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Date: 12/17/2017

On the final day of Germany 2017, three press conferences took place including the Germany 2017 Closing Press Conference, 2019 IHF Men’s World Championship - Germany/Denmark Press Conference and 2019 IHF Women’s World Championship – Japan Press Conference.

IHF.info brings you all the statements and facts from all three – with the third press conference featuring representatives of the 2019 IHF Women’s World Championship which will be played in Kumamoto, Japan from 30 November – 15 December.

Kanji WAKUNAGA: President, Japan Handball Association

Thank-you to have the opportunity to present the 2019 IHF Women’s World Championship in Kumamoto, Japan. 

I have just been appointed as the new JHA president in October last year and have a good relationship with Mr. Watanabe, IHF Council Member. 

I would like to congratulate, the IHF and their President, Dr. Moustafa, and the German Handball Association (DHB) for this successful world championship and the great operation which organised it – we are now in our preparation operation for 2019. 

Almost two years ago in Kumamoto we had an earthquake and are doing our best to prepare for the championship. I would like to express our thanks to Dr. Hassan Moustafa regarding his letter about this earthquake which we received.

We had a meeting with Dr. Moustafa this morning and had a lot of great advice regarding how to organise the championship and we are now thinking about our legacy from the championships in 2019.

Thank you again and we appreciate the support especially from the IHF and our handball friends. We also thank the press members for promoting not only 2019, but handball as a sport.

All the matches will be played in Kumamoto Prefecture and while he in Germany, we learnt a lot – especially the spectator promotions and ticketing sales. I had a lot of opportunity to watch handball matches here and I thought the German handball fans were very interested – we enjoyed learning how they enjoy the sport and we are looking to put this into our promotion. We are thinking about what is the ‘Japanese way’ to promote handball and approach the spectators, but we like the European way of approaching spectators form all over the world. 

We want to reach our target of the highest number of spectators at a women’s championships and we will try our best to get the record for 2019.

We would like to welcome everybody from all over the world to Kumamoto: Dr. Moustafa, the spectators and each international federation – the word we use is ‘omotenashi’. We are waiting for everybody in Kumamoto and look forward to seeing you in 2019.

Kazufumi ONISHI: Mayor of Kumamoto City

We think that Germany did an amazing job as the host country and we were deeply amazed by this. We want to use this championship as a role model to also create an amazing championship in Kumamoto in two years. 

Last April, a very big earthquake took place in Kumamoto, but we want to assure you all that the venues are already repaired and there is no problem in everyday life in Kumamoto. There won’t be any complication with the world championship because of this.

In 2019 many people will be coming to Kumamoto from all over the world; players, media, fans, for example, and we want to show those people our very unique hospitality by involving all citizens from Kumamoto - we want them to feel at home.

In 1997 we hosted the IHF Men’s World Championship and we had many, many spectators, but for 2019 we want to surpass this and have many, many more spectators come. 

Since all the matches will be played in Kumamoto there will be no problems regarding transport and there will be very little stress for players – we have experience in this matter because we have already hosted a world championship.

Masa-aki OHARA: Secretary General – Kumamoto 2019 Organising Committee

We are working very hard to establish the very best conditions for spectators and players for Kumamoto in 2019. 

All 96 matches will be played in the prefecture of Kumamoto which is quite a small area, so it will be easy for the players to move around.

Translations by: Takafumi INAFUKU (Council Member – JHA), Lara Martina CZEPERA