Rangers Announce Series Of Japanese Initiatives

Arlington, Texas—The Texas Rangers in partnership with the Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth and the U.S. Japan Council, today announced a series of initiatives that will take place in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex later this season.

The initiatives will take place in conjunction with the 2012 Japan-America Grassroots Summit, which will take place in North Texas from August 28-September 3. Organized by the Japan-America Society of Dallas/Fort Worth (JASDFW) and the John Manjiro Whitfield Commemorative Center for International Exchange (CIE) in Japan and the U.S., the Summit will bring together approximately 150 Japanese visitors with as many host families in 15 cities across North Texas. The participants will experience Texas culture in a number of ways during the Summit.

The initiatives were announced at a press conference at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Among those participating were J. Thomas Schieffer, the former U.S. Ambassador to Japan (2005-09) and Texas Rangers President (1991-99) and current Chairman of the 2012 Japan-America Grassroots Summit Steering Committee.

“The Texas Rangers are proud to be joining in this effort to promote and help fund these initiatives,” commented Rangers CEO and President Nolan Ryan. “It also gives us a further opportunity to help youth baseball, one of prime objectives of our Foundation.”  

A youth baseball team from the Japan city of Ishinomaki will be 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 United States Government and the U.S.-Japan Council, TOMODACHI is a public-private initiative 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 is being organized by the CIE, is being provided by the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation, Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish, and gloops, Inc., which is also an official corporate partner of the Rangers. After arriving in the United States, the team will be the guest of the Rangers at the Tuesday, August 28 7:05 p.m. game with the Tampa Bay Rays. The Ishinomaki team will also participate in a variety of other education and baseball activities during their week-long stay in North Texas.

Tuesday, August 28 will also be Japan America Friendship Night at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington with several hundred participants in the Japan-American Grassroots Summit expected to be in attendance. The event is being organized by the Rangers with assistance of several local Japanese organizations. Special group ticket packages for Japan America Friendship Night are available by calling 817-436-5979 or emailing jroberts@texasrangers.com.

More details on the Ishinomaki youth baseball team trip and Japan America Friendship Night will be announced at a later date. For more information on the 2012 Japan-America Grassroots Summit in North Texas, please go to www.NorthTexasGrassrootsSummit.org.