NPB Commissioner Ryozo Kato spoke to reporters today and provided the following comments:
History will ultimately be the judge of my performance.
I want to continue to support the reinstatement of baseball to the Olympics and increase the number of international games we play.
Pro yakyu has the best track record in the world in terms of how it has handle organized crime and drugs. I am not trying to cover anything up, I think it would be good if they could seriously listen to what I have to say.
Yomiuri Giants' chairman Tsuneo Watanabe told reporters today that he thought Sadaharu Oh should be the next in line to become NPB commissioner.
There is a person out there that fills all the necessary requirements. [Oh?] That is what I think, but unfortunately he does not seem to interested.
It would be wrong for us to make the commissioner resign. After all, we were the ones that asked him.
Source: Daily Sports 7/1/2013
UPDATE 7/2 @ 6:41pm -
Sponichi readers select the next commissioner, top four candidates: Atsuya Furuta, Masumi Kuwata, Hiromitsu Ochiai, Sadaharu Oh. Source: Sponichi 7/2/2013
Sadaharu Oh's response to Watanabe's thoughts on him becoming the next commissioner:
For me it is about my physical condition. I am older than commissioner Kato. I think it would be best for someone that is in better health.
I am not confident about accepting such a great role. Physically, I do not think I would function properly.
Source: Daily Sports 7/2/2013
Sports Hochi has posted portions of a press conference Kato held on Monday at the NPB offices:
What do you think of the player's demands?
A third-party committee was set up and they will handle it. My obligation is to make sure they can properly conduct their investigations.
Have relations with the JPBPA soured?
I am in no position to answer that kind of question, nor do I feel like it.
There is a copy of their demands here.
I have seen what has been mentioned in the media. My understanding is based on what has been mentioned in the media. It is not something that was addressed to me.
[Masumi] Kuwata said he wanted to take advantage of this situation to do some good.
I feel the same way. The hearings? I have no idea what will happen, but if there is an opportunity, I will speak.
Will you attend the owner meetings?
Of course. Part of my job is to work with the chairman to organize the proceedings. I will attend.
Will you decide on your status after the third-party finishes their investigations?
I do not feel as if I am clinging onto this position. I have done what I can to increase international games for pro yakyu, including the reinstatement of baseball to the Olympics. I have that to do.
Source: Sports Hochi 7/2/2013
Some additional Kato quotes:
As long as I am in this position, there are many things that need to be addressed. I am not trying to cover things up with talks of grandeur, I think perhaps the time has come when people can listen to what I have to say.
I will be sincere and do what I can to support [investigations by the third-party committee]. The most important thing is that this is handled properly and fairly.
If there is something that [Masumi] Kuwata is concerned about, I will provide him with the explanations.