Japan national baseball team

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Japan national baseball team
Country Japan
FederationBaseball Federation of Japan
ConfederationBaseball Federation of Asia
ManagerAtsunori Inaba
WBSC World Rank1st
Japan's national baseball uniform
World Baseball Classic
Appearances4 (First in 2006)
Best result 1st (2 times, most recent in 2009)
Olympic Games
Appearances5 (First in 1992)
Best result 2nd (1 time, in 1996)
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. They have reached 2nd place in the Baseball World Cup in 1982, and have won the World Baseball Classic in 2006 and 2009. The team is currently ranked #1 in the world by the World Baseball Softball Confederation.[1]

The team participated in every Summer Olympic Games since the first demonstration tournament in 1984, through when it 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.

In the 2006 Classic, the team played in Pool A and placed second, advancing to round two. They went on to win the 2006 Classic. They played at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, as they had qualified through the Asian Baseball Championship in 2007. Unlike the WBC roster, the Olympic team was exclusively formed by NPB players (but included one amateur player, who was drafted during the tournament's progress).

Most recently, Japan participated in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, finishing third.

Current roster[edit]

Japan roster – 2019 exhibition games against Mexico roster
Players Coaches






The team has been nicknamed "Samurai Japan" (侍ジャパン).[2] 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.

Regional competition[edit]

Asian Baseball Championship[edit]

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 separate occasions, including the four most recent tournaments to be held.

Asian Games[edit]

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[edit]

World Baseball Classic Championship Trophy

World Baseball Classic[edit]


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

2006 WBC roster[edit]


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[edit]

2013: The end of the championship streak[edit]

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[edit]


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.[3] After batting .364, outfielder Yoshitomo Tsutsugoh was named the Pool B MVP.[4] 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[edit]

Olympic Games[edit]

Baseball World Cup[edit]

Intercontinental Cup[edit]

International Tournament Results[edit]

World Baseball Classic[edit]

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

Olympic Games[edit]

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 Silver medal asia.svg 1999 Asian Baseball Championship
2004 Greece Bronze Match 3rd 7 2 60 23 Gold medal asia.svg 2003 Asian Baseball Championship
2008 People's Republic of China Bronze Match 4th 4 5 36 28 Gold medal asia.svg 2007 Asian Baseball Championship
2020 Japan Host
Total [b] 6/6 26 19 285 161
  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[edit]


Intercontinental Cup[edit]


Asian Baseball Championship[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ https://rankings.wbsc.org/
  2. ^ "Samurai Japan sets roster for 2013 World Baseball Classic".
  3. ^ "World Baseball Classic: Cuba, Japan advance to 2nd round" - CBC Sports - Baseball - MLB
  4. ^ [1]

External links[edit]