A general view of the Kyocera Dome in Osaka, Japan. (Photo by Kenta Harada/Getty Images)
By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network
The World Baseball Softball Confederation announced on Monday that the Japan National Team will play a two-game series on March 6-7, 2024 against Team All Euro at the Kyocera Dome in Osaka, Japan.
Manager Hirokazu Ibata will have the helm for Japan in 2024 after taking over at the 2023 Asian Baseball Championship in early December in Taiwan.
Japan will also play in the WBSC Premier 12 tournament on Nov. 10, 2024, after the regular seasons in Nippon Professional Baseball, Liga Mexicana de Beisbol, Major League Baseball, the Korean Baseball Organization, and the Chinese Professional Baseball League in Taiwan.
Team All Euro’s roster will be built by World Baseball Softball Confederation officials and other countries’ federations throughout the WBSC Europe sector for the two-game series in Japan.
Italian baseball legend Marco Mazzieri will manage Team All Euro for the two games against Japan. Mazzieri helped the Italian national team capture the gold at the 2010 and 2012 European Baseball Championship, where they beat the Netherlands in both gold medal games. Mazzieri is also currently serving as the WBSC Coach Commission chair for the sport’s governing body.
The first edition of this event was held in 2015 at the Tokyo Dome, with the series being split. Japan that won 4-3 and Team All Euro won 6-2 in the only two games both were held on March 10 and 11 before the start of the NPB regular season.
Japan, ranked No. 1 in the world, will play in their next international senior event and their last of the 2023 international baseball calendar at the Asian Baseball Championship at the Taipei Dome, Xinzhuang Baseball Stadium, and the Taichung Intercontinental Baseball Stadium from December 3-10, with host nation Chinese Taipei at No. 5, No. 4 South Korea, No. 32 Philippines, No. 37 Hong Kong, No. 43 Thailand, No. 49 Pakistan, and No. 55 Palestine also participating.
Group A of the 2023 Asian Baseball Championship will have Hong Kong, Palestine, South Korea, and Chinese Taipei. Japan will be in Group B with the Philippines, Pakistan, and Thailand.
Japan will play their first game of the Asian Baseball Championship on December 4 at the Taipei Dome against Pakistan at 4:30 p.m. EDT.