Japanese report agreement

TOKYO -- The first World Cup of baseball will be held in March 2006, Japanese baseball officials told the Japan Times, following meetings involving American, Japanese and Korean officials.

Agreement was reportedly reached following a meeting here Friday that included Bob DuPuy, president and chief operating officer of Major League Baseball, Japanese commissioner Yasuchika Negoro and Park Yong Oh, commissioner of the Korean Baseball Organization.

No comment was forthcoming from DuPuy.

Major League Baseball had proposed holding the inaugural World Cup with 16 countries in March 2005, but Japan and South Korea wanted greater say in organizing the tournament and it was delayed.

The Americans later relented, according to the Japanese newspaper, and agreed to set up an organizing committee and let Japan play a leadership role in the Asian round of the tournament.

Working-level talks to organize the tournament will be held in New York in December, according to the paper, with an official announcement expected in the spring.