DUBLIN - Twelve venues, including Sapporo; Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture; and Higashi-Osaka, Osaka Prefecture, have been chosen for the Rugby World Cup that Japan will host in 2019.
World Rugby, the sport's world governing body, announced the 12 successful candidates out of 15 applicants after an executive board meeting in Dublin on Monday. Kyoto, Sendai and Nagasaki Prefecture were the losing candidates.
Kamaishi, which was devastated by the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, was selected because the Japanese side wanted it to become a symbol of the city's revival.
World Rugby originally wanted to reduce the number of venues to 10 to save operating costs, but it raised the figure to 12 as the Organizing Committee of Japan stressed that the country's rugby players came from all corners of the nation.
The Rugby World Cup, a large-scale international sports event that gains almost as much interest from sports fans as the football World Cup and the Summer Olympic Games, is being held for the first time in Asia.
The Organizing Committee of Japan says 20 teams will take part in the Rugby World Cup and a total of 48 matches will be played. The opening match and final are scheduled to be held at the new National Stadium in Tokyo.