The legal basis of JRA lies in the Horseracing Law and the Japan Racing Association Law. The 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. The 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 and 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. The Management Advisory Council assists the President & CEO, consisting of 10 members drawn from owners, trainers, jockeys and academics 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 39 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.