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Baseball was first introduced to Japan in 1872 and is currently among the country's most popular participatory and spectator sports. The first professional competitions emerged in the 1920s. The current organized sports circuit is the Nippon Professional Baseball League, consists of two leagues, with the Central and the Pacific Leagues of 6 teams each. High school baseball also enjoys a particularly strong public profile and fan base ; the Japanese High School Baseball Championship each August is nationally televised and includes regional champions from all of Japan's 47 constituent prefectures.
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