Japan’s Booming Sports and Fitness Industry

Boosting Japan’s Economy Through Sports and Fitness Initiatives

Japan, Sports Basic Plan, economy, sports and fitness industry, SMEs, government initiatives, environmentally friendly practices, aging population, employment, healthcare costs

In recent years, Japan’s economy has benefited from the country’s rising interest in sports and physical fitness. Focusing on the part that SMEs and major government initiatives play, this article discusses how promoting sports and fitness has impacted the Japanese economy.

The Sports Basic Plan

The Japanese government’s “Sports Basic Plan,” launched in 2013, has been crucial to the country’s improved sports opportunities, booming sports industry, and cutting-edge sports infrastructure. The government’s implementation of this plan has benefited SMEs in the sports and fitness industry.

In 2018, the sports and fitness industry reportedly generated 5.5 trillion yen and employed over 1.3 million people, according to the Japan Sports Agency

The success of Japan’s small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) is boosted by the country’s emphasis on sports and fitness. In 2018, the industry reportedly generated 5.5 trillion yen and employed over 1.3 million people, according to the Japan Sports Agency. Gyms, fitness studios, and sports equipment manufacturers contribute to Japan’s thriving economy.

The Sports and Fitness Industry

Sports and fitness are heavily promoted in Japan, which is good for business. Cities chosen to host major international sporting events, such as the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics, have seen an influx of visitors worldwide.

Japan’s aging population and shrinking labor force make it all the more important that the country promotes healthy lifestyles through sports and exercise. The economy has a long-term benefit from encouraging sports and fitness because of the reduced healthcare costs and increased productivity.

More and more SMEs in the sports and fitness industry are prioritizing environmentally friendly methods of operation to reduce the industry’s harmful effects on the environment. Some sports equipment manufacturers, for instance, get their materials from recycling initiatives, and some gyms even use renewable energy sources. These environmentally friendly policies benefit the planet and improve the sports and fitness industry’s standing, increasing demand for associated products and services.

Famous Japanese Sports

Here are some sports that Japan is known for:

Sumo wrestling: one of Japan’s most popular and traditional sports.
Baseball: Baseball is a very popular sport in Japan, and the country has one of the best professional leagues in the world, the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB).
Judo: Judo is a martial art and combat sport that originated in Japan and is widely practiced in the country.
Karate: another martial art that originated in Japan and is widely practiced in the country.
Soccer: Soccer is also popular in Japan, and the country has a professional soccer league, the J.League.
Tennis: Japan has produced several top tennis players recently, including Naomi Osaka, Kei Nishikori, and Shingo Kunieda.
Rugby: Rugby is becoming increasingly popular in Japan, especially after hosting the 2019 World Cup.
Basketball: Japan has a professional basketball league, the B.League.
Figure skating: The country has produced several world-class figure skaters, including Yuzuru Hanyu and Mao Asada.
Golf: Japan has produced several world-class golfers, including Hideki Matsuyama and Ai Miyazato.


The Japanese government’s “Sports Basic Plan” and the nation’s growing interest in sports and fitness have significantly bolstered the economy, benefiting SMEs in the sports and fitness industry. With a focus on promoting healthy lifestyles and adopting environmentally friendly practices, the industry has experienced increased employment, reduced healthcare costs, and improved productivity. To further capitalize on this growing market, SMEs and foreign businesses should identify niche markets, emphasize eco-friendliness, leverage government support, collaborate with local partners, and focus on quality, innovation, and the aging population.

"Otsumami" - a bite size snack:

The Japanese government’s “Sports Basic Plan” and the country’s growing interest in sports and fitness have created a thriving economy, with opportunities for SMEs and foreign businesses to succeed by focusing on niche markets, eco-friendliness, and catering to the aging population.

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