The NPB announced that they signed Suguru Aoki (20) and Ken Koishizawa (22) to Ikusei umpire contracts and Tsuyoshi Katagiri (20) and Takuya Mizuguchi (19) to training umpire contracts. Aoki will be sent to the NPB Eastern League; Koishizawa to the NPB Western League; Katagiri to the Route Inn BC League; and Mizuguchi to the Shikoku Island League plus.
Aoki, Koishizawa, Katagiri, and Mizuguchi are "graduates" of the NPB Umpire School held last December. Fifty-two attended the session. The four made it to the final round and were given tryouts during spring camp.