The 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo are intended to boost the weakening Japanese sports market. The boundaries and conventions in the more traditional market are breaking down – outdoor is also in the land of the rising sun in.
The Japanese sports market is in an upbeat mood. The 2019 Rugby World Cup is causing a lot of excitement throughout the country. In Kamaishi, where the tsunami of 2011 destroyed almost everything, a new rugby stadium was even built.
After her triumphs at the US Open and Australian Open, tennis pro Naomi Osaka has become the new sports heroine with a subsequent promotion to No. 1 in the world rankings. And then there are the Olympic Games in Tokyo on the horizon – from 24 July to 9 August 2020.
Sport Is an Integral Part of National Growth Strategy in Japan
Even though Japanese society is ageing dramatically – sport is suddenly back in. This will also make the prospects for the weakening sports industry rosier again. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe already included the sports industry in his national growth strategy in 2016 – alongside future technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and robotics.
The goals seem more than ambitious: Sales are expected to double from 5.5 trillion yen (46.8 billion euros) in 2012 to 10.9 trillion yen (92.7 billion euros) in 2020. In 2025, even 15 trillion yen (127.6 billion euros) are to be turned over in the Japanese sports industry.
The Young Generation Recognizes the Value of Outdoor and Sports
“It’s true that the topic of sport is more on the agenda again. This also has to do with a slow rethinking in society,” says Takahiro Yasutake on the fringes of ISPO Shanghai in an interview with ISPO.com. According to the sales manager of a sports business company, the younger generation in particular is changing its priorities. Instead of focusing on work and fulfilling duties as is traditionally the case, more and more people would recognise the value of leisure and nature.