TOMODACHI Brings Youth Baseball to Texas

As part of the ongoing efforts under the TOMODACHI Initiative, Texas Rangers pitcher and Tohoku High School alumnus Yu Darvish, the Texas Rangers Major League Baseball team, and Japanese online gaming company gloops International, Inc. announced that they are funding the participation of a youth baseball team from Ishinomaki for a week-long exchange in Texas this summer.

The Ishinomaki Little Senior baseball team, composed of junior high school students, will attend the Japan-America Grassroots Summit in North Texas from Aug. 28-Sept. 3. The team will also be the guests of the Texas Rangers at the Aug. 28 “Japan America Friendship Night” baseball game between the Rangers and the Tampa Bay Rays at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas.

Two other youth groups from Minamisanriku and Kesennuma will also receive support through the TOMODACHI Initiative to attend the Grassroots Summit, organized by the John Manjiro Whitfield Commemorative Center for International Exchange (CIE) and the Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth. Approximately 150 Japanese visitors will have an opportunity to experience Texas culture and hospitality with host families in 15 cities across the state.

The TOMODACHI Initiative acknowledges the tremendous support from Yu Darvish, the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation, and gloops International, Inc. to bring the Ishinomaki youth baseball team to Texas as well as CIE and the Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth for their work in organizing the Grassroots Summit. TOMODACHI looks forward to further expanding the U.S.-Japan baseball partnership, which began with Cal Ripken, Jr.’s visit to Japan in November 2011 and continued with the March 2012 “Opening Series Japan” between the Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics.

For information on the 2012 Japan-America Grassroots Summit, visit www.NorthTexasGrassrootsSummit.org.

TOMODACHI is a public-private partnership, led by the United States Government and the U.S.-Japan Council and supported by the Japanese Government, that supports Japan's recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake and invests in the next generation of Japanese and Americans in ways that strengthen cultural and economic ties and deepen the friendship between the United States and Japan over the long-term.

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