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December 24, 2013 | By Dylan Hernandez
The Dodgers are “pretty much done” with their winter shopping, General Manager Ned Colletti said Tuesday. But Colletti declined to say whether the Dodgers would make an exception for Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, who is coming to the major leagues. Tanaka's current team announced on Christmas Day in Japan that it would permit the 25-year-old starting pitcher to pursue his dream of pitching in the United States. The Rakuten Golden Eagles initially resisted moving their ace because of new rules that will prevent them from receiving more than $20 million for his rights.
December 12, 2013 | By Gary Goldstein
The virtue of words gets a sweet, funny, at times profound close-up in "The Great Passage," Japan's entry for 2013's foreign-language Oscar. Director Yuya Ishii, working off a gentle, finely textured script by Kensaku Watanabe (adapted from the novel by Shiwon Miura) takes his time telling this warm story of the 15-year creation of a definitive print dictionary, but it's a worthy journey. Initially set in 1995, on the cusp of a tech explosion that would gradually render physical books an endangered species, the film follows the trajectory of Mitsuya Majime (Ryuhei Matsuda)
December 9, 2013 | By Dylan Hernandez
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Will the Dodgers add David Price or Masahiro Tanaka to a rotation that already includes Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu? Don't count on it. Price figures to be shopped this winter by the Tampa Bay Rays, but the Dodgers might not have the quality of prospects necessary to land him. Tanaka soon could be auctioned by the Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan, but the Dodgers might not make a serious push to sign him. Long before the start of the winter meetings Monday, the Dodgers alerted the Rays of their interest in Price.
December 4, 2013 | By Barbara Demick and Paul Richter
BEIJING - After months of planning a trip to boost U.S. trade with Asia, Vice President Joe Biden instead is leading an urgent diplomatic mission to calm tensions between China and its neighbors and prevent a potential conflict. After arriving here Wednesday, Biden closeted himself with President Xi Jinping for 5 1/2 hours in what U.S. officials described as an effort to reassure anxious allies in the region and prevent escalation of the dispute over China's recent declaration of an air defense identification zone over islands Japan administers.
November 28, 2013 | By Steve Dilbeck
It's Luis Cruz, international man of mystery. Cruz, as you may recall, opened last season as the Dodgers starting third baseman. This was based on the most unexplainable six weeks in baseball history, when the career-minor leaguer became the injury-depleted Dodgers desperate third baseman late in the 2012 season and proceeded to hit .297 with six homers and 40 runs batted in in 283 at-bats. It seemed too good to be true, and of course it was, but the Dodgers had little choice but to give him the starting job heading into the 2013 season.
November 25, 2013 | By Dylan Hernandez
The signing of Dan Haren won't prevent the Dodgers from pursuing Japanese right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, General Manager Ned Colletti intimated Monday. Although Colletti didn't mention Tanaka by name, he said, "If something else comes our way, we'll take a look at it. I'm not going to close the door on any more starters. " Including Haren, whose one-year, $10-million deal is now official, the Dodgers have five starting pitchers under contract for next season. That doesn't include Clayton Kershaw, who is eligible for salary arbitration.
November 23, 2013 | By Barbara Demick
BEIJING -- Upping the gamesmanship with Japan over disputed East China Sea waters, China said Saturday it had established an air defense identification zone that would allow its military to take “emergency defensive measures” against unidentified aircraft. The Chinese Defense Ministry said that aircraft flying through the zone would be required to identify themselves and implied that those in violation could be shot down. To underscore the threat, the air force conducted its first patrol at 10 a.m. Saturday, using two reconnaissance planes accompanied by early-warning aircraft and fighter jets "providing support and cover.
November 21, 2013 | By Patrick Kevin Day
Got 10 days around New Year's with nothing to do? Hop on a flight to Japan to catch up on "NCIS" and be a part of history while you're at it. In an attempt to land in the Guinness World Record books for "longest uninterrupted transmission of a TV series," Fox Japan, part of Fox International Channels, has announced plans to air 234 episodes of the long-running CBS series "NCIS. " The police procedural starring Mark Harmon is currently airing its 11th season in the United States, but the marathon in Japan will only cover seasons 1-10.
November 21, 2013 | By Deborah Netburn
An exploding underwater volcano is causing a new island to form in the Pacific Ocean about 620 miles south of Tokyo, and you can watch a bit of its dramatic rise in the video above. The video, showing thick plumes of steam and ash shooting out of the new volcanic island, was captured this week by the Japan Coast Guard. The new island -- really more of an islet -- is just 600 feet in diameter, according to an Associated Press report . And it is unclear whether it is here to stay.
November 12, 2013 | By Yuriko Nagano
TOKYO -- In the late 1980s, when Katsumi Suzuki was 20, he was mesmerized when he heard a recording of John F. Kennedy's inaugural address. "I heard the words 'Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country' and those were the most inspiring words I've ever heard," said Suzuki, a 46-year-old office worker. "I have been a loyal Kennedy fan -- of JFK and his family -- ever since, for the last 26 years. " Suzuki is not alone. President Kennedy is still remembered fondly by many in Japan, which gives a built-in base of support to the new U.S. ambassador, Caroline Kennedy.
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