Nation Branding and Public Diplomacy: Examining Japan’s 2019 Rugby World Cup and 2020(21) Olympic Games in the Midst of a Global Economic Downturn and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Joel Rookwood, Kola Adeosun

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    Abstract

    For many superpowers sport mega events have become central to their political and financial ambitions within the global society. Over the last century Japan has established itself as a superpower both politically and economically. Even in the midst of a global economic downturn Japan has been successful in acquiring several globally significant sporting events, most notably the 2002 FIFA World Cup, and more recently the 2019 Rugby World Cup and 2020(21) summer Olympic Games. This paper examines how the latter two SMEs are perceived to present economic and political challenges in the midst of a global economic downturn and the COVID-19 pandemic through the context of public diplomacy and nation branding. The paper explores the perspectives of several relevant stakeholder demographics, including those working
    for various bodies relating to the staging and analysis of the
    events. Data were obtained through semi-structured interviews in
    order to frame the potential significance of sports mega events in
    Japan as a platform to showcase nation branding, public diplomacy,
    economic development and sport tourism.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)573-593
    Number of pages21
    JournalJournal of Global Sport Management
    Volume8
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 9 Feb 2021

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