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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 October 4 - 10  > Public sports facilities fell by 20% in number over past 2 decades
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2023 October 4 - 10 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Public sports facilities fell by 20% in number over past 2 decades

October 9, 2023

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

The second Monday of October, October 9 this year, celebrates the Sports Day in Japan.

According to the survey results which the Japan Sports Agency published in March, people 20 years and older who enjoy sports at least once a week accounted for 52.3%. About half of the people surveyed seem to have some sort of obstacles despite their desire to take part in sports.

A lack of easy access to sports facilities, in particular, is an obstacle. The number of public sports facilities in Japan decreased by 20% to 52,000 from 65,000 over the past two decades. Associated with the merger or abolition of public facilities in addition to their deterioration, a number of sports facilities have been shut down in many municipalities.

The Sports Agency in its budget request of 42.8 billion yen for fiscal 2024 earmarked only 4.7 billion yen for upgrading physical education/sports facilities. Along with a drastic increase in the budget for facility improvements, it is necessary to lower facility usage fees, hire more sports educators/instructors, and renovate sports facilities to be barrier-free.

Established in 2011, the Basic Act on Sports stipulates, “Living life happily and fruitfully through sport is the right of all citizens.” Politicians should fulfill their responsibility to guarantee the people’s right of access to sports facilities near them.

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