Japan Professional Baseball Players Association

From BR Bullpen

The Japan Professional Baseball Players Association, abbreviated JPBPA, is the players union for Nippon Professional Baseball players. It was founded in 1946, but did not gain recognition as a union until 1985.

In 1947, the union gained the players the right of limited free agency after 10 years, and full free agency in 1993.

The JPBPA has historically been considered weaker than its American counterpart, the MLBPA, by often acquiesing to the demands of Nippon Pro Baseball executives with little resistance. Under the leadership of Atsuya Furuta, the union made several significant stands for players' rights in the early 21st Century. They engineered a strike for the first time ever, with 98% of the players in favor, and won popular support for their cause, during discussion of consolidation of teams. Later, they played a role in allowing Hisashi Iwakuma to sign with the Rakuten Golden Eagles instead of being forced to play for the Orix Buffaloes. They also took a stand during the planning for the first World Baseball Classic much as their American counterpart did.

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