Taiwan will host the Asian qualifying tournament for the baseball competition at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing as planned, Japanese baseball officials said Wednesday.

Taiwanese baseball officials have notified Japan Amateur Baseball Association president Masatake Matsuda of the decision to host the qualifiers in 2007, although Japan had asked for the possibility of obtaining the hosting right.

Japanese baseball officials had hoped that hosting the qualifying tournament will help ease the way for the participation of the country’s professional players.

Japan hosted the Asian qualifiers for the 1996 and 2004 Olympic baseball tournaments. South Korea staged the qualifiers for the 2000 Games.

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