NPB owners approve third term for commissioner Kato


Ryozo Kato was reappointed Thursday to a third term as commissioner of Nippon Professional Baseball at a baseball owners meeting held in Tokyo.

Kato, a Japanese lawyer and career diplomat, was put in charge of NPB until 2014 in what ultimately was a unanimous agreement to appoint the 70-year-old, after two clubs demanded clarification on the commissioner’s role and method of selection.

Kato, who became NPB commissioner in July 2008, has been making a push to internationalize Japanese baseball with such measures as the introduction of a standard ball and he looks to play a central role in the selection of Japan’s manager for next spring’s World Baseball Classic.

“The question is how we bring about prosperity and success in pro baseball,” said Kato. “As commissioner, in order to do that, I am prepared to do everything in my power.”

Some Pacific League clubs had delayed the decision on Kato’s tenure in June, seeking clarification of the official procedures involved in the appointment or dismissal of a commissioner.