Hisanobu Watanabe informed teams officials he wanted to step down as manager. The Seibu Lions accepted his resignation. A press conference to announce the decision was held at the teams offices.
The Lions posted the following comment from Watanabe:
I decided to resign as manager. Beginning with my coaching start at Ni-gun, I have been here for ten years. Thank you for everything.
Coming into my sixth year, my goal from the start of the season were to win another championship. But, we could not do it and since I feel the season has no meaning without a championship, I was already thinking about making this my last year the moment Rakuten won the pennant.
These past six years have really been good.
I began my career six years ago when the organization offered me a coaching job at Ni-gun. Many people helped me out along the way, including the organization, staff, various personnel, players, and players. The fans provided me with strength by cheering for us in both good times and bad times. This was a really big deal for me and I will treasure it for the rest of my life.
I was really happy to see players succeed on the field, happy when Seibu Dome was full of fans that were cheering at the top of their lungs. I never thought I would return to Seibu, let alone be here for ten years. For that I am grateful to the organization.
I was only able to guide the team to one championship, but I feel, with support from those around us, that we had a fun time trying.
Thank you very much.
Source: official announcement