• Kyodo News

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Nippon Professional Baseball commissioner Ryozo Kato said Friday the country should start using a ball similar to the one used in the major leagues for the next World Baseball Classic in 2013.

Japan won its second consecutive WBC earlier this week, but a number of Japanese pitchers struggled to control the official major league ball that they feel is slippery, compared with the moist-textured ball used in Japan.

“We have to play the game of baseball based on international standards. I know there are obstacles, but we should not hesitate to tackle them,” Kato said.

The former ambassador to the United States plans to hold talks with people who have been involved in international tournaments.

The NPB, however, will need cooperation from domestic ball makers, who could express strong opposition to such a move.

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