails to defend world title
Javier Fernandez successfully landed two quadruple jumps in his free skate to beat Japan's defending champion Yuzuru Hanyu and become Spain's first male champion at the world figure skating championships in Shanghai on March 28.
Vahid Halilhodzic gestures to the crowd after getting his first victory as head coach of the national soccer team on March 27 in Oita. (Ryo Ikeda/ The Asahi Shimbun)
SOCCER/ Japan beats Tunisia 2-0 in debut of new coach Halilhodzic
OITA--Shinji Okazaki and Keisuke Honda scored second-half goals as Japan beat Tunisia 2-0 on March 27 in its first game under new coach Vahid Halilhodzic.
Yuzuru Hanyu performs during the Men's Short Program event in Shanghai, China, on March 27. (Nobuhiro Shirai/ The Asahi Shimbun)
FIGURE SKATING/ Back from surgery, defending champion Hanyu takes lead after men's short program at worlds
SHANGHAI--Yuzuru Hanyu only had a matter of weeks to prepare to defend his title at the world figure skating championships after a string of injuries and mishaps kept him off the ice for much of an unlucky season.
Umpire Sujeewa Wijayanayake signals that a runner is safe at second base during a game on March 23 at the National High School Baseball Invitational Tournament at Koshien Stadium in Nishinomiya, Hyogo Prefecture. (Toshiyuki Hayashi)
Sri Lankan man's Koshien dream comes true behind the second base bag
NISHINOMIYA, Hyogo Prefecture--While all Japanese high school baseball players dream of playing in hallowed Koshien Stadium, a Sri Lankan man on March 23 got his wish to umpire a game there.
Yokozuna Hakuho, left, defeats fellow yokozuna Harumafuji after a long battle to claim his record 34th Emperor's Cup on the final day of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament at Bodymaker Colosseum in Osaka on March 22.(Ryo Kato)
SUMO/ Hakuho claims sixth straight championship and 34th Emperor's Cup
OSAKA--Yokozuna Hakuho extended his Emperor's Cup record to 34 by defeating fellow yokozuna Harumafuji on the final day of the Spring Grand Sumo Tournament at Bodymaker Colosseum on March 22.
Former New York Yankees slugger Hideki Matsui hits a home-run in front of his team players during the home-run derby in a charity baseball game at Tokyo Dome in Tokyo on March 21. (AP Photo)
Matsui teams up with former Yankees teammate Jeter to raise funds for tsunami victims
Hideki Matsui went to bat for children affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami and hit a home run.
Mao Asada shows off her diploma from Chukyo University in Nagoya on March 19. (Minako Yoshimoto)
Figure skater Asada graduates from university, remains undecided on career
NAGOYA--Three-time world figure skating champion Mao Asada graduated from Chukyo University on March 19, but she declined to say if she would return to the sport that made her an icon in this country.
Yusuke Suzuki (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
RACEWALKING: Japan's Suzuki sets race walk world record on home soil
NOMI, Ishikawa Prefecture--Yusuke Suzuki broke the 20-kilometer race walk world record March 15 at the Asian Race Walking Championships.
Akito Watabe soars during the final World Cup Nordic Combined event of the season in the Holmenkollen Ski Arena in Oslo March 14. (AP Photo)
NORDIC COMBINED/ Watabe wins last Nordic combined World Cup event of season
OSLO--Akito Watabe of Japan won the final Nordic combined World Cup event of the season March 14, while former Olympic champion Jason Lamy Chappuis of France placed 12th in his farewell race.
Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish throws in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals in a spring training baseball game on March 5 in Surprise, Ariz. (AP Photo)
MLB/ Rangers' Darvish to have season-ending surgery in a few days
SURPRISE, Ariz.--Yu Darvish said he didn't need any more opinions once the first doctor recommended season-ending surgery on the ailing right elbow of the Texas Rangers ace.
Daniela Iraschko-Stolz of Austria holds the overall trophy as winner of the FIS Ladies Ski Jumping World Cup after the competition in Oslo, Norway, on March 13. At left stands second placed Sara Takanashi of Japan and third placed Crina Vogt of Grmany. (AP Photo)
SKI JUMPING/ Takanashi wins final World Cup event of season, Iraschko-Stolz takes overall title
OSLO, Norway--Sara Takanashi won the last women's ski jump World Cup event of the season on March 13, but it wasn't enough to prevent Daniela Iraschko-Stolz of Austria from clinching the overall title.
Vahid Halilhodzic, Japan's new head soccer coach, arrives at Narita Airport on March 13. (The Asahi Shimbun)
SOCCER/ New coach Halilhodzic vows to rebuild Japan, asks for time
Vahid Halilhodzic believes he and Japan are a good fit mentally and the Samurai Blue have the potential to climb back up the ranks but he needs some time to show results, the new Japan head coach said on March 13.
Gotoku Sakai, center, looks to pass to a Stuttgart teammate during the Feb. 20 game while fending off Marco Reus of Borussia Dortmund. (Photo by Itaru Chiba)
German mom's upbringing helped Sakai adapt quickly to life in the Bundesliga
While there are now about a dozen Japanese players in the Bundesliga soccer league, no one was likely more groomed for playing in Germany than VfB Stuttgart defender Gotoku Sakai.
Winner Akito Watabe of Japan, left, in action during the Nordic Combined Individual 10-km cross country ski race in the FIS World Cup Ski Games in Lahti, Finland, on March 6. (AP Photo)
NORDIC COMBINED/ Watabe wins World Cup ski race, Frenzel takes overall season title
LAHTI, Finland--Eric Frenzel of Germany won the Nordic combined World Cup season title for a third consecutive year by finishing 23rd in an event won by Akiro Watabe of Japan on March 6.
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.

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