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(April 2022) -- Japanese leagues have begun play in local tournaments, and we have begun our coverage of the 2022 Japanese Region tournament -- click for details. Sixteen teams from throughout Japan will advance to the Japanese Region tournament, which will be held in Hachioji, a western suburb of Tokyo, in late July. With this year's international tournament returning to its typical format that involves both U.S. and international participants, the Japanese Region winner advances to the Little League World Series.
U.S. and Canadian leagues will begin their local tournament play in late June.
If you can provide results or pairings that are not listed on this site, or can help us expand our historical coverage of Japanese national tournaments by providing results prior to 1999, please contact the Unpage.
This site has been on the web since May 26, 2002. Click to contact the webmaster with any comments or questions about this page.
Japanese leagues are divided into twelve districts from Hokkaido in the north to Kyushu in the southwest. All-star teams from leagues in each of these districts compete for the right to advance to the Japanese Region tournament, which is held in July. The All-Japan tournament, which was first held in 1967, is a sixteen-team, single-elimination tournament. The four districts with the most chartered leagues send two teams to the Japanese Region tournament, while the eight other districts each send one team. Japan was established as a separate region for the international tournament in 2007, meaning that the Japanese champion advances directly to the Little League World Series. In previous years, Japan's winner faced other national champions from Asian and Pacific island countries and territories in region tournament competition.
Click for an overview of the structure of Little League Baseball in Japan.
Twenty-four Japanese leagues have participated in the Little League World Series. Ten have won the championship, including Tokyo Kitasuna Little League, which defeated Red Land Little League (Newberrytown, Pennsylvania), 18-11, in 2015 to win its third Little League World Series championship. Tokyo Kitasuna Little League is one of two leagues worldwide to win three Little League World Series championships. West Tokyo Little League won Japan's first Little League World Series championship, and was the first Little League World Series champion from outside North America when it defeated Chicago's Roseland North Little League in the 1967 championship game. Wakayama Little League followed with a title in 1968.
Chofu Little League, a frequent winner of the All-Japan championship in the 1970s, claimed Japan's third Little League World Series title in 1976. Chofu's roster included Daisuke Araki, later a popular professional baseball player and sports commentator in Japan. One of Japan's most revered players during the 1980s, Araki successfully returned from a four-year absence caused by an arm injury to help the Yakult Swallows win the 1993 Japan Series championship. In the process, he became the only player ever to win both the Little League World Series and the Japan Series championships.
Other Japanese leagues to win the Little League World Series include Osaka's Hirakata Little League in 1999, and a trio of Tokyo leagues which claimed the title after the Little League World Series was expanded to sixteen teams: Tokyo Kitasuna Little League in 2001, 2012, and 2015; Musashi Fuchu in 2003 and 2013; and Edogawa Minami Little League in 2010.
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