The logo of the new Baseball5 Japan organisation ©Baseball5 Japan

A standalone organisation has been created to govern the Baseball5 discipline in Japan.

Baseball5 Japan has been launched thanks to a joint venture between the Baseball Federation of Japan (BFJ) and the Japan Softball Association.

The new body will focus solely on Baseball5, the urban offshoot of the sport which is being heavily promoted by the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC).

Designed to appeal to youngsters and other fans across the world, the discipline takes baseball and softball to previously inaccessible areas as only a rubber ball is needed to play.

This means there is no need to go to a baseball or softball field as any area can be utilised.

No pitcher or bats are needed as hitting is done by hand, with five players per team and five innings per game.

The WBSC introduced Baseball5 in March 2018 and has worked to spread it around the world.

There was a significant boost when it was accepted as a medal sport for the 2026 Summer Youth Olympic Games in Dakar in Senegal, while more than 3,000 people experienced the discipline at the Tokyo 2020 fan park.

"Both baseball and softball require various conditions to be met, such as the size of the stadium," said BJF President Masatake Yamanaka.  

"We can start with Baseball5 and then have them continue with baseball, softball, or even Baseball5 as it is. 

"We would like to promote Baseball5 as the third pillar."

Japan currently tops the world rankings for men's and women's baseball and men's and women's softball.

The country won Olympic gold medals in both sports at Tokyo 2020.

A new website and logo have been launched for Baseball5 Japan, which will select teams for WBSC tournaments.

It is hoped that an inaugural World Cup will be staged next year.