Both Japanese leagues eye April 12 start

TOKYO -- Japan's Central League has agreed to push its Opening Day back to April 12, matching the starting date of the Pacific League as professional baseball adapts to the effects of this month's earthquake and tsunami.

The Central League announced earlier this week that its initial March 25 start date would be moved to March 29, but after an emergency meeting Thursday it said the season would start even later.

Central League chairman Junsei Atarashi was quoted by the Kyodo news agency saying the alteration followed pressure from the government and the players' union.

The leagues had also agreed not to play night games in April, as there is a shortage of electricity following the March 11 disaster.