Japan national baseball team

Japan national baseball team
Country  Japan
Federation Baseball Federation of Japan
Confederation Baseball Federation of Asia
Manager Atsunori Inaba
WBSC ranking 1 Steady (11 August 2021)[1]
Japan's national baseball uniform
World Baseball Classic
Appearances 4 (First in 2006)
Best result 1st (2 times, most recent in 2009)
Olympic Games
Appearances 6 (First in 1992)
Best result 1st (1 time, in 2020)
WBSC Premier12
Appearances 2 (First in 2015)
Best result 1st (1 time, in 2019)
World Cup
Appearances 15 (First in 1972)
Best result 2nd (1 time, in 1982)
Intercontinental Cup
Appearances 15 (First in 1973)
Best result 1st (2 times, most recent in 1997)
Asian Games
Appearances 4 (First in 1994)
Best result 1st (1 time, in 1994)
Asian Championship
Appearances 25 (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]


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]


  Win   Lose   Void or postponed   Fixture




Regional competition

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

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

World Baseball Classic Championship Trophy

World Baseball Classic

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

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.

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.

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.

Olympic Games

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]

Baseball World Cup

Intercontinental Cup

Premier12 Tournament

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

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

World Baseball Classic
Tournament Results
Japan / United States 2006 1st
Japan / United States 2009 1st
Japan / United States 2013 3rd
Japan / United States 2017 3rd
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
Japan United States 2006 Final Gold 1st 5 3 60 21 No qualifiers held
Japan United States 2009 Final Gold 1st 7 2 50 16 No qualifiers held
Japan United States 2013 Semifinal Bronze 3rd 5 2 44 27 Automatically qualified
Japan United States 2017 Semifinal Bronze 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 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 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


Intercontinental Cup


Asian Baseball Championship


See also


  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.

External links