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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:

Japan's fencers show progress at Asian championships

More Sports Jun 19, 2019

Japan's fencers show progress at Asian championships

"Yeah!" "Yo!" The exact words coming out of veteran fencer Kenta Tokunan's mouth were unclear. But this much is certain: he was fired up during the saber team competition. As a matter of fact, the 31-year-old shouted every time he scored a point and pumped his fist ...

Japan coaches thinking long term for young hoop prospects

Basketball Jun 15, 2019

Japan coaches thinking long term for young hoop prospects

The next year and a half will arguably be the most important period in the history of Japanese basketball with the 2019 FIBA World Cup and 2020 Tokyo Olympics on the horizon. But this country is also looking beyond that, trying to develop up-and-coming stars ...

Fencers seek Olympic spots

More Sports Jun 12, 2019

Fencers seek Olympic spots

Japan's national team fencers are fired up for the upcoming Asian Championships as they seek to earn spots in the team competitions at next year's Tokyo Olympics. "Team competitions are more important at the Olympics," Japan Fencing Federation managing director Nobusuke Miyawaki said on Wednesday ...

Kosei Tanaka looking to punch way into spotlight

More Sports / Boxing Jun 10, 2019

Kosei Tanaka looking to punch way into spotlight

Kosei Tanaka was only a fifth-grader when Kiyoshi Hatanaka first saw him throwing punches. It only took an instant for the former world champ to spot the kid's exceptional potential. "I thought he'd be a world champion in 10 years," Hatanaka, who was the WBC super ...

Jets star Yuki Togashi breaks ¥100 million barrier

Basketball / B. League Jun 3, 2019

Jets star Yuki Togashi breaks ¥100 million barrier

Chiba Jets Funabashi star Yuki Togashi has become a "Million Dollar Man." The diminutive point guard became the first Japanese player to earn an annual salary of over ¥100 million ($923,000), the B. League club announced at a Tokyo news conference on Monday night. Jets president ...

Japan hunts Olympic gold from beyond arc

Basketball Jun 3, 2019

Japan hunts Olympic gold from beyond arc

With a small-ball approach, Japan's women's basketball team will try to achieve big things. The Akatsuki Five wrapped up its first games of the year with a two-game sweep of Belgium in Mito, Ibaraki Prefecture, on Sunday, with wins of 91-75 and 84-71. It is certainly ...

Japan sweeps Belgium; Saki Hayashi named series MVP

Basketball Jun 2, 2019

Japan sweeps Belgium; Saki Hayashi named series MVP

Japan's women's basketball team concluded a two-game exhibition series sweep of Belgium with a 84-71 win at Adastria Mito Arena on Sunday. Newcomer Saki Hayashi was the heroine for the second consecutive game as she knocked down five 3-pointers for the Akatsuki Five. "I had a ...

Strong outside shooting carries Japan past Belgium

Basketball May 31, 2019

Strong outside shooting carries Japan past Belgium

Japan kept hitting shots from beyond the 3-point line and tamed Belgium 91-75 in the first game of their two-game exhibition series at Adastria Mito Arena on Friday night. Newcomer Saki Hayashi knocked down five 3-pointers in a 19-point performance to lead the Akatsuki Five. ...