2019 must be remembered in Japan as the year when the Heisei Era ended and the era of Reiwa started, but the buzzword of the year was definitely “One Team.”

In the Rugby World Cup held here last fall, Japan beat powerful teams like Ireland and Scotland to advance to the final stage for the first time. In line with its “One Team” slogan, 31 players of the Japan team — including 15 from six other countries such as New Zealand, Tonga and South Africa, chosen by head coach Jamie Joseph — were united as they fought their way to the feverish cheer of men and women of all ages throughout the country. Not a few people must have seen in the team’s excellent performance the path toward the future that Japan should take.

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