It’s odd that Japan often isn’t regarded as an esports powerhouse despite being famous for its video games culture.

But that mindset may be changing, as 43% of 2,000 people surveyed in Japan revealed that esports is gaining traction, with them believing that esports will soon become as popular as sports, reported Japan Times.

It’s also an increase of 7.4% from 2018, thanks to the efforts of stakeholders, including the formation of the Japan Esports Union (JESU) and its various on-ground activities.

Credit: Japan Esports Union

Of the people surveyed, it’s the younger generation who think that esports will be big, with about 58.1% in those aged 18-29 and 60.8% of those older than 30 believing so. Surprisingly, about 40% of those aged 40-60 also share the same belief.

However, there are still naysayers, with 65.7% stating that operating a machine is not a form of sporting activity. More than 30% also feel that esports will not contribute to one’s fitness or well-being with some stating that it’s not good for education and do not want to see it as an extra-curricular activity at school.

Whatever the case may be, Japan is on track to make esports a critical agenda. Beyond JESU activities, it will soon be organizing an esports event to the National Sports Festival at Ibaraki, Tokyo this coming October.

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