Japan backs off boycott threat, will play in 2013 World Baseball Classic

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OSAKA, Japan — Japanese players have agreed to take part in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, backing off a threat to boycott the event because of a dispute over the way tournament money is shared.

Japan agreed to play in the World Baseball Classic, backing off a threat to boycott over revenue sharing.  FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Japan agreed to play in the World Baseball Classic, backing off a threat to boycott over revenue sharing.

The players’ union had demanded that two-time defending champion Japan control all the sponsorship and licensing revenue generated by its participation in the tournament.

Currently, all such revenues are pooled and distributed by Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Asso­ciation, the tournament organizers.

After a meeting with tournament organizers in New York in August, officials from Nippon Professional Baseball said some sponsorship and licensing revenue would remain in Japan.

“I think everyone is happy that we can choose players of the highest quality,” NPB Commissioner Ryozo Kato said. “We need to put together a team that is intent on winning.”

The Asian round will be held in Tokyo in March, with Japan facing Cuba, China and the winner of November’s Asian qualifying round in Taiwan.


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