Why Japanese rugby needs to turn professional - and the legal challenges it could present
The recent decision of the Japan Rugby Union Federation (JRFU) not to professionalise Japanese rugby has divided opinion ahead of this year's Rugby World Cup. This article explores the debate and considers whether the decision will prove detrimental to the development of Japanese rugby. It also puts forward the authors’ thoughts on why professionalisation is arguably a better way forward. Specifically, it looks at:
The status of rugby in Japan
The upcoming World Cup and the move towards professionalization
The two main reasons for remaining amateur (and the arguments against them)
Why professionalisation is arguably a better way forward
The potential legal issues involved in professionalisation
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- Tags: Athlete Welfare | Commercial | Employment | Governance | International Rugby Board | Japan | Japan Rugby Union Federation (JRFU) | Regulation | Rugby Union | Rugby World Cup
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About the Author
Nan Sato is an attorney qualified in New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. She advises international and Japanese players’ associations, commercial sponsors, clubs, and athletes in a number of sports, including football, baseball, rugby, and American football. In addition to contractual and labor issues, she has developed a strong focus on the intersection of technology and sports. Nan works in English, Japanese, Chinese, and Spanish.
Sam Beer is an (England & Wales qualified) solicitor based in Herbert Smith Freehills' Tokyo office. He advises a broad range of international and Japanese clients in relation to complex cross-border disputes – particularly focussing on international arbitration. Sam has experience working in a number of sectors but is developing a specialism in sports-related disputes and is currently studying for a Master's degree in International Sports Law at ISDE in Madrid.