RWC 2019 Organising Committee announced
Japan’s preparations to host Rugby World Cup 2019 have stepped up with the appointment of leading business figure Fujio Mitarai as President of the Organising Committee.
Mr Mitarai, Honorary President of the Japan Business Federation, Japan's most powerful business lobby and current Chairman and CEO of Canon Inc. has been appointed by the Japan Rugby Football Union to preside over the development of the Organising Committee structure as Japan prepares to be the first Asian host of Rugby’s showcase tournament.
Former Japan Prime Minister, Chairman of the Japan Sports Association and President of the Japan Rugby Football Union Yoshiro Mori, Japan Business Federation (Keidanren) Vice Chairman Yoshio Nakamura, and President of the Japan Olympic Committee Tsunekazu Takeda were also unveiled as Vice President's of the Organising Committee. It was also announced that Koji Tokumasu, from Japan Rugby Football Union, will be General Manager.
Each will bring considerable government, business and sports event management experience to the Organising committee, reflecting the JRFU’s commitment to delivering a world class tournament.
Additional appointments of officials and senior management will follow over the coming months as tournament planning progresses.
Mr Mitarai told the press conference in Tokyo today that "business in Japan is right behind RWC 2019. We have seen Japan come together for FIFA 2002 World Cup, the Tokyo and Nagano Olympics and it is now necessary for our nation to again become 'One big team' and prepare to host Rugby World Cup.
"While sports has the power to move our hearts and make us one, the Rugby World Cup is more than just a sports event, it gives Japan the opportunity to share at political, trade and friendship levels with many other nations," Mitarai told journalists.
The announcement caps a year of significant progress for the JRFU as it continues to implement the foundations to deliver to a tournament which Japan, Asia and the global Rugby community can be proud of and which delivers the framework to accelerate the growth of Rugby throughout Asia.
"The success of hosting a world cup cannot be accomplished by the Japan Rugby Football Union alone, but working together as a nation and going toward the same goal utilizing experts in various areas as one 'Team' will be the best way to make it possible," Mori told the press conference.
"The establishment of an Organising Committee ensures the success of a tournament that is supported in many areas." Mori added.
Working in close collaboration with Rugby World Cup Limited, the JRFU has achieved significant progress in key areas such ticketing planning, PR programmes and legacy planning.
The JRFU has secured full cross-party and business sector support, another critical area for the delivery of a successful major international event. In July the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and the National Agency for the Advancement of Sports and Health (NAASH) confirmed their full backing for the tournament.
All stakeholders will work closely with the Japan Rugby Football Union Organising Committee to ensure that all conditions of hosting set out by tournament owners Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) are met.
“The announcement of the RWC 2019 Organising Committee senior officials is an important milestone and another critical step towards a successful Rugby World Cup in Japan in 2019. The nominations provide an essential balance between Rugby, government and business experience,” said Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman Bernard Lapasset.
“This step caps a year in which good progress has been made in a lot of areas. The JRFU and RWCL have worked in close collaboration this year to review the ticket marketing strategies, review budgets and hold knowledge sharing sessions with the RWC 2011 organising committee. We have also worked with the Japanese government agencies and the Asian Rugby Football Union to identify shared strategic and legacy goals for the tournaments.”
“The nomination of the senior Organising Committee officials will accelerate tournament planning and build on the strong relationships the JRFU has developed with the Japanese Government. The announcement lays further foundations for the delivery of an exceptional tournament that will continue the growth of Rugby across Asia.”
Mr. Mitarai was elected as Chairman of Nippon Keidanren (Japan Business Federation) in 2006, serving two terms before being made Honorary Chairman in May 2010. Mr. Mitarai is also Chairman of Canon Inc.