November 22, 2021
TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan floated the idea of presenting a national honour to Shohei Ohtani after the baseball star won one of the top awards in U.S. Major League Baseball, but he declined, the government’s top spokesman said on Monday.
Ohtani, 27 and a player for the Los Angeles Angels, on Friday won the Most Valuable Player award for the American League, becoming only the second Japanese player to do so after Ichiro Suzuki, then with the Seattle Mariners, in 2001.
When asked about the honour, Ohtani said it was “still too early,” chief cabinet secretary Hirokazu Matsuno told a news conference.
(Reporting by Kantaro Komiya, writing by Elaine Lies; Editing by Kim Coghill)