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Minister proposes opening Taiwan-Japan youth baseball camp

Minister proposes opening Taiwan-Japan youth baseball camp

Taipei, June 24 (CNA) Minister of Foreign Affairs Francisco H.L.
Ou proposed Wednesday that Taiwan and Japan jointly open a youth baseball camp as part of their efforts to boost bilateral relations, an idea that was supported by Japanese baseball legend Sadaharu Oh.
Ou raised the proposal in a meeting with Oh, known in Taiwan as Wang Chen-chih, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA).
Ou said the idea was derived from President Ma Ying-jeou's focus on the importance of "cultural diplomacy" and "soft power" and the fact that baseball is one of Taiwan's best sports.
If Japan can organize a baseball camp for young Taiwanese players and thus help raise the level of baseball in Taiwan, this will contribute to closer ties between the two countries, Ou added.
The minister said he is a fan of Oh's, noting that the all time home run king was an ambassador-at-large for Taiwan who contributed a lot to the country's diplomatic efforts.
Ou said he hopes Oh will continue to use his influence and star power in Japan to help promote Taiwan-Japan relations.
In response, Oh said that baseball is all he knows and that if it can be used to enhance the links between Taiwan and Japan, he will do his best in this regard.
He said that he has been able to detect the Taiwan people's enthusiasm for baseball, and believes that if Taiwan is given the opportunity of hosting international baseball games, it will help to lift the level of the game in the country and the region.
Oh also applauded the minister's proposal to open a joint youth baseball camp and promised to convey the idea to the relevant Japanese authorities.
Oh, who retired from the Yomiuri Giants in 1980 at the age of 40, hit 868 home runs during his career, the most hit by a player in any professional league around the world.
The son of a Chinese father and a Japanese mother, Oh has stayed close to his Chinese heritage although he has spent most of his life in Japan.
He has always maintained a close relationship with Taiwan's baseball community and has contributed to the development of the sport in Taiwan.
(By Elizabeth Hsu)




Updated : 2021-10-19 05:29 GMT+08:00