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Has Japan ever won the World Baseball Classic? How many times?

Samurai Japan is one of the most successful nations in the four previous editions of the World Baseball Classic.

Members of Japan's team bow to thank the crowd at the end of their 9-3 victory in the World Baseball Classic

After defeating Team Mexico on Monday, Team Japan gets to have its first championship appearance since 2009, when it defeated Korea behind Daisuke Matsuzaka.

Shohei Ohtani sparked his team to a come-from-behind 6-5 victory, capped by a two-run double by Munetaka Murakami that scored Ohtani and Ukyo Shuto.

Japan also brushed Italy aside in Thursday’s quarter-final of the 2023 World Baseball Classic, becoming the only team to reach the semi-finals in all 5 tournaments since the inception of the competition back in 2006.

Despite a brief wobble around the fifth innings where Italy looked like they might get back into it, Samurai Japan then brushed aside the European team.

Related: Is Mexico’s World Baseball Classic run the best ever by a Mexican men’s national team?

Japan's Masataka Yoshida (R) celebrates with his teammates
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Japan's Masataka Yoshida (R) celebrates with his teammatesYUICHI YAMAZAKIAFP

For the bulk of the contest, Japan was simply ruthless, and showed their class throughout, keeping a cool head and putting Italy to the sword when it mattered. Eyebrows were raised, though, when Stampo put Shohei out after 3 balls, but apart from that, it was a serious game from the tournament favorites, and they fully deserve their place in the final four.

Team Samurai will now face the defending champion, Team United States, for the WBC title on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET). The Asian powerhouses are chasing a record third World Baseball Classic crown after winning the tournament in 2006 and 2009. They have been the most consistent team in this year’s tournament, averaging more than nine runs per game on their way to Monday’s semi-final.

Team USA is the defending WBC champion and will have Merrill Kelly on the mound.

Previous Samurai Japan wins

The venue for the first-ever World Baseball Classic final was Petco Park in San Diego (home of the MLB side San Diego Padres), and pitted pre-tournament favorites Japan against Cuba.

Samurai Blue got off to a flyer scoring four runs in the first innings, and despite a late rally from the Cuban side, Japan held on to record a 10-6 win lifting the WBC trophy for the first time.

Three years later, California, once again hosted the final, with the game being staged at the iconic Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. A win over the US in the semi-final set up a final against neighbors South Korea with the Japanese side winning out on the day 5-3.

Both the 2013 and 2017 WBCs saw Japan having to settle for the bronze as they edged out the Netherlands in the 3rd/4th place games in both editions of the competition.

Video: World Baseball Classic final - everything you need to know:

Has Japan ever won the World Baseball Classic? How many times?