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Yakult Swallows infielder Shinya Miyamoto is set to take over from Atsuya Furuta as Japanese baseball players association president, baseball sources said Wednesday.

Miyamoto, 35, has been at the top of the shortlist of candidates to replace Furuta, who made clear his intention to step down after being named player-manger for the Central League club last month.

Miyamoto’s appointment will be formalized at the association’s general assembly meeting on Dec. 1.

Miyamoto admitted that he is in position to become the successor to Furuta and sounded positive about taking up his new role.

“I think I will be the next association president if there are no other strong candidates,” Miyamoto said after the Swallows’ fan fest at Jingu Stadium. “I will play a leading role in our bid to make Japanese baseball more attractive.”

Furuta, 40, who has served as the fifth association president since December 1998, will remain a member of the association after his current term expires in December.

Under Furuta’s leadership, the association last year showed its clout as a strong labor union in a battle against a move toward a contraction of Japanese professional baseball, which led to the first-ever players strike.

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