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Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles Clinch First Ever Pacific League Pennant

  Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles Clinch First Ever Pacific League Pennant

   Ace pitcher, Masahiro Tanaka, continues to rewrite professional baseball
              record books with 22 consecutive wins and counting

  Team symbolizes hope for Tohoku region of Japan devastated by 2011 tsunami

Business Wire

TOKYO & SENDAI, Japan -- September 26, 2013

The Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles (“Rakuten” or “Eagles”), owned by Internet
services giant Rakuten, Inc., today clinched their first-ever Pacific League
Pennant following a hard-fought victory over Saitama Seibu Lions. Only 9 years
after joining Nippon Professional Baseball (“NPB”), the Pennant represents a
major landmark for Japan’s youngest NPB team, which has often been looked upon
as a symbol of hope for the Tohoku region following the devastating earthquake
and tsunami in March 2011.

Rakuten clinched the championship with 8 games remaining and have to-date
compiled a winning record of 79-53-2, the team’s best win-loss record since
its 2005 inception.

Hiroshi Mikitani, founder and CEO of Rakuten, Inc., offered the following
message to the Eagles’ players and their loyal fans:

This is only our ninth season since we entered the Pacific League in 2005, and
we have now won the league title, which was one of our most important goals. I
am filled with gratitude to all the fans who have continued to chant for us
through thick and thin, and to everybody involved in supporting the team. Let
me take this opportunity to express my heartfelt appreciation to you all.

To the players who have fought long and hard this season, I am immensely proud
of you. Congratulations and thank you! And to coach Hoshino, who has led the
Rakuten Eagles to their first League title, I express my sincere thanks to you
as well.

Next up is the Climax Series and then the Japan Championship Series. I
strongly believe that we will win those competitions and take the crown as the
no. 1 team in Japan.

I look forward to the continued cheering in support of the Rakuten Eagles from
our fans and others involved in the team.

Ace pitcher, Masahiro Tanaka has played a key role in Rakuten’s championship
winning season. He has not lost a decision since 2012, stretching back 26
games. Tanaka’s winning streak has broken several existing professional
pitching records, including consecutive victories in both Japan and America.

Following the conclusion of the regular season, Rakuten will next face-off in
the Pacific League Climax Series beginning Oct.16., with the winner going on
to compete in the Japan Series from October 26.

About Rakuten

Rakuten, Inc. (JASDAQ: 4755), is one of the world’s leading Internet service
companies, providing a variety of consumer- and business-focused services
including e-commerce, eBooks & eReading, travel, banking, securities, credit
card, insurance, e-money, portal and media, online marketing and professional
sports. Selected by Forbes in the top 10 amongst the World’s Most Innovative
Companies in both 2012 and 2013, Rakuten is expanding globally and currently
has operations throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and Oceania. Founded in
1997, Rakuten is headquartered in Tokyo, with over 10,000 employees and
partner staff worldwide. For more information, visit
http://global.rakuten.com/corp/.

Contact:

For investor and media inquiries:
Rakuten:
In Japan:
Public Relations (Japanese, English)
Rakuten, Inc.
Tel: +81-50-5817-1104
pr@mail.rakuten.com
or
In North America:
Christa Conte
Hotwire PR
Tel: 609-635-6803
Christa.Conte@hotwirepr.com
 
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