"The important thing is the game," Korean closer Seung-Hwan Oh said. "I don't even see the Japanese guys, so it does not affect us."
Meanwhile, Japan is focusing on its own fortunes as well, developing team chemistry as it incorporates its Major Leaguers with its NPB players.
Japan power hitter Nobuhiko Matsunaka, who will start at first base or designated hitter, has very specific worries, not about blending MLB and NPB, but about those still playing on domestic soil who may see the World Baseball Classic as a chance to join Ichiro Suzuki and Akinori Otsuka in the Majors.
"If there are players who play wondering how they will fare in the Majors, we will lose," Matsunaka said in a TV interview.
Sadaharu Oh and his coaching staff ran a very typical first day of practice, a four-hour session working on baseball fundamentals. He and his staff discussed strategy and player personnel, but they didn't talk about Korea.
"We think we can win by playing Japanese-style baseball," Oh said. "There will be teams who want to beat us, though."
Although both teams are focused within during warmups, rest assured they don't go long without thinking of their March 5 showdown at Tokyo Dome, the last Group A game to be played and one certain to have implications on who advances to California for the next round.
"I can't predict scores, but I think Korea can go to the U.S. for the semifinals," Korea's Byung-Kyu Lee said. "We can beat Japan."
But for now, all the talk is just talk, echoing through an empty Yahoo! Dome. A monstrosity along Kyushu's coastline, the dome's capacity of 35,157 isn't among Japan's largest, but come game time, the retractable-roof dome will be as large and loud as it looks from the outside.
And when play moves to the Big Egg, the party will get even bigger.