According to a recent nation-wide poll conducted in Japan by Yomiuri Shimbum, nearly 70 per cent of respondents would choose to add baseball/softball to the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympic Games from among seven International Olympic Committee (IOC) shortlisted sports.
Other sports received zero to three per cent, while a quarter of respondents were either unsure of which sport they wanted or did not reply.
The poll also strongly supported baseball/softball as being the most popular and followed sport for viewers to watch in all of Japan.
World Baseball/Softball Confederation (WBSC) leadership welcomed the findings of the poll.
Co-Presidents Riccardo Fraccari and Don Porter said, “we are very proud and honoured that Baseball/Softball continue to forum such a significant part of the Japanese culture and sporting landscape, as confirmed by these very favourable poll results and as reflected by the number of gold medals earned in our world championships. With Japan now firmly intent on building its National Team brand, “Samurai Japan”, baseball and softball’s path will be not only sustained, but further accelerated and continue to be a source of national Pride”.
The Yomiuri Shimbum poll was based on data collected from 1,522 respondents in a random nationwide sampling January 18-19.