Akira Shimazu, president and CEO of the Rugby World Cup 2019 organizing committee, delivered his New Year's message to Tokyo staffers on Monday and reiterated their goal to sell out each of the 48 matches at the tournament that kicks off in September.
"This is the year of implementation, the year of the battle," Shimazu said. "Our greatest and final goal is to get fans from all over the world to have fun in sold-out stadiums."
Over half of the 1.8 million tickets have already been sold for the Sept. 20-Nov. 2 tournament, held in Asia for the first time and featuring 48 matches contested in 12 venues across Japan.
Shimazu also bid a happy New Year to the 12 regional organizing committees tasked with hosting matches and mentioned that risk management strategies for circumstances like typhoons and earthquakes need to be addressed.
Japan's Brave Blossoms open their 2019 World Cup campaign against Russia on Sep. 20 at Tokyo's Ajinomoto Stadium.