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One elderly woman clapped when the team emerged from customs at Tokyo's Narita Airport. And that was only after a TV crew had pointed out the players.

Japan's Little League world champions returned home Tuesday, wearing their World Series baseball caps and unfazed by the little fanfare.

"It was great that we could come this far," said 12-year-old star pitcher Kazuki Sumiyama, who struck out nine in Saturday's championship game in Williamsport, Pa. "From the very start we played to win."

Coach Tsutomu Kameyama, a former pro baseball player in Japan, was thankful to be back.

"I'm happy we made it home in one piece, and can finally get some Japanese food," he said.

The boys from Hirakata, in western Japan, are the fourth Japanese team to win the Little League World Series. They beat Phenix City, Ala., 5-0.

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