NPB's demand for bigger cut to play in 2013 World Baseball Classic rejected

TOKYO (Kyodo) -- The Japan Professional Baseball Players Association on Wednesday requested in a meeting with Major League Baseball that the Japanese team receive a bigger slice of the revenue for the next World Baseball Classic in 2013 but its demand was turned down. As part of its demands at the negotiations held in Tokyo, the JPBPA had asked that sponsorship rights and the rights to baseball memorabilia for the Japanese team be transferred to Nippon Professional Baseball. Despite its contribution to the 2009 tournament, NPB claims that 33 percent of profits went to Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association, while Japan received only 13 percent of profits. The Japanese players' union said it still plans, in coordination with NPB and the Japanese pro baseball clubs, to demand that the rights be secured as a condition for the two-time defending champion to play in 2013. JPBPA executive director Toru Matsubara said, "Right now, for the future of Japan we must have a solid contract." According to a source, MLB and the MLB Players Association, which will organize the 2013 tournament, have notified the JPBPA and NPB that the deadline to reply on whether or not Japan will participate in the tournament is the end of September. Jim Small, MLB's vice president for Asia, has said that the MLB will go ahead with the WBC, even if Japan does not play. Nippon Ham Fighters club representative Toshimasa Shimada, who heads the international affairs committee, and other representatives from NPB, could possibly travel to the United States in September to negotiate with the organizer.
(Mainichi Japan) August 11, 2011