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A beat writer for one of the Japanese papers called the other day and said, “I am seeing a lot of foreign fans at Japanese baseball games recently. What’s going on?”

What’s going on, first of all, is a general increase in tourism with more people visiting Japan from overseas, and many of them want to see baseball while in the country. According to statistics on the Japan National Tourist Organization (JNTO) website, the number of foreign visitors between January and March of 2014 was up by 27.5 percent over the same period last year.

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