TOKYO (AP) — Japanese baseball commissioner Ryozo Kato has announced his resignation at an owners' meeting.

Kato, a former Japanese ambassador to the United States, came under criticism in June when it was revealed the league had secretly switched to a livelier baseball for the 2013 season. The new ball has resulted in a dramatic increase in the number of home runs.

"I caused a lot of problems over the ball, and that was a huge reason for my decision," Kyodo news agency quoted Kato as saying.

The 72-year-old Kato, who is in his third term as commissioner of Nippon Professional Baseball, said he was never informed of the change. The players' union called for his resignation when the ball scandal came to light.

A third-party panel investigating the scandal is scheduled to submit a report by the end of this month.

Kato said he will quit the post after the regular season, which ends Oct. 6. No immediate announcement was made regarding Kato's successor.