After months of bickering over the split of revenues, Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) sources said on Oct. 20 that they plan to send Japan's national team--the two-time defending champions in the event--to the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
The decision to participate was agreed upon at an NPB owners' meeting, according to sources, but Japan's participation in the international baseball tournament will only be official if the Japanese Professional Baseball Players' Association (JPBPA) approves it at a general meeting to be held in December.
NPB has requested that World Baseball Classic Inc. (WBCI), the organizer of the MLB-owned and operated WBC, gives NPB sponsorship rights for Japan's national team as well as the right to sell goods related to the team. The JPBPA said its members will not participate in the 2013 WBC unless these requests are granted.
However, NPB determined on Oct. 7 that Japan's national baseball team will be formed on a permanent basis, much like the country's national soccer team. With the team being organized permanently, as opposed to being assembled for individual events, NPB believes it will gain more financially from sponsorship fees if the team participates in the WBC.
Currently, negotiations between NPB and WBCI remain ongoing. However, it is believed that a deal has been reached that requires NPB to pay WBCI the sponsorship money for the national team whenever the team is playing in a WBC-related event.
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