The most popular professional sports in Japan are baseball, soccer, and sumo. There are 12 professional baseball teams - six in the Central League and six in the Pacific League.
Japan's professional soccer league, the J. League, was launched in May 1993. As of 2012, the J. League has 40 teams.
An increasing number of Japanese tennis players are becoming active on the international circuit as professionals.
Participation in Japan's volleyball league was opened up to professionals with the inauguration of the V League in December 1994. The V League also allows the participation of independent teams in addition to corporate-sponsored teams, as before. However, the V League hasn't become fully professional so far.
Other professional sports in Japan include sumo, boxing, figure skating, and golf.