Notably there was a lot of prestige attached to the Japanese and OPBF crowns with fighters needing to win one, or the other, before the JBC would allow a fighter they had licenses to fight for a world title in Japan.
Now however the OPBF title has started to become a bit of a joke with the OPBF sanctioning interim title fights for the sake of having an interim title. Something that those in charge of Japanese boxing have previously spoken out about. As a result it seems they are set to open up an agreement to allow Japanese fighters to begin fighting for WBO Asia Pacific titles in Japan, a huge move for Japanese fighters. And notably the WBO Asia Pacific title will be given a similar status in Japan to the OPBF title.
The OPBF is affiliated with the WBC and is seen as the WBC's main regional title for fighters in the Orient and the pacific, encompassing not just Asia but also places like New Zealand and Australia. The move to accept the WBO Asia Pacific title at the same level could result in the belt being given a more notable role in boxing, and become a title that we see top hopefuls chase, and in fact fighters like Hinata Maruta or Satoshi Shimizu may see the WBO route as being a better one for themselves than the more traditional WBC route.
It's thought that the first WBO Asia Pacific fights, as sanctioned in Japan, could take place as early as the summer, and we may well see a spate of them hitting Japanese rings over the coming 12 months.