Ahead of the start of the international baseball tournament on 16 June, Japan National Team manager IBATA Hirokazu held a press conference and expressed his enthusiasm for the tournament, saying, "We will try to win the championship while gaining experience through this tournament."
The Japan National Team will compete in the Asian Professional Baseball Championship, an international tournament consisting of young players, starting on 16 October, and will be the first team for coach Ibata, who was appointed in October.
On the 10th, ahead of the first match against Taiwan, Hanshin's main pillar SATO Teruaki, who became the number one player in Japan for the first time in 15 years, and DeNA's Hidego Maki, who won the RBI title and the title of most hits, hit home runs in batting practice.
At the press conference after the training session, Coach Ibata said, "We have been training for about a week, and the players' condition is improving.
He added: "It's a short-term match, so everyone will be a key player, and it would be nice if as many players as possible came out to get the momentum going. Through this tournament, I want them to experience what it is like to play an international match and make the most of it in the future, and I want to go into the tournament with the mindset of winning the championship."
Giants pitcher Yushi Akahoshi who is scheduled to start the game against Taiwan on the 16th said, "I'm a little nervous because it's my first international tournament, but I've been entrusted with the first game, so I want to pitch with momentum."
The competition will run until November 11.