Toshiaki Endo, a former rugby player who has abundant experience in sports-related organizations, was appointed Thursday as new minister in charge of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympics.

The 65-year-old, who is also a former vice sports minister, said that he is ready to take the lead in what he called "Team Endo" — which comprises Cabinet ministers, bureaucrats, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games — to make the international event successful.

“I want to play the role of ‘prop No.1,’ ” he said at a news conference at the Cabinet Office, likening his role in organizing the international event to a rugby position at the front of the union to tackle opponents.