The 32nd Asian Racing Conference in Tokyo officially got underway with a lavish Opening Ceremony providing the fireworks on Monday evening.
The conference has returned to Japan in style after a 23-year absence, with the ceremony spearheading what should be four days packed with debate and deliberation during six plenary sessions and three selective sessions that will further galvanize thoroughbred racing in Asia - and the rest of the world.
The ARC has grown leaps and bounds, with a delegation of 850 from 33 countries and regions taking part in the highly anticipated meetings this week.
The ceremony was highlighted by a bit of ancient Japanese theatre, a flag-bearing procession of the 22 member nations of the Asian Racing Federation - which spread its wings to two new members earlier on Monday to the Saigon Racing Club from Vietnam and the Jockey Club of Russia - and a speech from the honourable Shigeru Ishiba, the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries which oversees the Japan Racing Association.
For daily reports, audio and photos visit :