Japanese players celebrate a 2-1 win over England in a semifinal in the FIFA Women's World Cup soccer tournament on July 1 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. (The Asahi Shimbun)
SOCCER/ Own goal gives Japan 2-1 win over England in World Cup semifinal
EDMONTON, Canada--Laura Bassett scored into her own net during second-half stoppage time, giving Japan a 2-1 victory over England in a Women's World Cup semifinal.
Kei Nishikori serves to Simone Bolelli of Italy during the men's singles first round match of the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London, on June 29. (AP Photo)
TENNIS/ Nishikori battles through calf problem at Wimbledon
LONDON--A five-set Wimbledon first-round match lasting almost three and a half hours was not what Kei Nishikori needed on June 29 as he nursed a sore calf strain.
An artist's concept of the new National Stadium (Provided by Japan Sport Council)
OLYMPICS/ New Tokyo stadium to cost over $2 billion, stick with basic design
Japan's trouble-plagued new National Stadium, the centerpiece of the 2020 Summer Olympics, will cost more than $2 billion to build, nearly twice the original estimate, and be completed two months later than first thought, officials said on June 29.
Japan celebrates their win as Australia's Alanna Kennedy (14) reacts during FIFA Women's World Cup quarter-final action in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Saturday June 27. (Jason Franson/The Canadian Press via AP)
Iwabuchi lifts Japan to semis with 1-0 win over Australia
EDMONTON, Alberta--Japanese coach Norio Sasaki couldn't resist making a joke at Mana Iwabuchi's expense when explaining his decision to substitute the forward in during the second half against Australia on June 27.
Shinji Okazaki (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
SOCCER/ Japan striker Okazaki joins Premier League club Leicester
LEICESTER, England--Japan striker Shinji Okazaki has signed for English club Leicester and will become the seventh Japanese player to feature in the Premier League.
An artist's concept of the new National Stadium (Provided by Japan Sport Council)
OLYMPICS/ No decision yet on new Japan National Stadium, but original design in lead
No final decision has been made on Japan's new National Stadium, the centerpiece for the 2020 Summer Olympics, but with an alternate plan judged "unrealistic," there are still no reasons to abandon the original design, an official said on June 24.
Saori Ariyoshi, second from right, and other Japanese players celebrate after she scored the opening goal in the first half of Japan's 2-1 win over the Netherlands in the Women's World Cup in Vancouver on June 23. (Yuta Takahashi/ The Asahi Shimbun)
SOCCER/ Japan beats the Netherlands 2-1 to advance to World Cup quarterfinals
VANCOUVER, British Columbia--Mizuho Sakaguchi scored what turned out to be the deciding goal in the 78th minute, and defending Women's World Cup champion Japan held on to beat the Netherlands 2-1 on June 23 and reach the quarterfinals.
Ken Naganuma, left, president of the Japan Football Association, raises a trophy in May 1996 in Switzerland after it was decided the 2002 World Cup would be co-hosted by Japan and South Korea. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
SOCCER/ Spanish media: JFA paid $1.5 million to CONMEBOL for backing to host 2002 World Cup
SAO PAULO--The Japan Football Association sent $1.5 million (185 million yen) to the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL) in appreciation for its support of Japan’s hosting of the 2002 World Cup, a Spanish sports newspaper reported June 19.
Yuika Sugasawa celebrates her goal against Cameroon during the first half of a FIFA Women's World Cup soccer match on June 12 in Vancouver. (The Asahi Shimbun)
SOCCER/ Japan earns knockout berth with 2-1 win over Cameroon
Aya Sameshima scored in the 6th minute as defending champion Japan became the first team at the women's World Cup to secure a berth in the knockout stage with a 2-1 victory over Cameroon on the night of June 12 in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Yoshiro Mori, president of the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, at a meeting of the International Paralympic Committee in Tokyo on June 5 (Pool)
OLYMPICS/ 26 sports seek inclusion in 2020 Tokyo Games
Tug of war, sumo wrestling, surfing and frisbee throwing are among 26 sports leading the charge for an Olympic place after Games officials opened the door for new attractions at the 2020 Tokyo Games.
