A welcome reception was held today for the approximately 400 athletes, support staff and administrative officials that were invited from across the globe to take part in the 3rd WSBC U-15 Baseball World Cup 2016 in Iwaki.
The whole prefecture welcomed the athletes with open arms. Local junior high-schoolers in Iwaki sent messages of encouragement to each team, while Vice-governor Suzuki presented each country’s team captain with Shirakawa Daruma dolls, one of Fukushima’s most well-known folk crafts. The dolls were specially designed for the World Cup and each wear the uniform of one of the teams participating in the U-15 Championship.
 We hope all the teams get a feel for how vibrant Fukushima has now become over the next 10 days of intense competition.