• Kyodo

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Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) and Japan High School Baseball Federation (JHBF) will work together to change regulations restricting pro and high school players from coming into contact, the two parties said Monday.

It was the first major step taken since 1961, when the Chunichi Dragons broke the rule that forbids the pro side from negotiating with amateurs until the end of the season and forced outfielder Fukuzo Yanagawa, who was then playing for Nissay in the corporate league, to sign with the club in mid-season.

As a result of the tension created between the professional and amateur federations, active pros and former pros in Japan are banned from teaching the sport to high school players to this day.

Former Fair Trade Commission chairman Yasuchika Negoro will take over as Japanese baseball commissioner at the end of this month.

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