The passion for baseball and hospitality toward the Japanese friends never subsides even in chilly windy days! On the morning of January 13, the 2019 Hsinchu County Taiwan-Japan International Junior Baseball Friendly Tournament officially kicked off after Hsinchu County Yang Wen-ke and President of Miyakonojo Junior Baseball Association Hoshihara Toru(星原 透（ほしはら とおる）), who threw the first pitch and took the first swing respectively, finished the opening ceremony and exchanged souvenirs.
Magistrate Yang showed that Hsinchu County and Miyazaki Prefecture have had baseball exchange for nine years. Through baseball games, Taiwan and Japan have established closer friendship, and the junior players can also sharpen their skills and broaden their horizons. When the Japanese players were off court, they were also given a chance to experience Hsinchu County's Hakka culture. These years, Zhongshan Elementary School has had great performance in multiple baseball competitions in Taiwan, which proves that the effort to promote baseball has paid off. In the future, the county government will keep promoting the development of sports and make Hsinchu County an athletic, happy, and healthy city.
Principal of Zhongshan Elementary School Guo Bi-xuan(郭碧玄) indicated that this year's event hit a record high of over 220 players involved. Mr. Hoshihara Toru led four junior baseball teams from Miyakonojo, Japan, to Taiwan, while six junior baseball teams from Hsinchu County's Zhongshan, Guanxi, Shangguan, Datong, Wufeng, and Liujia Elementary School joined the event. These ten teams played a total of 16 splendid games within two days at Zhongshan Elementary School Baseball Field and Guanxi Elementary School Baseball Field. In addition to the baseball exchange, the Taiwanese and Japanese junior players sent cards, made friends with each other, and made Hakka dishes together. The Japanese guests were also treated with Hsinchu County's oranges, tomatoes, oriental beauty tea, bananas, and Hakka snacks.
Mr. Hoshihara Toru showed gratitude to Hsinchu County Government for supporting this baseball exchange. He said the Taiwanese students were always hospitable toward the students from Miyazaki, and he hoped this relationship could live on forever.
Team Leader of Zhongshan Junior Baseball Team Xu You-ze(徐宥澤) said that it was great to see the Japanese players he had met in the previous year again. He could know how well they played and learn more skills from them. "It doesn't matter who wins or loses; the process of the games is the most exciting part that we look forward to," Xu added. Another junior player Shen Kai-xun(沈凱勳) said that the Japanese players were very polite and well-behaved, and he was really impressed with their team spirit.