BFA President Tom Peng visited Myanmar to promote development of Baseball in East Asian Region
No sooner did BFA President Tom Peng returned home from his meeting with Mrs. Rita Subowo (OC President of Indonesia) in Djakarta to solicit her support for baseball to reinstate to the 18th Asian Game in Djakarta in 2018 as well as to 2020 Tokyo Olympics, he flew to Myanmar. In spite of a brief visit, he invited Special Advisor to the National Federation/National Head Coach Toru Iwasaki, his wife and Secretary General of the Myanmar Federation, Aung Naing Oo, to lunch in Yangon on May 28, 2015 to hear from them first hand various issues to promote baseball in a country where it is not a traditional sport.
One of the challenges for Iwasaki is to prevent the only baseball park in Myanmar from the threat of closure as a consequence of the redevelopment program in the central area of Yangon. BFA is supportive of initiatives by Baseball Federation of Japan to work on this and other challenges and President Peng pledged further help to Iwasaki such as sending coaches, holding umpire clinics etc.
High School Baseball All-Stars from Aichi Prefecture is scheduled to visit Myanmar to play friendly games in December, 2016, preceded by similar goodwill tours by High Scholl All Stars from Tokyo in 2014 and Shiga Prefecture in 2006.
Toru Iwasaki (59) used to work with the United Nations, resides in Yangon with his wife after retirement and help promote baseball as volunteers. In fact, he and his wife were instrumental in starting baseball in Myanmar including construction of a baseball stadium helped by his friends and colleagues in Myanmar including Aung Naing Oo who is now the Secretary General for the National Federation.
Currently pitcher Zaw Zaw Oo (25) from Myanmar plays professionally in Japan for Kagawa Olive Guyners, a member of the Shikoku Independent Baseball League. More baseball players from Myanmar may emerge to play baseball in Japan and elsewhere in the near future.