The potential market for thermophotovoltaic (TPV) applications has been studied for civilian and industrial sectors in Japan. Comparing the performance of gas engines or turbines, as well as the underdeveloped power generation technologies such as fuel cells or chemical batteries, we have discussed the feasible application field of TPV systems to compete with those power generations. From the point of view of applicability for TPV systems in Japan, portable generators, co-generation systems and solar power plants are selected for our system analysis. The cost and performance targets of TPV systems for co-generation are also discussed by assuming a typical daily profile of electricity and hot water demands in Japanese homes. A progress report on the recent TPV research activities is given as well as a feasibility study concerning such TPV systems in Japan.