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As Japan’s Major League Baseball broadcaster by default, NHK will certainly have its hands full next year when Hideki Matsui makes his MLB debut. It may be a logistic nightmare airing all Ichiro Suzuki and Matsui games, but it pays off in the end with lots of viewers.

This week, NHK’s BS1 channel will broadcast exclusive interviews with five of the Japanese athletes who played in the major leagues this past year. On Monday, Dec. 23, it will be Ichiro of the Seattle Mariners. Pitcher Kazuhisa Ishii will talk about his superlative rookie year with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night, a year that was sadly cut short by a shot that almost took his head off. Wednesday belongs to Ichiro’s teammate, pitcher Shigetoshi Hasegawa. On Thursday, So Taguchi, a position player who didn’t see much action with the St. Louis Cardinals, will talk about his bench-warming skills. And, on Friday, the man who started it all, Hideo Nomo, will shed a little light on his return to the Dodgers which, while not exactly triumphant (Ishii stole some of his thunder), wasn’t chopped liver either. All interviews start at 9 p.m.

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