Japan’s professional baseball season will begin on June 19, but without any fans in attendance, Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) commissioner Atsushi Saito announced on Monday.
On June 2nd the 12 teams of the league will be able to start practicing games. The season is shortened to 120 games, on schedule from the original 143 regular-season games. The NPB All-Star Game, as well as the interleague games, were canceled this year.
I hope we can provide some guidelines for other than professional baseball activities, “Saito said through the Associated Press after an online meeting with the League’s members. According to our guidelines it is important to operate carefully.
The Japanese baseball league was initially scheduled to start its 2020 season on March 20 but due to the global coronavirus pandemic the start was postponed.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe recently announced that the nationwide state of emergency will end. In the last areas of the country, including in Tokyo and on the northern island of Hokkaido, prohibitions due to the coronavirus were lifted.
It is with great joy that we have been able to decide to open the season, “Saito said.”
But we believe it is from now on that we must carry out thorough preparations without fail, and it remains crucial that our efforts move forward with caution while protecting our players, other people involved, and their families.
Japan follows in the footsteps of South Korea (Korea Baseball Organization) and Taiwan (Chinese Professional Baseball League) were two other professional baseball leagues began their seasons in 2020.
Both leagues started behind closed doors, but the Taiwan-based CPBL recently began allowing fans to attend games. All three leagues were able to provide Major League Baseball blueprints.
MLB is still on an indefinite season hiatus by 2020. MLB and the Players Association are currently in talks to return to play, and on Tuesday, the league is reportedly set to make another proposal to the players’ union.