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WASHINGTON (Kyodo)--Caroline Kennedy, in her first public appearance as U.S. ambassador to Japan, pledged Tuesday to forge closer bilateral ties by making many friends and enhancing mutual understanding.

TOKYO (Nikkei)--Astronaut Koichi Wakata set off on his fourth mission in space on Thursday aboard the Russian Soyuz spacecraft. He will be stationed on the International Space Station for six months and will become its first Japanese commander for the last two months of his time there.

TOKYO (Nikkei)--The Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles are Japan's baseball champions for the first time ever. And for the team's president, Yozo Tachibana, this achievement is in many ways thanks to the crunching of data in the back offices that helped create runs on the diamond.

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