After Having Their Terms Met, Japan's Players' Union Has Agreed To The WBC
Japanese players have agreed to take part in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, "backing off a threat to boycott the event because of a dispute" over how tournament money is shared, according to the AP. The players' union had demanded that two-time defending champion Japan "control all the sponsorship and licensing revenue generated by its participation in the tournament." Currently, however, all such money is pooled and distributed by MLB, the tournament organizer. Following a meeting with organizers in N.Y. in August, officials from Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball league said that "some sponsorship and licensing revenue would remain in Japan" (AP, 9/4). The WALL STREET JOURNAL's blog Japan Real Time's Takashi Mochizuki reported that NPB "set up a new business structure" that will bring in ¥4B ($51.1M) in four years. Japan's players' union said in a statement: "We've decided to lift our previous decision not to participate in the WBC because it appears what we've been demanding has been fulfilled." For '06 runner-up Cuba "it may not be good news," but for NPB "it's great news." NPB announced last year that Japan would be taking part in WBC 2013, "and it believes Japan's joining the games next year is a particularly important weapon" in fighting off the growing popularity of football (WSJ, 9/4).