RWC 2019 host preparations ramp up in Japan
Rugby World Cup 2019 tournament organisers Japan Rugby 2019 have today officially launched the process that will deliver the match venues that will be at the heart of a festival that will welcome and engage fans the length and breadth of Japan and around the world.
Since Japan was given the right to host RWC 2019 in 2009, the organisers have received strong responses from prefectures and cities wishing to be at the heart of one of the world’s largest sports events.
The process for venue selection was outlined as follows:
May 27, 2013 - Launch process and distribute expression of interest pack to interested local governments
June-July 2013 - Distribute RWC City and Venue Guide to cities and venues who express interest in hosting RWC 2019 matches
August 2013 - Workshop with local governments and venues on process and general hosting requirements
October 2013 - Distribute full set of venue and city requirements
November 2013 - Workshop with local governments and venues on detailed venue requirements
December 2013-Sep 2014 – One-on-one meetings with individual local governments and venues
October 2014 - Venue tender submissions
November 2014-February 2015 - Venue visits by key stakeholders
March 2015 - RWC 2019 match venue selection
Japan Rugby 2019 and Rugby World Cup Limited will work closely with interested venues throughout the process to ensure all parties fully understand the benefits and requirements of hosting RWC matches. Selected venues will have an opportunity to take part in the RWC 2015 observer programme in England to experience tournament operations and the hosting opportunities RWC provides.
Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe provided the introduction to the RWC 2019 match venue selection documentation stating: “I, as Prime Minister of Japan, support the successful Rugby World Cup 2019 in Japan. It is important that all citizens of Japan will work together to make sure this prestigious international sport tournament is a great success as a national project over the coming six years.”
Rugby's development in Asia will be accelerated
“I believe that the development of Rugby in Asia will be accelerated by having RWC 2019 in Japan. This will echo the vision of the International Rugby Board to make Rugby a truly global sport. Japan has a proud history of having successful international tournaments such as the FIFA 2002 Football World Cup and IAAF 2007 World Athletics Championship by receiving strong government support and I am sure that RWC 2019 will be a huge success with all of Japan coming together as one.”
Speaking at a packed media launch where the pillars of the tournament vision were also unveiled, JR 2019 President Fujio Mitarai said: “The launch of the venue selection process represents a landmark day for the tournament. It is the day when the tournament comes alive for the people of Japan.”
“Through this process, we are able to give Japan a platform to show its desire to play a significant part in hosting one of the world’s most prestigious major sports event and an opportunity to showcase our rich and diverse regions to a global audience of billions.”
“The final selection of venues will celebrate Japan, its innovation and heritage while providing the stage for the world’s best Rugby players to showcase a sport that has at its core the character-building values of integrity, solidarity, passion, respect and discipline.”
“We have been delighted by the interest in hosting matches that we have already received. Now we can focus on the exciting job of working with all stakeholders to deliver venues that will be great for Rugby World Cup and great for the image of Rugby in Japan and across Asia.”
Earliest venue process launch
Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “The fact that this is the earliest venue process launch in the history of Rugby World Cup speaks volumes about the intent to host an event that will deliver significant participation and profile benefits well in advance of the opening match kicking off. The Japan Rugby 2019 organising body should be applauded for its forward thinking.”
“This landmark announcement is a further boost in the delivery of the largest single sport event ever hosted in Japan and a breakthrough for Rugby World Cup in Asia, where Rugby participation has grown by 19 per cent in the past four years.”
“Rugby World Cup 2019 is on track to be a wonderful success, delivering a boost to the development of the Game in Asia and around the world and generating multiple trade, tourism and economic benefits for Japan.”
Director General for the Sports and Youth Bureau at the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) Kimito Kubo stated: “The RWC 2019 match venue selection process officially starts today. We look forward to seeing the development of the process with close communication between the local governments who wish to host the matches and JR 2019 as the tournament organiser. As the Japanese Government, we will continue our support to deliver the success of the tournament by forming a very solid scrum with all the ministries and government organisations involved.”
JR 2019 also outlined the details of a tournament vision that will excite and engage fans across Japan, Asia and the world.
Japan's clear tournament vision
The Japan 2019 vision is to deliver a tournament that is accessible to all people in Japan, a nationwide event that unites the country through sport, friendship and Rugby’s character-building values. It will also be an event that will provide the stage to develop Rugby in Japan, across Asia and around the world through successful commercial and impact programmes.
The pillars of JR 2019's tournament vision are:
• We will welcome the world with ‘strong NIPPON’
• We will make the tournament even more exciting
• We will introduce the spirit of Rugby to all
• We will contribute to Rugby’s continuing development in Asia
The announcement comes on the eve of Wales’ tour of Japan. It is the first time in 12 years that the current RBS 6 Nations champions and RWC 2011 semi-finalists have toured the country. JR 2019 and the Japan Rugby Football Union are determined to capitalise on the opportunity to promote the sport and its stars to a wider audience ahead of the final RWC 2015 qualifying push.
JRFU President Yoshiro Mori said: “We are excited about the two Tests against Wales and the platform it will give us to showcase the sport, its values and our hosting of Rugby World Cup 2019 to a wider audience. We have a young team that is building towards Rugby World Cup 2015 qualification and beyond and we are all focused on achieving Japan’s strongest and best ever performances at a Rugby World Cup on our home soil.”