Cedartown will welcome Japan’s All Inabe baseball team for Kimoto Tech Friendship Game


Members of the Kimoto Tech Friendship Game organizing committee are shown above. They are, left to right, Cedartown City Manager Bill Fann; Kimoto Tech President Miguel Leal; Hideki Komori, Manufacturing and Engineering Technician at Kimoto Tech; Cedartown Youth Baseball representatives Rick Baxter and Steven Nikolopoulus and Kimoto Tech Human Resources Administrator Tania Drain.

Two groups of young men, two very distinct cultures living nearly 7,000 miles apart, will come together on a red dirt playing field during a hot August day and share a common bond: the love of baseball.

Cedartown Kimoto Tech officials and representatives with the City of Cedartown are pleased to announce that this summer, the distance between Cedartown and Inabe, Mie, Japan, will be measured not in miles, but in base lines and fly balls as the 10th Kimoto Cup Japan Jr. Sports Clubs Association Rubber Baseball Competition takes place on Aug. 2 at the Bert Wood Youth and Athletic Complex.

Members of the All Inabe baseball team will travel from Japan to Cedartown to take part in the 10th Annual Kimoto Cup, which is being billed this year as the Japan-U.S. Friendship Baseball Game. All Inabe will share the field with the Cedartown Bulldogs in a cordial game of ball. Both teams are comprised of 11 to 12-year-olds. “In acknowledging our KIMOTO Co., LTD President, Mr. Kazunobu Kimoto, it is his desire to maintain a close relationship with the communities in which we work and serve that make this cultural exchange possible,” said Miguel Leal, president of Kimoto Tech in Cedartown. “KIMOTO Co. has a long history of initiating events like this in Japan and other parts of the world.  It is Mr. Kimoto’s belief that we share multiple common bonds as citizens in our local communities.  There is no better way to express these common bonds than through a friendly series of baseball games and spending time together to share experiences.”

KIMOTO Co., LTD and Kimoto Tech will sponsor travel and expenses for approximately 21 school aged children and parents to travel to Cedartown to participate in the little league baseball games while also participating in a cultural exchange with Westside Elementary School, Leal explained.   “We hope our community will enjoy these events, build everlasting memories and friendships while also promoting our great community in Cedartown,” he said.

Opening ceremonies for the Kimoto Friendship game will take place at 8 a.m. at the Bert Wood Youth and Athletic Complex, 605 Lynton Drive in Cedartown. The Star Spangled Banner will be performed by a representative of the Cedartown Youth Baseball and Japan’s anthem, Kimigayo, will be sung by a representative of the All Inabe team.

The first pitch for game one will be thrown at 9 a.m. The first pitch for game two will take place at 1:30 p.m. Both games are open to the public. Kimoto Tech and City officials encourage residents to support both teams during the special event.

“Cedartown is honored to be chosen for this exciting event and pleased to be able to make youth baseball history at our newly renovated Northwest Park,” said Cedartown City Commission Chair Dale Tuck. “We have been working with Kimoto Tech for almost a year to make the dream for this Friendship Game a reality. I would like to thank Miguel Leal and Tania Drain from Kimoto Tech and Rick Baxter and Stephen Nickolopolus, board members for Cedartown Youth Baseball, whose tireless efforts made this cultural exchange possible.”

Kimoto Tech, Inc. acknowledged several individuals and organizations that have been instrumental in supporting the KIMOTO Cup and cultural exchange; specifically, City Commissioner, Dale Tuck, City Manager, Bill Fann, representatives from the Cedartown Youth Baseball, Rick Baxter and Steven Nikolopoulus and representatives from The Polk School District, including Laurie Atkins and Laura Little.

“Kimoto Tech cannot express enough gratitude to these individuals mentioned for their unwavering commitment to assist and embrace these events.  This event clearly demonstrates how well industry, city government and our community organizations work together in making events like this a success,” Leal said.

Kimoto Tech, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kimoto Co. Ltd, headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. The Cedartown location consists of more than 360 acres with an 110,000 square foot manufacturing and corporate office facility. It is also the site for Kimoto Tech’s 13,000 square foot Research and Development Center. This facility houses some of the most advanced measuring and analytical instrumentation available –all devoted to the development and testing of new film coating products and the technology required to manufacture them. Included within this facility is a pilot coater line which can simulate most conditions found on an actual full scale production line. Products developed by both Kimoto Tech and its customers can be tested under actual production conditions and modified as required to meet specifications.