UK-Japan Sports Economy Forum

DIT Japan’s 1st Sports Economy Forum was held at the British Embassy Tokyo on 14 March and welcomed over 100 Japanese audience members from private and public sports facility owners/operators, as well as professional sports teams etc. who are seriously interested in improving their facilities and the balance sheets of their operations. 

Ambassador Paul Madden CMG’s opening remarks were followed by words from Hiromichi Moriyama, deputy director of the Industrial Structure Policy Division, Economic and Industrial Policy Bureau, at Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. 

Two speakers from UK, Andy Young from Wembley Stadium Consultancy, who was Arena Director of The O2 Arena in Greenwich when it opened and head of event services for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and George Vaughan, who is head of technology for the Ascot Racecourse and is also involved in technology innovation and implementation at Twickenham Stadium, delivered outstanding presentations. 

They demonstrated the UK experience and expertise, which gave a chance for the audience to consider working with UK professional service providers.

Following a tea and coffee break, the speakers went back to the stage for a panel discussion with representatives from two Japanese professional sports teams (baseball and football) who have already introduced different approaches for their stadium management. 

Much positive feedback was given from the Japanese audience after the forum and the two UK speakers talked about future business opportunities in an interview.