Japan national baseball team
Information
Country Japan
FederationBaseball Federation of Japan
ConfederationBaseball Federation of Asia
ManagerAtsunori Inaba
WBSC ranking 1 Steady (11 August 2021)[1]
Uniforms
World Baseball Classic
Appearances4 (First in 2006)
Best result 1st (2 times, most recent in 2009)
Olympic Games
Appearances6 (First in 1992)
Best result 1st (1 time, in 2020)
WBSC Premier12
Appearances2 (First in 2015)
Best result 1st (1 time, in 2019)
World Cup
Appearances15 (First in 1972)
Best result 2nd (1 time, in 1982)
Intercontinental Cup
Appearances15 (First in 1973)
Best result 1st (2 times, most recent in 1997)
Asian Games
Appearances4 (First in 1994)
Best result 1st (1 time, in 1994)
Asian Championship
Appearances25 (First in 1954)
Best result 1st (17 times, most recent in 2017)

The Japan national baseball team (野球日本代表, Yakyū Nihon Daihyō) is the national team representing Japan in international baseball competitions. It won the World Baseball Classic in 2006 and 2009, as well as WBSC Premier12 in 2019. The team is currently ranked 1st in the world by the World Baseball Softball Confederation.[1]

The team has participated in every Summer Olympic Games since the first demonstration tournament in 1984, through when baseball was discontinued following the 2008 Beijing Games. Until 2000, the team was made up exclusively of amateur players. Since the 2000 Summer Olympics, the team has been composed of players from Nippon Professional Baseball. The team that played in the 2006 World Baseball Classic included Japanese players from Major League Baseball as well.

The team won the 2006 Classic. It played at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, as it had qualified through the Asian Baseball Championship in 2007. Unlike the WBC roster, the Olympic team was composed exclusively of NPB players (though it included one amateur player, who was drafted during the tournament's progress). Japan participated in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, finishing third.

Team Japan won the 2019 WBSC Premier12 Tournament. At the Olympics in 2021 it will face Israel, Mexico, South Korea, the United States, and the Dominican Republic.

Current roster

Source: [2]

Japan roster – 2020 Summer Olympics roster
Players Coaches
Pitchers
Catchers

Infielders

Outfielders

Manager

Coaches


Nickname

The team has been nicknamed "Samurai Japan" (侍ジャパン).[3] Like other national teams in Japan, the nickname is usually prefixed with the surname of the manager. However, in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, the team used Samurai, a symbol of Japan's history, instead of Hara, the surname of their manager. In 2012, it was adopted officially.

Results and fixtures

The following is a list of professional baseball match results currently active in the latest version of the WBSC World Rankings, as well as any future matches that have been scheduled.[4]

Legend

  Win   Lose   Void or postponed   Fixture

2021

2020 Summer Olympics GS July 28 Dominican Republic  3–4  Japan Azuma Stadium, Fukushima
12:00 JST LP: Jairo Asencio Boxscore WP: Ryoji Kuribayashi
2020 Summer Olympics GS July 31 Japan  7–4  Mexico Azuma Stadium, Fukushima
12:00 JST WP: Masato Morishita
Sv: Ryoji Kuribayashi
Boxscore LP: Juan Pablo Oramas
HR: Tetsuto Yamada (1), Hayato Sakamoto (1) HR: Joey Meneses (1)
2020 Summer Olympics R2 August 2 United States  6–7 (F/10)  Japan Yokohama Stadium, Naka-ku
19:00 JST LP: Edwin Jackson Boxscore WP: Ryoji Kuribayashi
HR: Triston Casas (2) HR: Seiya Suzuki (1)
2020 Summer Olympics SF August 4 South Korea  2–5  Japan Yokohama Stadium, Naka-ku
19:00 JST LP: Go Woo-suk Boxscore WP: Hiromi Itoh
Sv: Ryoji Kuribayashi
2020 Summer Olympics Gold August 7 United States  0–2  Japan Yokohama Stadium, Naka-ku
19:00 JST LP: Nick Martinez Boxscore WP: Masato Morishita
Sv: Ryoji Kuribayashi
HR: Munetaka Murakami (1)

