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Kaz Nagatsuka

Kaz Nagatsuka is a staff writer covering Japanese sports, including Japanese professional baseball, basketball, American football and individual sports. He has covered big sporting events such as the World Baseball Classic, the NFL Super Bowl and soccer's World Cup.

For Kaz Nagatsuka's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:

English proficiency to be required for Japan fencers

More Sports Apr 25, 2019

English proficiency to be required for Japan fencers

Japan Fencing Federation president Yuki Ota has been known as an innovator in the sport since taking over his leadership post in 2017. But he has recently hammered out another unprecedented, astounding initiative. On Thursday, the national governing body announced that an English proficiency exam will ...

Yuta Watanabe not distracted by rising profile in Japan

Basketball / NBA Apr 24, 2019

Yuta Watanabe not distracted by rising profile in Japan

Yuta Watanabe has certainly become a basketball celebrity in Japan, having become the second-ever player from the country to play in the NBA this season. But the youngster's celebrity seems to keep growing. Since Watanabe, who signed a two-way deal with the Memphis Grizzlies in July, ...

B. League entering playoffs riding wave of popularity

Basketball / B. League Apr 22, 2019

B. League entering playoffs riding wave of popularity

With the popularity of Japanese basketball continuing to grow, it's expected that arenas will be filled to capacity during the upcoming B. League Championship playoffs. "On Feb. 24, the Japanese men's national team clinched a berth in the World Cup, which gave us a spot ...

Revitalized Albirex revel in newfound success

Basketball / B. League Apr 15, 2019

Revitalized Albirex revel in newfound success

Ace scorer Davante Gardner secured the ball that was shot by Kawasaki's Ryusei Shinoyama, ran out of the paint area and threw it high — really high — into the air just before the buzzer sounded. That was the dramatic moment when the Niigata Albirex ...

Yuki Kawauchi now focused full time on marathoning

More Sports / Track & Field Apr 5, 2019

Yuki Kawauchi now focused full time on marathoning

During the past decade, Yuki Kawauchi has been perhaps Japan's most famous marathon runner. He's been known as the "Citizen Runner" or the "Civil Service Runner." But he no longer carries these catchphrases when he runs. Kawauchi became a professional runner on Monday, meaning he will ...

Performance staff plays big role for Japan hoopsters

Basketball Apr 2, 2019

Performance staff plays big role for Japan hoopsters

Right after the final buzzer, the TV camera momentarily caught head coach Julio Lamas giving a strong hug to athletic trainer Takeo Ichiyanagi after they helped accomplish a big feat in the Middle East in late February. Koichi Sato, the sports performance director for the ...