Inaba confirmed as Samurai Japan Olympic Team manager

Inaba confirmed as Samurai Japan Olympic Team manager
NPB Secretary-General Atsushi Ihara announced that the contract of the skipper has been extended following the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) Secretary-General Atsushi Ihara announced a contract extension of Samurai Japan manager Atsunori Inaba. The decision follows the postponement of the Games of the XXXII Olympiad Tokyo 2020 to the summer of 2021.

Inaba led Japan to the WBSC Premier12 title in his first major international competition as Samurai Japan manager.

He commented: "The goal of a gold medal remains the same, and I think positively that I had enough time to think about the Games for a year."

Inaba answered questions from the Japanese press during an online press conference following the announcement.

"We would like to pray for those who have died due to the new coronavirus infection, and we would like to express our deepest sympathies to all those affected by the spread of the infection. We also would like to express our gratitude to the members of the Tokyo 2020 Organizing Committee and the Japan Olympic Committee, who continue to make every effort to hold the event."

Inaba is already working on player selection.

"The process will be the same we used for the Premier12. For now, I'm following the players we are considering on TV. It won't change the way I believe a team should be built. Defence comes first, then speed and power."

Regarding potential uncertainties about the national team's preparation, he said: "Yes, we are aware of that. We cannot say now when we will be able to open camp and play warm-up games. It's the same in every country."