International Triathlon Union

Greetings on the 30th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Japan Triathlon Union


Dear friends

The Japan Triathlon Union (JTU) is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year since its establishment. In the early 1980s, when this sport was introduced to Japan, multiple triathlon clubs and groups were formed. The first ever event in Japan took place in Kaike Onsen in Tottori Prefecture in 1981, and long-distance competitions like the Strongman Miyako Island and Ironman Japan Lake Biwa were held in 1985. Additionally, the Japan Triathlon Series Amakusa International Triathlon was born, covering the distance of 51.5 kilometers which was later adopted for the Olympic Games.

In the same year, the Japan Triathlon Federation (JTF) was established, laying its foundations in cooperation with the world and the United States. The following year, in 1986, the Japan Triathlon Association (JTA) was formed, evolving from the National Combined Endurance Event Liaison Council (1984) and the National Triathlon Conference (1985).

In line with the establishment of the International Triathlon Union (ITU) in 1989, the two organizations established the Japan Triathlon Committee (JTC) aiming towards unification, and joined the ITU.

Over the next few years, under the banner of national unity in the triathlon community, preparations for nationwide unification progressed. On April 16, 1994, the founding congress was held in Tokyo. With this, 14 years since the introduction of triathlon to Japan, the Japan Triathlon Union (JTU), an organization representing Japanese triathlon, was established.

At the founding general meeting, representatives from triathlon organizations in all prefectures appointed directors and auditors. Chiharu Igaya, a former member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), was appointed as the first President. Additionally, Nobuharu Shimizu (former JTA President) and Shigeo Nagashima (former JTF President) were appointed as honorary President.

The year 1994, when JTU was established, became a memorable year as it marked the official inclusion of triathlon competition in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, which was decided at the IOC Paris Session in October.

This year, as we mark the 30th anniversary since our establishment, we are committed to further enhancing our principle of “For Triathletes!” by expanding various initiatives.

Starting from 2024, in line with leading triathlon nations like the United States and Europe, we have initiated a new challenge to provide “Triathlon Safety Insurance” to all prefectures, university federations, and registered members participating in JTU-hosted, co-hosted, or sponsored events.

We will continue to work alongside everyone involved in triathlon to develop the competitive environment for the new era and promote international friendship. It is our determination to contribute to the health and well-being of citizens through sports and to contribute to the revitalization of local communities through our activities both domestically and internationally.

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