STRUCTURE AND FUNCTION
The legal basis of JRA lies in the Horseracing Law and the Japan Racing Association Law. JRA was established in 1954 as a public entity to ensure the integrity of horseracing and the development and improvement in the breeding of racehorses and other livestock. JRA operates horseracing under the supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. The Board of Governors, comprising of six council members appointed by the Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, plus the President & CEO of JRA, has been in place since 2007. The Board of Governors sets key operation items such as JRA's basic management policies and makes final decisions on budgets and business planning. It is also involved in supervising the duties of executives and approving the decision when the President & CEO of JRA appoints its executives. The Executive Vice President and the members of the Board of Directors of JRA are appointed by the President & CEO with approval of the Board of Governors.
The Board of Directors, consists of President & CEO, Executive Vice President, Executive Directors, Directors and Auditors amounting to 14 members at present, is responsible for all operational activities of JRA and matters to be directed to the Board of Governors.
Furthermore, the Management Advisory Council assists the President & CEO, consisting of 10 members drawn from owners, trainers, jockeys and academic experts appointed by the President & CEO, with the approval of the Minister. It reviews and discusses items of importance to the business management of JRA. The Horseracing Adjudication Council meets for official deliberations on the registration of owners, licensing of trainers and jockeys, and appeals filed against racing decisions under the Law of Administrative Tribunals.
The main office of JRA which is located in Tokyo, acts as the nerve center for the nationwide network of 10 racecourses, the 38 off-course betting facilities called 'WINS' and other JRA related entities, and engages in activities concerning the direct or indirect development and operation of national horseracing.
JRA contributes 10% of its turnover to the National Treasury, as well as 50% of any surplus profits remaining at the end of the fiscal year. In fiscal 2007, JRA paid approximately 2,862 million US dollars into the National Treasury, use of which is specified by law: three-quarters must be designated for improvement of livestock breeding and the remaining one-quarter for public or social welfare.
Environmental Improvement Projects
For the benefit to the local communities around racecourses and WINS, JRA engages in environmental improvement projects aimed at resolving various problems such as traffic congestions and illegal parking problems that may occur with race meetings. These activities are one of the ways in which JRA is fulfilling its social responsibility to local communities. These funds for environmental improvement projects assist local governments, and make a significant contribution to local communities, including road and facilities for traffic safety, and drainage and maintenance of station-front plazas and parks.
Social and Public Welfare Projects
JRA also helps to improve social welfare, as the Japan Racing Association Law stipulates that one quarter of the government revenue that JRA provides to the National Treasury must be used for public or social welfare activities. In addition, the Racehorse Owners Welfare Association, founded in 1969, plays a social role on a national scale by donating a portion of the awarded prize money to such needs.