The distinctive features of governmental sport administration and policy-making for sport in Japan are: first, the stronger influence of bureaucrats by comparison with politicians; second, a broad consensus on sport policy among the political parties; and third, that policy on ‘sport’ is dominated by a concern with ‘PE’ or ‘social PE’ which reflects the historic emphasis on the latter within the (social) educational policy agenda. However, this historic priority accorded to PE was challenged, if only modestly, by the creation of separate Divisions for Sport for All and Competitive Sports in 1988 which indicated the growing government interest in separating out the issue of improvement of international medal-winning success from the broader concern with lifelong sporting participation.