Japanese and today’s society: part 1 of 3

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Do you play your part as a member of society? graph of japanese opinion[part 1] [part 2] [part 3]

Between the 18th of January and the 4th of February the Cabinet Office Japan conducted a survey into what people thought about society.

Demographics

10,000 people were selected randomly from all Japanese citizens aged 20 or older for face-to-face interviews. 5,585 people were available and agreed to take part. 54.5% of the sample was female, 7.9% in their twenties, 14.8% in their thirties, 15.2% in their forties, 21.0% in their fifties, 20.8% in their sixties, 15.4% in their seventies, and 4.8% aged 80 or older. 74.6% were married, 11.8% were divorced or widowed, and 13.5% never married.

This first part is rather depressing, as can be seen in Q4 and Q5 where people see the darker side of society much more clearly, although this can be offset by the personal society-oriented opinions expressed in the earlier questions. I’m not sure exactly what Q6A and Q6B are saying. Successful people, on the whole, get there due to effort, but perhaps “successful” here refers to people who inherit rather than work for their wealth, such as many politicians or ex-politicians who land cushy jobs on retirement due to the practise of amakudari.

Research results

Q1: Two opinions held by citizens are “one should look more towards the country and society” and “one should place more importance on enrichment of personal lifestyles.” Which opinion is closer to how you think? (Sample size=5,585)

One should look more towards the country and society 51.0%
One should place more importance on enrichment of personal lifestyles 32.9%
Can’t say I always support one or the other 13.8%
Don’t know 2.4%

Q2: In your day-to-day life, do you think you are playing your part as a member of society? (Sample size=5,585)

Think so (to SQ) 62.6%
Don’t really think so 34.9%
Don’t know 2.5%

Q2SQ: How are you are playing your part as a member of society? Choose all of the following that apply. (Sample size=3,498, multiple answer)

Nature, environmental protection-related activites (beautification, recycling, etc) 37.9%
Welfare-related activities (old folk, disabled nursing, helping, cooking, etc) 35.8%
Neighbourhood association and other local area activities (association office-bearer, neighbourhood watch, etc) 35.0%
By working 21.7%
Road safety-related activities (children going to school road safety patrol, etc) 21.5%
Sports or culture-related activities (leader for sports/recreation, festivals, school clubs, etc) 20.4%
Disaster prevention or disaster support activities 20.4%
By having a family, child-rearing 19.9%
Health or medical-related activities (hospital volunteer, etc) 16.2%
Fund raising, charity sales 12.4%
Personal delvelopment-related leadership or support activities (cooking, English, calligraphy, etc) 11.2%
Youth development-related activities (Boy Scouts, Girl Guides, children’s group, etc) 10.4%
Activities at public facilities (child-minding, museum guide, etc) 9.9%
International exchange activities (translation, refugee, technical, exchange student support, etc) 9.3%
Other 2.9%
Don’t know 2.3%

Q3: In the future, do you think Japanese should hold the interests of the people in general more dearly than that of themselves, or do you think Japanese should hold the interests of themselves more dearly than that of the people in general? (Sample size=5,585)

Should hold the interests of the people in general more dearly than that of themselves 47.4%
Should hold the interests of themselves more dearly than that of the people in general 29.7%
Can’t say always one or the other 20.2%
Other 0.2%
Don’t know 2.6%

Q4: Which of the following words or phrases express your feelings regarding the brighter side of today’s society? (Sample size=5,585)

Peaceful 50.9%
Stable 18.2%
Considerate 9.8%
Strong sense of responsibility 9.1%
Affluent 9.0%
Bright 8.4%
Lively 8.1%
Sense of community 4.4%
Other 0.2%
None in particular 27.1%
Don’t know 2.3%

Q5: Which of the following words or phrases express your feelings regarding the darker side of today’s society? (Sample size=5,585)

Strong tide of irresponsibility 58.3%
Egocentric 51.3%
Little sense of responsibility 34.4%
Not affluent 33.7%
Many unsafe, irritating things 30.2%
Fickle and superficial 19.8%
Lifeless 18.2%
Dark 13.4%
Other 1.0%
None in particular 2.6%
Don’t know 1.4%

Q6A: In today’s Japan, what sort of people get most of the rewards? (Sample size=5,585)

Successful people 50.3%
People who make efforts 20.5%
Older people 12.5%
All about the same 1.8%
Other 4.8%
Don’t know 10.0%

Q6B: And what sort of people do you wish got most of the rewards? (Sample size=5,585)

People who make efforts 60.2%
Successful people 27.9%
Older people 2.0%
All about the same 4.4%
Other 1.1%
Don’t know 4.4%

[part 1] [part 2] [part 3]

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