Australia rarely makes the news in Japan, so it’s interesting to see it on the front page of the Asahi newspaper June 4 evening edition.
The story is about Japan’s Aussie Rules team, the Samurais, who’ll be battling it out in the International Cup starting from June 8.
Japan has a really small, but thriving, Australian Rules competition, with two leagues (including several all-Japanese teams), the Eastern League, centering on Tokyo and surrounding areas, and the Western League, comprising Osaka and Nagoya.
Here’s an excerpt from the Asahi report:
A translation: Just as the soccer World Cup is about to hit us, another football world championship — this one promising to be the world’s toughest — is going to start in August. What’s it for? Rugby? Nope. Aussie Rules. It’s the national sport in Australia and a professional sport. Japan’s national team has taken part in the past five International Cups and it’s about to take part in the next one.