Hideo Nomo led what is now a steady stream of Japanese professionals to Major League Baseball. Nomo’s spectacular performance for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1995 contributed to the team’s first divisional championship in seven seasons and earned him the Rookie of the Year title. The pioneering maverick paved the way for superstars such as Ichiro Suzuki, Hideki Matsui, and others to pursue their “American Dream.” Japanese players are now a common sight in the major leagues, and draw devoted fans from their home country and the United States.

With the rise in popularity of other competitive sports, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) eliminated baseball from the Olympics in 2005. This blow was muffled by a new venue for global competition: the World Baseball Classic. Japan was crowned as the Classic’s first champion in 2006, and tirelessly lobbied the IOC to have the sport reinstated for Tokyo 2020.

Baseball continues to build bridges and opportunities across the Pacific. The game connects American and Japanese students through exchanges, and figured prominently in cooperative enterprises to help Japan’s northeastern region rebuild after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. Through these efforts, the United States and Japan ensure that enthusiasm for baseball lives on for future generations.





2005年、国際オリンピック委員会 (IOC) は、他の競技スポーツの人気の高まりを受け、オリンピック種目から野球を除外する決定を行ないました。この衝撃を和らげたのが、野球の新たな世界大会「ワールド・ベースボール・クラシック (WBC)」でした。2006年の第1回大会で初代王者に輝いた日本は、IOCに対して、2020年の東京オリンピックでの野球復活を根気強く訴えてきました。