2019

Friendly March 9 Mexico  4–2  Japan Kyocera Dome, Osaka
Boxscore
Friendly March 10 Mexico  0–6  Japan Kyocera Dome, Osaka
Boxscore
Friendly August 28 Japan  15–2  France Hall de Saint-Exupery, Rouen
Boxscore
Friendly August 30 Japan  22–0  France Gymnase Maréchal, Montigny
Boxscore
Friendly August 31 Japan  15–5  France Templiers Stadium, Sénart
Boxscore
Friendly September 1 Japan  6–7  France Templiers Stadium, Sénart
Boxscore
Friendly September 1 Japan  18–8  France Templiers Stadium, Sénart
Boxscore
Asian Championship GS October 15 Japan  2–0  Chinese Taipei Taichung Stadium, Taichung
18:30 TST Boxscore
Asian Championship GS October 16 Hong Kong  0–15 (F/5)  Japan Taichung Stadium, Taichung
18:30 TST Boxscore
Asian Championship GS October 17 Sri Lanka  0–15 (F/5)  Japan Taichung Stadium, Taichung
12:00 TST Boxscore
Asian Championship SR October 18 China  1–11 (F/7)  Japan Taichung Stadium, Taichung
12:00 TST Boxscore Attendance: 346
Asian Championship SR October 19 South Korea  3–11  Japan Taichung Stadium, Taichung
12:00 TST Boxscore Attendance: 362
Asian Championship Gold October 20 Chinese Taipei  5–4  Japan Taichung Stadium, Taichung
18:30 TST Boxscore
WBSC Premier 12 GS November 5 Venezuela  4–8  Japan Taoyuan Stadium, Taoyuan
18:00 Boxscore Attendance: 3,868
WBSC Premier 12 GS November 6 Puerto Rico  0–4  Japan Taoyuan Stadium, Taoyuan
18:00 Boxscore Attendance: 4,209
WBSC Premier 12 GS November 7 Japan  8–1  Chinese Taipei Taichung Stadium, Taichung
18:30 Boxscore Attendance: 20,465
WBSC Premier 12 SR November 11 Australia  2–3  Japan Zozo Marine Stadium, Chiba
19:00 Boxscore Attendance: 17,819
WBSC Premier 12 SR November 12 United States  4–3  Japan Tokyo Dome, Tokyo
19:00 Boxscore Attendance: 27,827
WBSC Premier 12 SR November 13 Mexico  1–3  Japan Tokyo Dome, Tokyo
19:00 Boxscore Attendance: 31,776
WBSC Premier 12 SR November 16 South Korea  8–10  Japan Tokyo Dome, Tokyo
19:00 Boxscore Attendance: 44,224
WBSC Premier 12 Gold November 17 South Korea  3–5  Japan Tokyo Dome, Tokyo
19:00 Boxscore Attendance: 44,960

2018

Friendly March 3 Australia  0–2  Japan Nagoya Dome, Nagoya
Boxscore
Friendly March 4 Australia  0–6  Japan Nagoya Dome, Nagoya
Boxscore
Haarlem Baseball Week GS July 13 Japan  1–0  Italy Pim Mulier Stadium, Haarlem
Boxscore
Haarlem Baseball Week GS July 14 Chinese Taipei  0–1  Japan Pim Mulier Stadium, Haarlem
Boxscore
Haarlem Baseball Week GS July 15 Cuba  1–7  Japan Pim Mulier Stadium, Haarlem
Boxscore
Haarlem Baseball Week GS July 16 Japan  6–1  Germany Pim Mulier Stadium, Haarlem
Boxscore
Haarlem Baseball Week GS July 18 Netherlands  3–5  Japan Pim Mulier Stadium, Haarlem
Boxscore
Haarlem Baseball Week SF July 20 Japan  8–1  Chinese Taipei Pim Mulier Stadium, Haarlem
Boxscore
Haarlem Baseball Week Final July 22 Japan  5–0  Chinese Taipei Pim Mulier Stadium, Haarlem
Boxscore
Asian Games GS August 26 Japan  15–0 (F/6)  Pakistan Rawamangun Field, Jakarta
9:00 WIB Boxscore
Asian Games GS August 27 Japan  17–2 (F/5)  China Rawamangun Field, Jakarta
14:00 WIB Boxscore
Asian Games GS August 28 Thailand  0–24 (F/5)  Japan Rawamangun Field, Jakarta
9:00 WIB Boxscore
Asian Games SR August 30 Japan  1–5  South Korea GBK Field, Jakarta
12:00 WIB Boxscore
Asian Games SR August 31 Chinese Taipei  0–5  Japan GBK Field, Jakarta
18:30 WIB Boxscore
Asian Games Gold September 1 South Korea  3–0  Japan GBK Field, Jakarta
16:00 WIB Boxscore

