WBSC and Japan Baseball leaders applaud Premier12 and its growth of international baseball
（Aroud the Rings 11/14/19） “Premier12 is extremely important to international baseball, providing the opportunity for teams to compete in a high-level, international event,” said Mr Masatake Yamanaka, President of the Baseball Federation of Japan
The WBSC Premier12 comes to Japan again after the 2015 Opening Game and Finals were held here at Sapporo Dome and Tokyo Dome respectively. The top international baseball competition in recent years, the excitement for the historic baseball return to the Olympic Games in Tokyo next year starts to heat up with the Premier12.
“Premier12 is extremely important to international baseball, providing the opportunity for teams to compete in a high-level, international event,” said Mr Masatake Yamanaka, President of the Baseball Federation of Japan. “As the Sports Director of Samurai Japan, I work on player selection and their preparation, but at the same time, together with NPB, we worked with the Tokyo Dome and ZOZO Marine Stadium to make the event very successful and provide a welcoming experience for each team and their fans who are coming here from all over the world.”
“This second edition of the Premier12 is yet another example of the continuous growth of international baseball,” said WBSC President, Riccardo Fraccari. “For this we must also praise the relationship with all professional leagues around the world; without them an event of this level would not be possible. Next summer, our athletes will be once again representing their countries, this time on the highest sport stage, the Olympic Games. The whole global baseball community is excited about it. Japan is home of baseball and we expect to showcase the best of our sport.”
Baseball was introduced in Japan in 1872 by Horace Wilson, an American Teacher at Ichiban Chugaku (now Tokyo University) who presented the game to its students. Since then, baseball has become one of the most iconic and popular activities in Japan. The NPB is Japan's largest professional sports competition in terms of television ratings and spectators, that’s why baseball is expected to be one of the most important events during the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020.