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Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki will play for Japan in next year’s World Baseball Classic, it was announced on the Seattle Times Web site on Thursday.

Tony Attanasio, agent for the five-time All-Star, said that Softbank Hawks manager Sadaharu Oh, who will skipper the Japanese team, “extended a formal invitation and Ichiro accepted.”

The article said the decision was made last week while Ichiro was back in Japan when he met with Oh after the right-fielder had declined to comment on his status in the tournament for months.

The WBC will be held from March 3-20, starting with a round-robin qualifier involving Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and China.

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