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Samurai Japan to Receive Medal of Honor after WBC Win

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Japan’s World Baseball Classic (WBC) team manager Hideki Kuriyama and players are seen after winning the WBC final against the U.S., in Miami, March 2023.

TOKYO (Jiji Press ) —The government said Friday that it will give medals of honor this spring to a total of 644 people and 20 organizations, including the men’s national baseball team, nicknamed Samurai Japan, and screenwriter Yuji Sakamoto.

Samurai Japan, which won the 2023 World Baseball Classic, will receive the Medal with Purple Ribbon, which honors people who have made contributions in arts, education or sports, for the third time after the second time in 2009.

The same medal will also be given to Sakamoto, 55, who wrote the screenplay for the 1991 television drama “Tokyo Love Story,” which became a social phenomenon. His recent works include the film “We Made a Beautiful Bouquet,” which was highly praised for its realistic portrayal of characters.

Other recipients of the medal will include Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology Prof. Goro Yoshizaki, 57, who developed a technology to preserve the genetic resources of endangered fish, and art historian Atsushi Miura, 65.

The Emperor will meet with medal recipients at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo on May 15. Such a meeting has not been held since autumn 2019 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Medal with Purple Ribbon will be awarded to 21 people, including one woman, as well as one organization.

The government will also confer the Medal with Yellow Ribbon on 200 people, including 17 women, for their contributions to agriculture, commerce and industry, the Medal with Blue Ribbon on 412 people, including 148 women, for their contributions to social welfare and other fields, and the Medal with Green Ribbon on 10 people, including seven women, and 19 organizations for their social service activities.

One person will receive the Medal with Red Ribbon, an award for those who have risked their own lives to save others.