Norichika Aoki of Japan connects in a semifinal game at the Beijing Olympics on Aug. 22, 2008. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)
OLYMPICS/ Baseball, softball apply for Tokyo 2020 Games inclusion
BAKU--Baseball and softball officially applied for inclusion in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics on June 11 as they look to earn back their spot in the Games they lost after 2008.
New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka delivers against the Washington Nationals during the first inning on June 9 in New York. (AP Photo)
MLB/ Tanaka outduels Nats' Scherzer as Yankees take 7th straight win
NEW YORK--Masahiro Tanaka outpitched Max Scherzer as the New York Yankees defeated the Washington Nationals 6-1 on June 9 for their seventh straight victory.
Japan's Aya Miyama scores on a penalty kick against Switzerland at the Women's World Cup in Vancouver on June 8. (Yuta Takahashi/ The Asahi Shimbun)
SOCCER/ Miyama's penalty lifts Nadeshiko Japan past Switzerland 1-0
VANCOUVER--Aya Miyama scored on a penalty kick in the 29th minute as defending Women’s World Cup champion Japan opened with a 1-0 win over newcomer Switzerland on June 8.
New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka throws against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning of a baseball game on June 3 in Seattle. (AP Photo)
BASEBALL/ Tanaka strong in return; Yankees sweep Seattle with 3-1 win
SEATTLE--In an effort not to overstress his arm, the goal was to get New York Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka into the sixth inning in 80 pitches in his return from the disabled list.
France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga greets Kei Nishikori after winning in the quarterfinal match of the French Open tennis tournament in five sets 6-1, 6-4, 4-6, 3-6, 6-3, at the Roland Garros stadium in Paris on June 2. (AP Photo)
TENNIS/ Tsonga ousts Nishikori from French Open in semis
PARIS--Kei Nishikori rallied from two sets down against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, but his bid to become the first Japanese man to reach the semifinals of the French Open in 82 years fell just short of the mark.
The 23-player squad of Nadeshiko Japan gathered at an event called Nadeshikorashiku in Tokyo’s Minato Ward on May 31 ahead of the Women’s World Cup in Canada. Nadeshiko Japan coach Norio Sasaki, middle, also attended the event. (Masaru Komiyaji)
SOCCER/ Nadeshiko Japan raring to go for gold at Women’s World Cup
Team play and not individuality is the key to winning back to back World Cups, the captain of Nadeshiko Japan, the women's national soccer team, said at a special event in Tokyo on May 31.
Figure skater Mao Asada explains her comeback in an interview with The Asahi Shimbun on May 28 in Tokyo. (Daisuke Maeda)
FIGURE SKATING/ Yearlong break revives Mao Asada's fighting spirit
Figure skater Mao Asada said her one-year break from the sport has rejuvenated her motivation to challenge herself and dashed all earlier thoughts of retirement.
Terunofuji celebrates his promotion to ozeki by holding a red sea bream, which is considered auspicious, at the Isegahama stable in Tokyo's Koto Ward on May 27. (Nobuhiro Shirai)
SUMO/ Terunofuji promoted to second highest ozeki rank
The Japan Sumo Association formally promoted sekiwake Terunofuji to ozeki, the sport's second-highest rank, following a unanimous decision by its board of directors on May 27.
Sekiwake Terunofuji, right, forces out No. 6 maegashira Aoiyama as yokozuna Hakuho, seated below, watches on the final day of the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament at Tokyo's Ryogoku Kokugikan on May 24. (Sayaka Yamaguchi)
SUMO/ Terunofuji wins 1st title and likely promotion to ozeki as Hakuho falls
Up-and-coming Mongolian sekiwake Terunofuji won his first championship title at the Summer Grand Sumo Tournament in Tokyo on May 24, making his promotion to ozeki, the sport's second-highest rank, a virtual certainty.
Mao Asada speaks at a news conference in Tokyo on May 18. (Takuya Isayama/ The Asahi Shimbun)
FIGURE SKATING/ Asada resumes training, eyes return to competition
Japanese figure skater Mao Asada says she cannot live without skating and has resumed training after a one-year break with the aim of returning to competition.

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