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Japanese baseball season to start on June 19 without fans

(KCRG)
Published: May. 25, 2020 at 4:24 PM CDT
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Japan’s professional baseball season will open on June 19 under a plan that excludes fans.

League commissioner Atsushi Saito made the announcement today after an online meeting with representatives of the league's 12 teams.

He said, “I hope we can provide some guidance for sports other than professional baseball.

The announcement came as the state of emergency was lifted in Tokyo and on the northern island of Hokkaido by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The state of emergency was lifted earlier this month for other parts of the country. Teams can being practice games on June 2.

The season was to have begun on March 20 but the start was postponed because of the coronavirus pandemic. Japan has reported about 850 deaths from COVID-19.

Japan joins South Korea and Taiwan whose leagues are open and playing largely without fans.

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