One of Japan's chief umpires said Saturday that Japan went farther than the majors toward collisions at home plate out of consideration for Japanese players' "national character."

Speaking a day after Japan's new home plate collision rules were enforced for the first time in the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters' 8-4 Pacific League win over the Seibu Lions, the chief of Nippon Professional Baseball's umpiring technical committee, Osamu Ino, said it was necessary to make Japan's rules at home base stricter than in Major League Baseball.

"In the majors, a fielder is allowed to enter the baseline if he has the ball," Ino, who also sits on Japan's rules committee, told Kyodo News by telephone. "He can block the plate if he has the ball. But we felt that if we left that door open, players would encroach on it and pretty soon players would be blocking the plate.