Having two Japanese players instrumental in clinching the World Series last year may be one of the few reasons Boston Red Sox celebrated its ties with Japan recently. To mark the thriving relationship, Akira Muto, Consul General of Japan in Boston, honored the baseball club with six grown cherry blossom trees before last Wednesday’s match versus the Texas Rangers in Fenway Park.
In 2012, Japan presented the Red Sox with another tree as a token of appreciation for their help after the 2011 disasters struck the nation. Fenway Park, the oldest ballpark in the United States and home to the Boston Red Sox, will plant the trees in the park sidewalk. During the pregame ceremonies, the Japanese classical orchestra AUN J played the national anthem in display of camaraderie between the two nations both sides represent.
Early this year, Red Sox pitchers Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa returned to Japan for a World Series Trophy tour. During their short visit in the country, the two met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy. Kennedy lauded the relationship between Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) and Major League Baseball (MLB) as significant in promoting good relations between the U.S. and Japan. Kennedy also described MLB, in which the club Red Sox belongs, as “ambassadors of goodwill” to Japanese fans.
[via The Gazette]