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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 October 16 - 21  > Gov't should improve sporting environment to fulfill people's right to enjoy sports
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2019 October 16 - 21 TOP3 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Gov't should improve sporting environment to fulfill people's right to enjoy sports

October 19, 2019

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

October 14 was the Sports Day this year and autumn is the season for sports in Japan. Many people enjoy sports during this season. In the Rugby World Cup currently being held in Japan, for example, various interactions between the audience in Japan and rugby players from abroad are taking place, and the whole nation is particularly excited with Japan’s national team reaching the quarter-finals.

However, not many Japanese can actually do physical exercise although they hope to not only watch but play.

According to a Sports Agency survey, 80% of Japanese people in 2018 answered they "have a lack of exercise". The major reason for inactivity is because they are "busy with their jobs and housework (45%)". Because they are "tight on money" also comes in at one of the top reasons. Adults aged 20 to 59 in particular exercise too little.

Many people in their prime of life in Japan work under harsh working conditions with excessively long working hours and heavy workloads. They are deprived of time, energy, and/or money to engage in sports.

The sporting environment in Japan is quite poor. The number of public sport facilities decreased by 13,000 from 65,000 over the past two decades. The central government instructs all local governments to implement a comprehensive review in their administration of public facilities. Responding to this, many municipalities have been promoting spending cuts by such means as the abolition or integration of public facilities. In this process, sport facilities have become targets.

Having public sports facilities nearby is the key to increasing the number of people involved in sports. For fiscal 2020, the Sports Agency has made its budgetary request of 41.2 billion yen. However, only 6.2 billion yen of this will be allocated for publicly-run sports facilities and gymnasiums.

As long called for by the sports communities and the Japanese Communist Party, the Basic Act on Sports which was established in 2011 stipulates that "sport is a human right". The government should implement measures to meet this stipulation, but it has long been shelving this issue.

The JCP will continue making efforts to create an environment for everyone to enjoy sports in a fun manner and live healthy lives.

Past related article:
> Sports organization works on ensuring law's stipulation, 'sport is human right' [April 12, 2018]

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