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Union, NPB keep cards close to chest over WBC talks

Kyodo

Officials from Nippon Professional Baseball met on Wednesday morning in Tokyo over Japan’s participation in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, but there was no additional information on the progress of talks divulged at a press conference in Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture.

The players’ union has resolved not to participate in the WBC unless Japan can control the revenues from licensing and sponsorships related to Japan’s team. As part of NPB’s effort to get the players on board, NPB has held additional talks with tournament organizers — a move that was praised last week by union chairman Takahiro Arai.

“I hope you will understand, but we are in the middle of negotiations and I am not going to report on where in that process we are,” NPB secretary general Kunio Shimoda told reporters at Seibu Dome.

No players were present at the meeting that was described as an “exchange of opinion” between the two sides.

“We are still in the process of dealing with the information presented, so it’s too early to tell about how things are going,” said Yoshiyuki Yamazaki, who handles public relations for the union.

Toru Matsubara, the union’s secretary general, said the players were the ones who would need to sign off on the deal.

“The final decision is up to the players, and to chairman Arai,” Matsubara said.