• Kyodo News

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Visiting Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, known as a baseball enthusiast, said Monday during talks with Prime Minister Taro Aso that his country will win the next World Baseball Classic tournament.

“We will win the next WBC,” Chavez said at the outset of his meeting with Aso at the prime minister’s office in Tokyo, referring to the tournament which Japan won in March to claim its second consecutive title. Venezuela lost to South Korea in the semifinals.

Chavez gave Japan a round of applause as he congratulated it for winning the WBC title and revealed that former Cuban leader Fidel Castro told him when they met in Havana that Japan is a perfect team that cannot be beaten.

The Venezuelan leader, who himself plays baseball, briefly demonstrated his batting style to a group of reporters when leaving the prime minister’s office.

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