Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (second right) hands an autographed rugby ball to a child at the newly built Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium, one of the stadiums to be used for the Rugby World Cup. Photo Kyodo Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (second right) hands an autographed rugby ball to a child at the newly built Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium, one of the stadiums to be used for the Rugby World Cup. Photo Kyodo
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (second right) hands an autographed rugby ball to a child at the newly built Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium, one of the stadiums to be used for the Rugby World Cup. Photo Kyodo
Tim Noonan
Opinion

Opinion

Tim Noonan

With Ichiro Suzuki retiring, the stage is finally clear for rugby – and Japan – to step forward at the World Cup

  • Retirement of national icon and baseball god Ichiro Suzuki has grabbed the headlines this week
  • Eyes and ears of the country can now be firmly fixed on the upcoming Rugby World Cup in six months’ time

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (second right) hands an autographed rugby ball to a child at the newly built Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium, one of the stadiums to be used for the Rugby World Cup. Photo Kyodo Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (second right) hands an autographed rugby ball to a child at the newly built Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium, one of the stadiums to be used for the Rugby World Cup. Photo Kyodo
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (second right) hands an autographed rugby ball to a child at the newly built Kamaishi Recovery Memorial Stadium, one of the stadiums to be used for the Rugby World Cup. Photo Kyodo
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Tim Noonan

Tim Noonan

Tim Noonan has been crafting uniquely provocative columns for the SCMP and SMP for more than a decade. A native of Canada, he has over 20 years’ experience in Asia and has been a regular contributor to a number of prominent publications, including Time magazine, Forbes, The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune and The Independent.