Ex-Keidanren chief Sakakibara to become next NPB commissioner

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Sadayuki Sakakibara

Kansai Electric Power Co. Chairman Sadayuki Sakakibara, a former president of Toray Industries Inc. and chairman of the Japan Business Federation (Keidanren), will become the next commissioner of Nippon Professional Baseball Organization.

Sakakibara’s appointment was provisionally approved by a unanimous vote of the 12 Japan pro baseball team owners at a meeting on Thursday. He will be formally approved at an owners’ meeting in November, and take office on Dec. 5.

Sakakibara, 79, became president of Toray Industries in 2002 and served a four-year term as Keidanren chairman from 2014.

During his stint at Keidanren, he worked in step with government to realize high wage growth and gain a substantial reduction in the effective corporate tax rate.

He was appointed chairman of Kansai Electric in 2020, and also serves as chairman of the government’s Fiscal System Council.

Sakakibara will succeed Atsushi Saito, making him the second consecutive commissioner to come from the business world. Saito, 82, was chief executive officer of the Japan Exchange Group and held other posts at the time of his appointment.

Sakakibara is expected to bring to the job years of experience in corporate management, observers said.