The Yakult Swallows held a press conference for Norichika Aoki at a hotel in Naha, Okinawa on February 6. He was assigned the uniform number 23.
Aoki started his career with the Swallows after he was selected in the fourth round of the 2003 draft. He won three batting titles before he left for the Majors via the posting system after the 2011 season. Aoki spent two years in Milwaukee before bouncing around six different MLB teams over four seasons.
Aoki returns to the Swallows after recording 774 hits, 98 stolen bases, and a slash line of .285/.350/.387 in 759 MLB games.