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Japan’s Orix Buffaloes Jr. Team Arrives in Tainan to Take Part in Tainan City Student Baseball Summer League


The Orix Buffaloes Jr. Team arrived in Tainan on July 24 via a direct flight from Osaka to Tainan. The Japanese baseball team, which is composed of 19 baseball players from the western Japan region, was here for the four-day Tainan City Student Baseball Summer League. This baseball exchange program was initiated by Premier William Lai when he was still serving as Tainan City Mayor, thus the Premier travelled south to show up at the evening banquet and welcome the delegation alongside Mayor Li Men-yen. 
Premier Lai recalled that two years ago in Japan, he suggested the idea of establishing long-term exchanges between baseball teams in the Kansai Area and Tainan to Japan - Tainan Assistance Group Chairperson Chen Tian-long, and now this notion has finally come to fruition. He thanked Chen and Advisor Mr. Nagano Takao  for their hard work, and also Kansai Little League Baseball and Japan - Tainan Assistance Group for their support.
Mayor Li remarked that Tainan is a baseball city and hometown of many famous players, including Chen Chin-feng and Kuo Hong-chih. In addition, Tainan will be hosting the following five consecutive editions of WBSC U-12 Baseball World Cup. In the area of baseball, Tainan and Japan have seen frequent interactions. In January this year, six teams from Japan participated in the Giant International Junior and Little League Baseball Championship Tournaments held in Tainan; and for this Summer League, everyone looks forward to seeing exciting performances by the Orix Buffaloes Jr. team and four local Tainan teams. Tainan also invites the visitors to enjoy the pleasant local sceneries and delicacies. 
The 66-people delegation which consisted of Orix Buffaloes Jr. players, members from Kansai Little League Baseball and Japan - Tainan Assistance Group arrived in Tainan on the afternoon of July 24 and paid a visit to the city government. During the meeting, the Public Works Bureau gave a briefing on the Tainan Asia-Pacific Baseball Stadiums & Training Centers which are currently under construction. The Orix Buffaloes Jr. Team coach was very interested in the facility and expressed that they would like to conduct off-site training at the Centers if possible in the future. 
In response, Premier Lai and Mayor Li promised that if the team wishes to conduct winter training here in Tainan, they will have priority to the Training Centers. Hopefully this would encourage the team to have more interactions with Tainan. 
The Orix Buffaloes Jr. Team, which is made up of 19 players from the western Japan region, is a collaboration between Nippon Professional Baseball team Orix Buffaloes and Japan Little League. The team played against four local elementary schools in Tainan (Siejin, Chongsyue, Liren, Ancing) during their stay. To let the young players experience the history and culture of Tainan beyond the baseball field, Tainan City government also arranged cultural tours that included visits to Tainan Giants Baseball Team Museum, Anping Tree House, Chihkan Tower, Hayashi Department Store, and Wushantou Reservoir.