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  Japan-America 150th Anniversary

Japan-America Youth Baseball Camp 2004

  Program Date:   July 30-August 14, 2004  
  Application Due:   N/A
  Location:   Phoenix (AZ), Los Angeles (CA), Seattle (WA)
  Program Type:   Cultural Exchange
  Contact:   National Association of Japan-America Societies
Tel: 202-783-4550
Japan-America Society in Phoenix, Los Angeles and Seattle

  Click here for the 2005 program    
  Program Report Summary    

Click here for a full program report (PDF: 973KB)

As one of the activities commemorating the 150th Anniversary of U.S.-Japan relations, NAJAS worked in cooperation with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters to establish a two-week baseball camp for Japanese and American boys ages 13 to 15 to be held in Phoenix, Arizona. The Japanese contingent also traveled to Los Angeles and Seattle to take in some Major League Baseball games. The purpose of the camp was to provide baseball instruction, cross-cultural education, and to encourage the young baseball players to learn more about each other and each other's countries.

  D-backs Training Centers Arizona Diamondbacks Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters

Eighteen Japanese baseball players along with three coaches to accompany the group were selected from Hokkaido by the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters and the Hokkaido Baseball Association. The selection criteria were based not only on the candidates' baseball skills, but also on their interest in having a cross-cultural experience. The 18 American baseball players were chosen by the Diamondbacks from the Phoenix area. The Diamondbacks selected those who had participated in the Diamondbacks Training Centers in the past and whose families were willing to host the Japanese boys for seven days in Phoenix.

NAJAS Associate Director Yusuke Tanno joined the 18 Japanese baseball players and three coaches at the beginning of the program in Sapporo and stayed with the group throughout the program, saying good-bye to them in Seattle. After having a special pre-departure ceremony at the Hokkaido Prefectural Government offices on July 30, the group traveled to Phoenix, Arizona. The Japanese teenagers stayed in pairs with the nine host families for the entire duration of their stay in Phoenix. Aside from some special events such as the cultural orientation, a Diamondbacks Premier Stadium Tour and some home games, the boys spent nearly all of their spare time with their host families. The activities for the Japanese coaches were specially arranged by the Diamondbacks staff. The baseball camp was held every evening with 18 American teenagers and 10 Diamondbacks coaches. The camp menu was uniquely tailored for the needs of this program, and the Diamondbacks coaches and the Japanese coaches went over the menu both before the camp started and during the camp. On the final day, the Diamondbacks arranged a day trip to Sedona where the players had a game and wore their special program uniforms.

After spending seven days in Phoenix, the Japanese players and coaches traveled to Los Angeles, CA, and Seattle, WA to watch the Dodgers and the Mariners play home games in their respective cities. The group also enjoyed a number of special activities such as having a surfing lesson in L.A. and a harbor cruise in Seattle. The group arrived back home safe and sound in Hokkaido on August 14.

The program was conceived and consultation with potential collaborating organizations begun in October 2002. In April 2003, NAJAS received an official agreement of cooperation from the Arizona Diamondbacks, and in July from the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters. Before the program started on July 31, 2004, NAJAS staff made two trips to Japan and one to Phoenix for programmatic coordination and arrangements.

Funding for the program came from the Freeman Foundation, All Nippon Airways, the US-Japan 150th Anniversary Project Sponsors and special donations from four individuals.

Click here for afull program report (PDF: 973KB)


36 camp participants and 10 coaches before a game in Sedona, AZ, on August 6, 2004
Speed training in the Diamondbacks baseball camp at Phoenix Municipal Stadium on August 3, 2004
Catchers practicing throwing stance in the baseball camp on August 4, 2004
A Japanese player with Coach Caruthers on August 5, 2004
A pre-game recognition ceremony at the Bank One Ballpark as the participants, coaches, and D-backs and Fighters logos are displayed on the screen on August 6, 2004
Host families and participnats at the Bank One Ballpark during a home game on August 6, 2004
The Japanese players and Japan-America Society staff observing batting practice f at Dodger Stadium on August 8, 2004
The Japanese players and coaches at Safeco Field after a home game on August 10, 2004

  Baseball Camp 2004 Overview    

As part of the U.S.-Japan 150th Anniversary events, NAJAS has been working to establish a two-week baseball camp for Japanese and American boys age 13 to 15 to be held in Phoenix, Arizona, in cooperation with the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. The purpose of the camp is to provide baseball instruction, cross-cultural education for the campers, and to encourage Japanese teenage boys to learn more about America and American teenagers to learn more about Japan.

Baseball, rich in the history of the U.S.-Japan relationship, provides an excellent platform for teenagers of the two countries to be exposed to another culture. Needless to say, cross-cultural interactions are an important function of international relations, and if we are to strengthen our bilateral relationship for future cooperation, it may well begin on the baseball diamond.

January 29, 2004. Meeting at the US Consulate General in Sapporo with the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters, Baseball Camp 2004 Participant Selection Committee, and the JAS Hokkaido/Hakodate
Consul Elise Fox and NAJAS Chairman, William Farrell, at the U.S. Consulate General in Sapporo
A newspaper article on the Baseball Camp 2004 in Doshin-Sports on January 30, 2004
The D-backs Traning Centers' baseball camp in Phoenix, Arizona in April 2004
Phoenix Municipal Stadium where the Youth Baseball ExchangeCamp will take place in August 2004
  D-backs Training Centers Arizona Diamondbacks Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters
  Supporting Organizations  

Baseball-related Organizations:

  • The Arizona Diamondbacks Training Centers
  • The Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters
  • Hokkaido Baseball Assoication
  • Japan Pony Baseball Association
  • Hokkaido Sun League Federation of All Japan Young Hardball League
  • Hokkaido Little Senior Federation of All Japan Little Baseball Association

Japan-America Societies:

  • National Association of Japan-America Societies
  • Japan-America Society of Arizona
  • Japan-America Society of Southern California
  • Japan-America Society of the State of Washington
  • Japan-America Society of Hokkaido


  • U.S. Consulate General, Sapporo
  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan
  • Embassy of Japan
  • Hokkaido Prefecture Government
  • City of Sapporo Municipal Government


*This program is made possible in part by the Freeman Foundation and the following individual donors:

Mr. Robert F. Grondine
Mr. Mitsuhiro Fujiwara
Mr. Yoshihito Okuyama
Mr. Kiyoshi Suzuki

Thank you for your generous contributions.



U.S.-Japan 150th Anniversary Project Sponsors

U.S.-Japan 150th Anniversary Project and all its programs are made possible by the generous contributions from AFLAC, ANA-All Nippon Airways, Pfizer, Toyota, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), Noevir and SONY.


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