The Japanese Basketball Association along with the Japan 2024 Task Force are just a few months away from FIBA’s Central Board Meeting which has been rescheduled to Aug. 7-9, in Tokyo where the sport’s governing body will decide the future status of Japan’s FIBA ban. And according to Kaz Nagatsuka of the Japan Times, the country’s basketball officials remain optimistic that FIBA will lift the ban in August allowing the women’s national team to participate in this summer’s olympic qualifying tournaments in China.
In Nagatsuka’s piece which covers the last week’s Japan 2024 Task Force press conference, he says “The official reinstatement of the JBA would have to wait until the Central Board Meeting, but task force co-chair Ingo Weiss (and FIBA treasurer) said that the suspension will “partially be lifted” and Japan’s national teams would be permitted to participate in international competitions even before the official resolution is made.”
The “partial lift” to the ban allows Japan’s national teams to participate at the FIBA Asia Under-16 championship (Aug. 2-9) and the Summer Universiade in South Korea (July 3-14).
Japan’s toughest challenge remains to unify both professional leagues, the NBL and the BJ-League. The board has agreed on a new league, named the JPBL, and has already 43 confirmed franchises. A league with 43 teams may sound like a lot, but JBA chairman Saburo Kawabuchi said the JPBL would reveal around 10 clubs for the first division, which is expected to be numbered between 12 and 16, at the end of July, and it would choose the rest announcing them at a later date. So the 43 team league will be divided into different divisions much like the format of some European soccer leagues.
FIBA’s secretary general, Patrick Beaumann, was in attendance for the task force press conference but acted only as an observer and did not take to the podium.