Arlington, Texas—The Texas Rangers will host Japan America Friendship Night at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington next Tuesday, August 28 when the club plays the Tampa Bay Rays.
Several hundred participants from the 2012 Japan-America Grassroots Summit are expected to be in attendance for the Japan America Friendship Night, which has been organized by the Rangers with assistance of several local Japanese organizations, including the Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth.
In attendance at Tuesday's game will be a 16-member youth baseball team from the Japan city of Ishinomaki, which is traveling to the United States for the Grassroots Summit as part of the TOMODACHI Initiative. The city is located in the Tohoku region of Japan which was heavily damaged by the March 2011 tsunami. Led by the U.S.-Japan Council with support from the U.S. and Japanese Governments, the TOMODACHI initiative is a public-private partnership that support's Japan's recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011 and invests in the next generation of Japanese and Americans in ways that strengthen cultural and economic ties.
Funding for the baseball team trip, which has been organized by the John Manjiro Whitfield Commemorative Center for International Exchange (CIE) in Japan, is being provided by gloops, Inc., which is also an official corporate partner of the Rangers with additional financial assistance from the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation and Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish, who is scheduled to pitch on Tuesday night. The Ishinomaki team will also participate in a variety of other educational activities and will play four games against Jr. RBI teams from Arlington and Dallas during their week-long stay in North Texas.
Special guests at Tuesday's game will include Japan's Ambassador to the United States, the Honorable Ichiro Fujisaki and the former United States Ambassador to Japan (2005-2009) and former President of the Texas Rangers, the Honorable Tom Schieffer, who is also the Chairman of the 2012 Japan-America Grassroots Summit Steering Committee.
Ambassadors Fujisaki and Schieffer along with gloops International, Inc. CEO Yukiharu Tomita, will participate in a pregame ceremony in which the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation and gloops, Inc. will present a $75,000 check to the Ishinomaki baseball team, a contribution which made their participation in the Grassroots Summit possible. In addition, the Shishi-Odori Dance Group, from Minamisanriku, Japan, an area which was also heavily damaged by the March 2011 tsunami, will perform on-field.
Also in attendance on Tuesday will be 80 youngsters from the Dallas Japanese Association youth softball team, who will be the guests of gloops, Inc. at the game.
The 2012 Japan-America Grassroots Summit is taking place in North Texas from August 28-September 3. Organized by the Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth (JASDFW) and the CIE in Japan and the U.S., the Summit will bring together approximately 160 Japanese participants with host families in 15 cities across North Texas. The participants will experience Texas culture in a number of ways during the Summit. More information on the 2012 Japan-America Grassroots Summit in North Texas can be found at www.NorthTexasGrassrootsSummit.org.
Tickets to Tuesday's Japan American Friendship Night and all 2012 Texas Rangers home games can be purchased at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington Box Office, by calling 972-RANGERS, and at texasrangers.com.