Dignitaries congratulate baseball legend Nagashima

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Shigeo Nagashima, front center, poses for a photo during a gathering in Tokyo to celebrate his being awarded the Order of Culture. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, front left, also attended, as did Tsuneo Watanabe, front right, editor-in-chief of The Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings.

An array of dignitaries gathered at The Yomiuri Shimbun’s headquarters in Tokyo this week to congratulate pro baseball legend Shigeo Nagashima on being awarded the Order of Culture.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida attended the event on Monday to honor Nagashima, the lifetime honorary manager of the Yomiuri Giants. Also in attendance was former Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori. Other participants included Fujio Mitarai, the chairman and CEO of Canon Inc. who is also the chairman of Sansankai, a support group for the Yomiuri Giants composed primarily of business executives; and Sadaharu Oh, chairman of the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks.

Among the attendees from The Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings were Editor-in-Chief Tsuneo Watanabe, Chairman of the Board Shoichi Oikawa, President Toshikazu Yamaguchi, who is the owner of the Yomiuri Giants, and Akitoshi Muraoka, vice president of The Yomiuri Shimbun.

“I was so touched to receive words of congratulations directly from my close friends,” said Nagashima, 85. “I’m grateful that such a gathering was held for me.

“I’m honored to be the first person in the world of baseball to receive the Order of Culture and to be recognized for my devotion to baseball. I’ll continue to do my best for the world of baseball in the future.”

In his message to Nagashima, Oh said: “I can’t tell you how happy I am as someone who played baseball with you. I think everyone in the nation welcomed the news. I hope you will continue to shine as a cheerful, large presence for the baseball world and for people who love the sport.”

Watanabe said: “Congratulations on being the first person in baseball to receive this award. Mr. Nagashima joined the Yomiuri Giants eight years after I joined The Yomiuri Shimbun, and for more than 60 years since then, he has devoted his life to promoting the culture of baseball and sports.

“He has been one of the most unforgettable people in my 95-year life. I am very happy to be able to congratulate him today.”