Over 20 percent of the public in Japan accept esports as high school club activity, a recent Jiji Press opinion survey has shown.
Highly popular in the United States and other parts of the world, esports, a form of sport competition using computer games, is thriving in Japan as well, with dedicated facilities built across the country.
The survey showed a decrease in respondents rejecting the idea of including esports in extracurricular activity. The share of such respondents fell to 33.4 percent from 42.6 percent in the previous survey taken in April 2019.
Meanwhile, 22.7 percent said they accept esports clubs from high school, up from 18.9 percent. The number rose to 9.3 percent from 8.3 percent for those accepting esports clubs from junior high school and to 9.4 percent from 8.5 percent for those favoring such clubs from elementary school.
The total proportion of respondents accepting school esports clubs reached 41.4 percent, exceeding that of those against such clubs.
The survey also asked respondents whether they think that esports will spread as a form of regular sport. Those who agreed accounted for 46.9 percent of the total, up 4.1 percentage points.
A majority of younger generations continued to expect such a spread. Their share stood at 58.4 percent among those aged 18-29, up from 58.1 percent, and 65.6 percent among those in their 30s, up from 60.8 percent.
The survey also indicated that more middle-aged and elderly people have started to show understanding for esports.
Further growth in esports is forecast by 56.4 percent of the respondents in their 50s, up from 46.3 percent, and 41.5 percent of those in their 60s, up from 40.1 percent.
The survey was conducted through interviews on July 10-13, covering 2,000 people aged 18 or older nationwide. Of the total, 61.5 percent gave valid answers.