JR 2019 Board hold first meeting

(IRB) Tuesday 5 June 2012
JR 2019 Board hold first meeting
L-R: Vice President, Tunekazu Takeda; President, Fujio Mitarai and Vice President, Yoshiro Mori after the JR 2019 Board meeting

Preparations for Japan's hosting of Rugby World Cup 2019 continue to gather speed with the staging of the first meeting of the Japan Rugby 2019 Board in Tokyo.

The Board, comprising leading figures from the sports, business and government sectors will steer and oversee the delivery of the tournament by the Japan Rugby 2019 organising body, ensuring that all operational and legacy goals are delivered in line with the event strategic and master plans. 

At a time when Tokyo was shortlisted for the 2020 Olympic Games, sport is on a high across Japan and Rugby World Cup 2019 will break new ground as the first time that Rugby's showcase global event has been staged in Asia.

“We will host the RWC 2019 on behalf of whole Asia, and of all Unions of the International Rugby Board around the world. This is a huge opportunity  for us. We must tackle it as a national project and engage the whole nation.  That’s why representatives from all sectors, not only of sports but also of political and economical sectors, are represented by this board to form a strong team focused on delivering a successful RWC 2019,” emphasized president Mr. Fujio Mitarai, chairman and CEO of Canon Inc., in his opening remarks at the press conference following the meeting.

President Mitarai, himself being the honorary chairman of Japan Business Federation*, will be supported by three vice presidents on the board: Tsunekazu Takeda, president of the Japanese Olympic Committee; Yoshio Nakamura, vice chairman and director general of the Japan Business Federation; and Yoshiro Mori, president of the Japan Rugby Football Union and former Prime Minister of Japan. The list of board members also includes chairmen and executives of global corporations such as Canon, Panasonic, Toshiba and Toyota, as well as the Japan Football Association.  The presence of high rank officials from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) and the National Agency for the Advancement of Sports and Health (NAASH) at the meeting underscored  the strong support of the Japanese government.

Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: "The establishment and first meeting of the JR 2019 board is a significant milestone along the road to delivering a successful Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan that is good for the host nation, good for Asia and good for the development of Rugby worldwide."

"At these early stages planning and preparation is on track and the board will work in conjunction with RWCL to guide the delivery of the event to ensure that it meets all requirements and raises the bar for future hosts."

At the meeting, several key agenda items  were discussed such as the key deliverables and timelines for the JR 2019 organising body. The board announced that JR 2019 will launch the domestic slogan for the tournament in March 2013.  The board will also recommend venues to the Rugby World Cup Limited Board before Rugby World Cup 2015.

In 2019, Japan will host the world's top players and teams in an event that is widely recognised as one of the biggest and most prestigious sporting events.  “This will be the biggest sport event that Japan has ever hosted , exceeding the FIFA World Cup 2002 Korea/Japan in which 32 matches by 17 teams were played in 30 days in Japan side.  We are really excited and proud to be given this huge opportunity,” Mitarai stressed.

*Japan Business Federation is a comprehensive economic organization with a membership comprised of 1,292 representative companies of Japan, 128 nationwide industrial associations and 47 regional economic organizations (as of March 1, 2012).

Executives of JR 2019

  • Fujio Mitarai (Honorary Chairman of Japan Business Federation, Chairman & CEO of Cannon Inc.)

Vice President:
  • Tsunekazu Takeda (President of Japanese Olympic Committee)
  • Yoshio Nakamura (Vice Chairman and Director General of Japan Business Federation)
  • Yoshiro Mori (President of Japan Rugby Football Union, Former Prime Minister of Japan)

Board Member:
  • Tadashi Okamura (Chairman of The Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Executive adviser of Toshiba Corporation)
  • Takehiko Kobayashi (Vice President of Japan Federation of Certified Public Accountants' Associations)
  • Nobutada Saji (Chairman and President of the Board of Suntory Holdings Limited)
  • Kohzo Tashima (Vice President / General Secretary of Japan Football Association)
  • Fujio Cho (Chairman and Representative Director of Toyota Motor Corporation, 
  • Tomohiro Tohyama (Attorney-at-law, TMI Associates)
  • Koji Tokumasu (Board member of Japan Rugby Football Union, General Manager of Japan Rugby 2019)
  • Kunio Nakamura (Chairman of the Board of Panasonic Corporation)
  • Kazuhiko Noguchi (Executive officer of Canon Inc.)
  • Takashi Hasunuma (Board member and Treasurer of Japan Rugby Football Union)
  • Yasuchika Hasegawa (Chairman of Japan Association of Corporate Executives, President of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited)
  • Seiji Hirao (General Manager of Kobe Steel Rugby Football Club)
  • Noboru Mashimo (Vice President of Japan Rugby Football Union)
  • Tatsuzo Yabe (Chairman of Japan Rugby Football Union)
  • Fumio Wada (Vice President of Japan Rugby Football Union)