• Kyodo News


The Central League will hold an emergency board meeting Thursday to discuss its blueprint for the new season yet again.

Tokyo Yakult Swallows owner Junsei Atarashi, who chairs the CL board, and Nippon Professional Baseball commissioner Ryozo Kato informed the education ministry Tuesday of plans to open the season on March 29 and a self-imposed ban of night games until April 3.

Yet Education Minister Yoshiaki Takaki and Minister for Electricity Conservation Promotion Renho rejected the CL’s proposals, requesting the league to not schedule games in the evening throughout April in quake-affected areas.

“We will fully comply with the strong demands of the ministries,” Atarashi said. “It’s obvious for us to cooperate.”

The ministry also asked the CL and Kato to consider starting the season on the same day as the Pacific League on April 12, just as the players’ union has demanded all long.

The 12 owners will meet on Saturday.

“We will continue to push for it,” said the Hanshin Tigers’ Takahiro Arai, who heads the union. “Even if it goes into December, we will play all 144 games, the Climax Series and the Japan Series.”

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