NPBPA agrees to play in WBC
Japan to defend world title after strike threat ends
The Nippon Professional Baseball Players Association announced plans to play in the upcoming World Baseball Classic on Tuesday.
NPBPA chief Takahiro Arai of the Hanshin Tigers said at a press conference at Koshien Stadium that Japan has been assured sponsorship and merchandising revenue on a limited basis.
The players contended revenue shares were not fairly divided, and threatened to sit out of the tournament, which they won in the inaugural 2006 competition and repeated as champions in 2009.
NPB officials, however, visited New York on Aug. 13 for a negotiating session with Major League Baseball and WBC Inc. officials.
The NPB officials returned to Japan and informed the union it now has certain sponsorship rights, and NPB has created a special section to handle those dealings.
The players, who held a special meeting in mid-July during which they voted unanimously not to participate in the WBC unless changes were made in revenue sharing structure, subsequently softened their position.
Japan will be among the 28 countries that participate, with preliminary rounds kicking off this month.
(Sep. 5, 2012ã€€The Yomiuri Shimbun)