• Kyodo

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Hanshin Tigers lefty Minoru Iwata on Saturday promised to win 15 games next season in order to encourage fellow diabetics.

Attending a Christmas party for children afflicted with the same Type 1 diabetes that affects him, the 31-year-old Iwata said, “I will aim to win at least 15 games.”

Iwata, who has a career record of 45-57, went 9-8 this past season with a 2.54 ERA.

“If they see someone doing their hardest, perhaps they can have targets and do their best to achieve them,” said Iwata, whose active support for diabetics includes inviting sufferers to Tigers games at Koshien Stadium. “I want to continue doing whatever I can as a ballplayer.”

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