The Liberal Democratic Party of Japan is reportedly interested in seeing the NPB expand to sixteen teams as a way to help revitalize local and regional economies. However, it is uncertain if there are any businesses interested in taking the risk to own a team.
New potential locations could include Shizuoka Prefecture, the Hokushinetsu region, the Shikoku region, and Okinawa.
Source: Sponichi 5/20/2014
Reuters has a bit more on the topic:
... A set of recommendations to lift growth in Japan's economy drafted by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's party seen by Reuters calls for slashing corporate taxes, reforming public pensions, and -- in a curve ball -- increasing the number of professional baseball teams to 16 from 12.
"Prosperous baseball teams could strengthen attachment to regional cities and help local economies thrive," said the report, which cited the success of U.S. Major League Baseball in nearly doubling from 16 teams to 30 since the 1960s.
... "Unless there are companies that are willing to sponsor the new teams, this could be difficult," said Munehiko Harada, professor at the faculty of sport sciences of Waseda University.
"Without a solid financial foundation, it would be hard to poach good players and balance the strength of the teams."
Source: Reuters 5/20/2014
The Central League would like to decrease the number Inter-league games from twenty-four games to either twelve or eighteen because of scheduling issues. There are even some CL teams that are considering the complete elimination of Inter-league play, but are willing to first see how things work after a reduction.
When the number of Inter-league games was first dropped from thirty-six to twenty-four after the 2006 season, CL teams were actually interested in a drop to eighteen. They were concerned about the extra day off a week that pushed the entire schedule back.
If there is going to be a change in the schedule for 2015, a final decision will have to be made around July.
Source: Sports Hochi 5/20/2014