The NPB held a twelve-team representative meeting in Tokyo earlier today to discuss the Central League's request to reduce the Inter-league schedule. The CL has been pushing for a reduction in games from twenty-four games to eighteen because of scheduling problems. The Pacific League was given more time to reconsider the issue after both sides failed to reach an agreement during a meeting earlier this month. The PL agreed to the first cut in the Inter-league schedule since 2007.
Beginning next year, each team will play six three-game series, one each against teams in the opposite league. Home stadiums will alternate every year.
[UPDATE @ 10:06pm]
The season will be 143 games long -- 125 regular season games and 18 Inter-league games.
Source: Daily Sports 8/11/2014
[UPDATE @ 10:45pm]
The meeting ran over three hours.
Just couple of things to note that were omitted above:
- The PL was not fully on board with the decision. One or more teams were concerned because some fans are against the reduction.
- The PL ultimately agreed to the cut in the Inter-league schedule because the NPB is trying to finish the entire season (including Nippon Series) before the end of October. This will allow Samurai Japan to begin making preparations for international games/tournaments in early November.
Source: Sports Hochi 8/11/2014