Ex-Eagles Star Akaminai to Step Up as Ambassador for Hometown

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Ginji Akaminai stands with the Kombu Brothers, promotional mascots for the village of Fudai, Iwate Prefecture, at an event on June 22.

FUDAI, Iwate — Ginji Akaminai, a former standout baseball player with the Tohoku Rakuten Eagles, was recently appointed to serve as tourism ambassador in his hometown village of Fudai, Iwate Prefecture.

A special ceremony was held to recognize his appointment at the village office on June 22.

Akaminai, 36, is the first native of the village to play in Nippon Professional Baseball. He spent 18 seasons with Rakuten after joining the club in 2006 and retired after the 2023 season, becoming the team’s ambassador.

Akaminai vowed to help invigorate the area after he received his official letter of appointment.

“I will promote my hometown, which I love for its delicious food and rich natural environment, to people inside and outside of Japan to bring energy to the village,” Akaminai said.

“We hope he will boost the village with his ability to communicate with the public,” Mayor Nobuo Masaya said.

Akaminai’s term as the tourism ambassador runs from July 1 through the end of March 2026, during which he will promote Fudai through a variety of events.