Regional competition

Asian Baseball Championship

Main article: Asian Baseball Championship

Japan have dominated the Asian Baseball Championship since its inception, and have competed in every year. Japan have never missed out on placing in the top 3 in any tournament, and is the only team to have achieved this feat. Japan also holds the record for most consecutive Asian Championships, having won four times in a row on two occasions.

Asian Games

Main article: Baseball at the Asian Games

In all four Asian Games to include baseball, Japan have placed in the top 3 in every tournament, though they have only won the tournament once in the first event held in Hiroshima in 1994.

International competition

2009 World Baseball Classic finals. Kenji Johjima and Yu Darvish
World Baseball Classic Championship Trophy
World Baseball Classic Championship Trophy

World Baseball Classic

Main article: World Baseball Classic

See also: 2006 World Baseball Classic rosters § Japan, 2009 World Baseball Classic rosters § Japan, and 2013 World Baseball Classic rosters § .C2.A0Japan

2006

Japan won the inaugural 2006 World Baseball Classic, defeating Cuba in the Final.

2006 WBC roster

2009

Japan also won the 2009 World Baseball Classic, hosting the Pool A games in the Tokyo Dome. Japan started the tournament opener with a 4–0 win over China. Japan then secured advancement into the second round with a 14–2 win in seven innings over rival South Korea. The game was shortened due to the WBC's mercy rule. Japan then played South Korea again to determine seeding for the second round. In the rematch, the Koreans shut out Japan 1–0, making Japan advance as the Pool A runner-up. In Pool 1 of the WBC quarter-finals, Japan defeated Cuba 6–0, but lost to Korea again 4–1. In the elimination match that followed, Japan secured a spot in the semi-finals with a 5–0 win over Cuba. Japan defeated South Korea in the Finals 5–3 partly because of an Ichiro Suzuki base hit in the 10th inning.

2009 WBC roster

2013: The end of the championship streak

Japan, the two-time world defending champions, entered the 2013 World Baseball Classic, hosting Pool A games in the Fukuoka Dome, facing off against Cuba, China, and newcomers Brazil. Despite their first loss against the Cuban team, they secured their position for the second round in 2013 World Baseball Classic Pool 1 to face off the Netherlands and Chinese Taipei. The Japanese team narrowly won against Chinese Taipei 4-3, before proceeding to face off against the Dutch team, winning against them twice before proceeding to the semi-final round, along with the Netherlands, as they faced off against Puerto Rico. Despite Japan's efforts, they eventually lost 3-1 against the Puerto Rican team right after Alex Ríos scored two additional runs from a home run. Japan finished third in the 2013 WBC, as their two-time championship streak ended. The Japanese team bowed out to both the crowd and the Puerto Rican team as a gesture of respect.

2013 WBC roster

2017

In the 2017 World Baseball Classic, Japan hosted Pool B games in the Tokyo Dome. They finished first round play with a 3-0 record and advanced to the second round.[5] After batting .364, outfielder Yoshitomo Tsutsugoh was named the Pool B MVP.[6] In the second round, Japan hosted Pool E games in the Tokyo Dome and again finished pool play with a 3-0 record, advancing to the championship round. However, Japan lost to the United States 2-1 in the semifinal. They finished the tournament in third place. Pitcher Kodai Senga was named to the All-World Baseball Classic Team.

