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Samurai Japan 15U National Team Press Conference

7/25/201415U

The Samurai Japan 15U team is made up of 20 players 15 and under selected from the 36,000 who belong to the roughly 1500 teams of the five Junior High School Harball leagues across the country.
Looking forward to participating in the 2nd IBAF 15U Baseball World Cup from July 31 - August 10 in Mexico, a press conference was held in the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum on the 25th.

At the press conference was the man leading the team, Manager Yoshitaka Katori. Also participating were the head of the Japan Amateur Baseball Association, Noriaki Sakisaka, and three player representatives.

Facing the press conference Manager Katori said,
"During this World Cup I want the players to watch the rest of world baseball and take in where they are lacking and where they are up to snuff. For us, there is body size and power of balls. In baseball, countries have to struggle with different issues but I think the experience of being in an international tournament will live on in them and I want them to come away with a variety of lessons from what they feel while there. Also, domestic games are 7 innings but in international tournaments they are 9 innings so I'm most worried about pitchers getting exhausted. Even so, in the team I've put together the positions are assigned but everyone can throw so they said they'll all fight together. Every age group of Samurai Japan has a firm aim to be the best in the world. We want to do our best and leave a great record.
Inspiring words from Manager Katori

Head of the JABA Sakisaka said,
"In each category, I think playing with all one's might helps the popularization of baseball throughout the world. Under Manager Katori these 20 guys are aiming for victory!" This came with a strong cheer.

Starting on the 26th, the team of representatives will have a training camp in Narita City, Chiba Prefecture for three days and then leave for Mexico on the 28th.
The first game will be on July 31 at 4pm against South Africa. After that, Japan will play five games in the first round. In the second round teams will be divided into 3 groups and play four games. The final will start on August 10 at 6pm local time.
Aiming for the top of the world, we invited the players at the press conference to share their hopes for the tournament.

Yudai Tada(Honjo Boys)

I want to contribute to my team's victory by using my head to play by getting the jump on our opponents.
I hope our victory helps to build power in every age group in Japan.

Masato Owada(Machida Little Seniors)

When I put my arms through the sleeves of my uniform and put the Japanese flag on my back I was happy. In the games I hope to do my best and contribute by fielding grounders well.

Kensei Saito(Yokohama Chuo Izumi Boys)

I've reached my goal of becoming a U15 and was very happy when I was chosen. It's a great thing to wear the Japanese flag so I hope to made people proud.

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