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Tazawa says decision is final

Kyodo News

Highly touted hurler Junichi Tazawa reiterated his intention Tuesday to pursue a major league career by dodging the Japanese draft amid fierce opposition from Nippon Professional Baseball officials.

“I want to play in the United States first. I’m not thinking about coming back to Japan at this point,” the 22-year-old right-hander said in Kawasaki, where his Nippon Oil corporate team held practice the same day.

In a bid to stop further outflows of promising talent, NPB decided Monday that those who play for professional teams overseas and return to Japan cannot sign with Japanese clubs for a certain period.

“I’m not going to change my mind because of that decision. I haven’t done anything wrong,” Tazawa said.