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Former Eagles star Akaminai acts as ambassador for his hometown

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Ginji Akaminai stands with the Kombu Brothers, the promotional mascots of Fudai Village, Iwate Prefecture, at an event on June 22.

FUDAI, Iwate — Ginji Akaminai, a former standout baseball player for the Tohoku Rakuten Eagles, was recently appointed tourism ambassador in his hometown of Fudai, Iwate Prefecture.

On June 22, a special ceremony was held at the village office to honor his appointment.

Akaminai, 36, is the first resident of the village to play in Nippon Professional Baseball. He played 18 seasons with Rakuten after joining the club in 2006 and retired after the 2023 season, becoming a team ambassador.

After receiving his official letter of appointment, Akaminai promised to do his part in the area’s revival.

“I will promote my hometown, which I love for its delicious food and rich natural environment, to people inside and outside Japan to bring energy to the village,” Akaminai said.

“We hope he will boost the village with his ability to communicate with the public,” said Mayor Nobuo Masaya.

Akaminai’s term as tourism ambassador runs from July 1 to the end of March 2026. During this period, he will promote Fudai through various events.

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