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Four topics dominated Japan’s non-Twitter news cycle for the last quarter of 2017. Two involved sports: the signing of 23-year-old baseball superstar Shohei Otani to play for the Los Angeles Angels of the American League; and the resignation of sumo grand champion Harumafuji after assaulting a younger wrestler, which set off a three-way power struggle between headstrong stablemaster Takanohana, the Japan Sumo Association and a group of Mongolian wrestlers who currently dominate the sport.

The third was the Dec. 19 public debut of Xiang Xiang, the female giant panda cub born June 12 at Tokyo’s Ueno Zoo.

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