Japan opens baseball season after 3-month delay
Japan Today -- Jun 20
Japanese baseball managed to do what American baseball has not — play ball.

After a three-month delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the world's second-most famous baseball competition opened a season Friday that will be shortened from its regular 143 games to 120. That, of course, is twice as many as MLB figures to play — if it plays at all.

The regular season had been scheduled to start March 20. It is slated to end on Nov. 7, followed by postseason play.

It wasn't a perfect start, but all 12 league teams played. Two of the games were in open-air stadiums in Tokyo and Yokohama. They started about 30 minutes late with rain threatening.

The other four were in domed facilities in Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka and Saitama prefecture northwest of Tokyo.

“I’m very happy, very excited about today’s game,” said Alex Ramírez, the manager of the Central League's Yokohama BayStars. “Just to think about all the time we’ve had to wait, and stuff like that. It’s just the best feeling.”

All games in Japan will be played without fans until at least July. The league has also revised the schedule to limit travel. There will be periodic testing and quarantines and, according to league guidelines, players will be banned from spitting.

Teams can dress 26 players and choose from 31 players on an active roster. Non-baseball staff will wear masks.

News source: Japan Today
Jul 13
Tokyo Metropolitan Police have arrested the manager and an employee of a massage parlor operating illegally in the red-light district of Kabukicho, reports TV Asahi (July 4). (tokyoreporter.com)
Jul 11
With just over a year to go until the Tokyo Olympics, medical experts say the event could pose a grave health risk to the public, predicting that few people will have coronavirus antibodies and that vaccines will not be widely available. (Japan Times)
Jul 11
Despite the surge of new cases in Japan, sports fans were allowed to return to stadiums starting Friday. (NHK)
Jul 11
The Olympic Games in Tokyo was set to be one of the greatest of all time. (newsonjapan.com)
Jul 10
The Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic organizing committee will issue ticket refunds to people unable to attend the games due to their one-year postponement, sources close to the matter said Thursday. (Japan Times)
Jul 08
Japan will consider easing travel restrictions for athletes from abroad for next year's Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in a bid to hold the Summer Games even if the global coronavirus pandemic is not completely under control by then, several sources close to the matter said Tuesday. (Kyodo)
Jul 07
A wide-ranging survey conducted by the Japan News Network (JNN) found that 77 percent of those questioned said that the Tokyo Olympics "cannot be held" next year, it was announced on Monday. (Japan Today)
Jul 05
The top J1 division of Japan's professional soccer league, J.League, which postponed all official matches in February in response to the coronavirus outbreak, has resumed play without spectators. (NHK)
Jun 29
Second-favorite Chrono Genesis blitzed the field Sunday to claim the Takarazuka Kinen at Hanshin Racecourse. (Japan Times)
Jun 23
Japanese high school baseball players, heartbroken because their annual tournament was canceled due to the pandemic, are getting a consolation prize: a spoonful of dirt. (Japan Today)