According to a number of reports, Hiroki Kokubo (41) has been tentatively selected to manage Samurai Japan. An official announcement is expected in the coming days.
"We feel he is a good choice as we begin a new chapter for Samurai Japan. We pushed hard for it and we have the ok. We hope was can make this happen," a person connected to the NPB said.
UPDATE @ 5:10pm -
Kokubo has already accepted the position. An announcement could be made as early as Friday. His first job will be to prepare for three international games against Taiwan between November 8 and 11. Further into the future, the Premium 12 in 2015 and the WBC in 2017.
A Samurai Japan Committee will be established. Shinya Miyamoto could be named the top official for the professional division, while Kozo Otagaki could lead the amateur division.
Sadaharu Oh, Tatsunori Hara, and Koji Yamamoto will likely take on advisory roles.
The roster for the three international games against Taiwan will most likely be made up of players twenty-seven and under. There will be a mix of professional players and amateur players.
Kokubo will most likely start out with a two-year contract.
UPDATE @ 5:44pm -
The NPB announced that Kokubo was named manager of Samurai Japan. A press conference will be held within the next couple of days.
Source: Sponichi 10/3/2013
UPDATE @ 8:54pm -
An official contract has yet to be signed, but will most likely run through to the 2017 WBC.
Source: Daily Sports 10/3/2013
UPDATE @ 9:10pm -
Kokubo spoke to reporters at a hotel in Fukuoka today and said, "I have seen the WBC as the tournament that decides the world's best team ever since baseball was removed from the Olympics. In addition to the responsibility, there is a lot of influence [that comes with managing Samurai Japan]. I played under a lot of different managers [over my career]. I feel my own ideals of managing will develop over time."
Source: Nikkan Sports 10/3/2013