The Japanese Government Will Now Award Foreign Working Visas to eSports Gamers

01:23 PM April 01, 2016

Last March 30, the Japanese government granted Korean League of Legends players Ki Hon Han and Sang Ho Yun Category 3 entertainment visas by the Ministry of Justice. The two players will be playing for DetonatioN Gaming, an eSports team based in Chiba Prefecture.

The certification is the same as that given to foreign professional athletes attached to Japanese sports teams.

The Japan eSports Federation (JeSF) lauded the Ministry of Justice’s decision, calling it “A historic event that officially recognizes professional eSports players as being equal in status to competitors in other sports.”


The JeSF also said the move would not only benefit the Japanese eSports sector, but could serve as global turning point.


Japan currently lags behind its neighbors Korea, China, Singapore, Vietnam and the Philippines in the eSports field. With the Japanese government freeing up restrictions and allowing greater mobility for eSports talent to enter Japan, the country could see a quantum leap in improvement in different eSports fields.

Securing a working visa for Japan has been historically difficult for outsiders. Traditional employment paths for foreigners commonly include language instructors (particularly ESL trainers). With this precedent, it seems that being great at videogames can now be a viable avenue to work in Japan.

Banner Photo from Detonation Gaming/NihonTV


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