Ohtani declines prestigious national honor

Japan's top government spokesperson says Major League Baseball two-way star Ohtani Shohei has declined an offer to be given the People's Honor Award.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno Hirokazu told reporters on Monday that Ohtani said it was still too early.

The Los Angeles Angels' star was named the American League's Most Valuable Player last week.

Matsuno said the government believes Ohtani's performance earned him the honor. Officials think his response shows his determination to focus on sharpening his skills to reach higher goals.

Matsuno added that officials and members of the public hope Ohtani will do even better in coming seasons.