Rugby players tattoos are being asked to cover them during next year's World Cup in Japan. The request the sport's governing body World Rugby is to avoid offending people Japan. It is somewhat a taboo in Japan to be seen public with a tattoo. Tattoos are usually associated the notorious yakuza crime gangs, for whom tattoos are a source great pride. Many swimming pools, gyms, bath houses and onsen in Japan ban people with tattoos using their facilities. However, in 2016, Japan's tourism agency asked onsen to relax their rules. It said tourists had tattoos very different reasons. The agency suggested giving tourists stickers to cover their tattoos.
The Rugby World Cup director Alan Gilpin said all the competing teams understood the cultural sensitivity Japan regarding tattoos. He said: "When we raised it the teams a year or so ago, we were probably expecting a frustrated reaction them, but there hasn't been all." He added that the players want to respect Japanese culture. He said the wearing a vest used for watersports would be a form "self-policing" the players. The famous All Blacks rugby team New Zealand has confirmed that its players will comply the request. It said: "We endeavor to be respectful the local customs and culture, and this will be no different when we visit Japan."