The Baseball Federation of Japan (BFJ) appointed Japanese Baseball Hall of Famer Masatake Yamanaka (pictured far right) as its new president during the governing body’s 29 May executive meeting.

Yamanaka has experience as a player (a university record holder for most wins) and was the manager of the bronze medal winning Japanese Olympic baseball team at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.

He also served as managing director of the Yokohama BayStars in the top-tier Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) league, and served on the Technical Committee of the inaugural (2006) World Baseball Classic.

Yamanaka had been serving as a BFJ Executive Director since June 2015.

With Yamanaka’s background, he has built a network and deep trust within the Japanese baseball from the youth to the highest levels.

BFJ issued the following statement to the baseball world: “BFJ is confident that the trust placed in [Yamanaka] will inspire the baseball community internationally.”

Japan will be the centre of the international baseball world in 2019-2020, hosting the Super Round and Finals of the WBSC Premier12 in 2019 and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Preparing to be in the high-pressure spotlight, Japan late last year appointed NPB legend Atsunori Inaba (pictured far left) as the new Samurai Japan National Team manager.

Japan is currently ranked No. 2 in the WBSC Baseball World Rankings and No. 1 in the WBSC Women’s Baseball Rankings.