Baseball Federation of Japan President Masatake Yamanaka re-elected, announces new board members

Baseball Federation of Japan President Masatake Yamanaka re-elected, announces new board members
17/07/2021
The Tokyo Olympics will have a major impact on bringing a "sustainable glow" to baseball, BFJ leaders say.

The Baseball Federation of Japan (BFJ) on 15 July held a press conference in Tokyo to announce the appointment of new board members. The press conference was led by Japanese Baseball Hall of Famer Masatake Yamanaka, who was recently re-elected to a new two-year term as BFJ president.

Yuichi Hirano, former manager of the University of Tokyo baseball team and professor at Hosei University, was appointed as BFJ Executive Director. Kenta Aoshima, 63, a sports writer and TV anchor who played for NPB's Yakult Swallows, and Yuko Arakida, 67, a gold medalist in women's volleyball at the 1976 Montreal Olympics and vice president of the Tokyo Organizing Committee for the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, were also appointed as executive directors. Arakida was also appointed as Executive Managing Director. Waka Takada of Brooks Brothers Japan Co., Ltd. was also appointed to the board of directors.

"A major theme will be what to do with the Japanese baseball world after the Tokyo Olympics," Yamanaka told the press. "I have asked these four new members to join the board of directors as a force to promote this. I hope we can work together to evolve baseball in Japan. We also want to change and make a big difference in Japanese baseball."

BFJ leaders in the press conference indicated they will be dedicated to supporting baseball's inclusion at the LA 28 Olympic Games, which will further boost baseball's global expansion.

Japan is expected to be one of the favourites at the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics, where baseball will make its first showing since the Beijing 2008 Games.

Under Yamanaka, Japanese National Baseball Teams have won the last two flagship WBSC international baseball tournaments, the 2018 WBSC Baseball Women's World Cup and the 2019 WBSC Premier12.

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

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