2017 WBC roster

Olympic Games

Main article: Baseball at the Summer Olympics

2008

2008 Summer Olympics roster

2021

Baseball is being featured at the 2020 Summer Olympics, in Tokyo, for the first time since the 2008 Summer Olympics.[7] Six national teams are competing in the tournament: Israel, Japan (host), Mexico, South Korea, the United States, and the Dominican Republic. It will be held from July 28 to August 7, 2021.[8]

2020 Summer Olympics roster

Baseball World Cup

Main article: Baseball World Cup

Intercontinental Cup

Main article: Intercontinental Cup (baseball)

Premier12 Tournament

2015

Team Japan came in third in the 2015 WBSC Premier12 Tournament.

2019

Team Japan won the 12-team 2019 WBSC Premier12 Tournament, which was held from November 2 to 17, 2019.[9]

International tournament results

World Baseball Classic

 Japan
World Baseball Classic
Tournament Results
Japan / United States 20061st
Japan / United States 20091st
Japan / United States 20133rd
Japan / United States 20173rd
Medal Tally
Gold
2
Silver
-
Bronze
2
World Baseball Classic record Qualification record
Year Round Position W L RS RA W L RS RA
Japan United States 2006 Final
1st
5 3 60 21 No qualifiers held
Japan United States 2009 Final
1st
7 2 50 16 No qualifiers held
Japan United States 2013 Semifinal
3rd
5 2 44 27 Automatically qualified
Japan United States 2017 Semifinal
3rd
6 1 47 24 Automatically qualified
Total 4/4 23 8 201 88 - - - -

Olympic Games

Summer Olympics record Qualification
Year Host Round Position W L RS RA
1964 Japan Exhibition only 0 1 2 6
1984 United States Finals 1st [a] 4 1 33 11
1988 South Korea Finals 2nd [a] 4 1 27 17
1992 Spain Bronze Match 3rd 6 3 70 22
1996 United States Finals 2nd 5 4 77 59
2000 Australia Bronze Match 4th 4 5 42 29
1999 Asian Baseball Championship
2004 Greece Bronze Match 3rd 7 2 60 23
2003 Asian Baseball Championship
2008 People's Republic of China Bronze Match 4th 4 5 36 28
2007 Asian Baseball Championship
2020 Japan Gold Match 1st 5 0 25 15 Host
Total [b] 6/6 31 19 310 176
  1. ^ a b No medals awarded; tournament was a demonstration sport only
  2. ^ Totals only include years 1992 to 2008 and 2020, during which baseball was an official medal sport.

Baseball World Cup

Main article: Baseball World Cup

   

Intercontinental Cup

Main article: Intercontinental Cup (baseball)

 

Asian Baseball Championship

Main article: Asian Baseball Championship

     

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "The WBSC World Ranking". WBSC. 11 August 2021. Retrieved 11 August 2021.
  2. ^ "List of Players (Update History)". www.japan-baseball.jp. Baseball Federation of Japan (BFJ). 5 July 2021. Retrieved August 4, 2021.
  3. ^ "Samurai Japan sets roster for 2013 World Baseball Classic". 21 February 2013.
  4. ^ "Japan in the WBSC Ranking (Men's baseball)". World Baseball Softball Confederation. Retrieved 12 August 2021.
  5. ^ "World Baseball Classic: Cuba, Japan advance to 2nd round" - CBC Sports - Baseball - MLB
  6. ^ "Tsutsugoh named MVP of WBC '17 Pool B".
  7. ^ "野球・ソフトボール 競技紹介". Olympics.com (in Japanese). Retrieved August 4, 2021.
  8. ^ "オリンピックスケジュール&結果 - 野球・ソフトボール". Olympics.com (in Japanese). Retrieved August 4, 2021.
  9. ^ "Two teams from WBSC Premier12 2019 to qualify for 2020 Tokyo Olympic Baseball". WBSC.org. December 19, 2018. Retrieved February 13, 2019.