Japanese baseball looking to start in late June

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They’re playing baseball in Korea and Taiwan — and, eventually, we may be playing here — but what about Japan?

Their commissioner, Atsushi Saito, is hoping to start the season in the second half of June, reports Kyodo News. But it’s pretty up in the air. He said today, “I don’t think anyone can make preparations by setting a specific opening day.” So for the moment it is just hope. And, for the moment, the only hard news is negative: Saito announced that the NPB All-Star game, originally slated for July, will be canceled for the first time since its founding in 1951.

Japan has seen its COVID-19 infection rate drop over the past 2-3 weeks, though there are a lot of peaks and valleys in the graphs. Their state of emergency is in effect until May 31.

The Japanese season was originally scheduled to open on March 20.