Yankees Starting Pitcher Masahiro Tanaka Returns to Japan Amid COVID-19 Spread in US

Masahiro Tanaka

The starting pitcher for the New York Yankees, Masahiro Tanaka, has announced that he left the U.S. in March to bring his family back home to Japan after “a situation where I was in danger besides the coronavirus.”

In a series of tweets, Tanaka revealed that his decision to return to his native country was due to the danger posed by the COVID-19 pandemic that continues to spread across the U.S.

According to the 31-year-old athlete, he was thinking about the health of his wife, Japanese celebrity Mai Satoda and their two children. 

Tanaka, who has a residence in Florida, clarified that while he wasn’t showing any symptoms of COVID-19, he felt there was a risk of the possibility of getting infected with the virus. He also has a home in New York City, where COVID-19 cases are rapidly rising.

On Wednesday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis enacted a stay-at-home order for the whole state. 

Upon their arrival in Japan, Tanaka and his family were told to self-quarantine at home, which is expected to last for two weeks, as per the request of the Japanese government.

Based on the translation by NJ Advance Media, Tanaka’s tweets can be interpreted as follows:

“By entering Japan from the United States, where the infection of the new coronavirus is expanding, even though we currently have no symptoms, would you still infect someone without knowing it? Wouldn’t my family get infected? There were various thoughts.

“However, after spring training was discontinued, there was a situation where I was in danger besides the coronavirus infection while staying in Florida. I have decided to return home temporarily with deep caution.

“We are currently self-quarantined at home for two weeks, as requested by the Japanese government.

“As a person traveled from foreign country, I will continue to take responsible actions.”

A couple of weeks back, Tanaka said in interviews that he agreed with the Major League Baseball’s (MLB) decision to end spring training. He also spoke about his issues living in the U.S. amid fears of the spreading disease, such as seeing empty shelves in grocery stores.

Feature Image via @masahiro_tanaka.official

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