2009 top news stories in Japan

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It’s getting towards the end of the year, so let’s have a look back at the top news and items from 2009 in this survey from Marcomill Inc.

Demographics

Over the 4th and 5th of December 2009 1,000 members of the Macromill monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. The sexes were split exactly 50:50, and 25.0% were in their twenties, 25.0% in their thirties, 25.0% in their forties, and 25.0% between 50 and 69 years old.

My top news would be the DPJ’s victory, the arrest of Ichihashi, and the press reaction to the Noriko Sakai drugs bust. Top topical items would be the iPhone 3GS (I’m surprised it didn’t make it), the 1,000 yen toll road traffic jams, and the Odaiba Gundam. What’s yours?

Research results

Q1: What do you think were the important news events from 2009? (Sample size=1,000, multiple answer, top 20)

Rank   Percentage
1 Swine flu worldwide epidemic 68.4%
2 Michael Jackson’s death 58.1%
3 Democratic Party of Japan’s overwhelming election victory 56.9%
4 Start of the lay judge system 52.6%
5 1,000 yen weekend flat rate for toll roads 52.4%
6 Noriko Sakai arrest for drugs 50.8%
7 Barack Obama’s inauguration 49.5%
8 Budget screening – eliminating wasteful government spending 38.8%
9 Start of 12,000 yen cash handout 37.3%
10 Tatsuya Ichihashi arrested for the murder of Lindsay Ann Hawker 36.7%
11 Japan Airlines’ government-assisted restructuring 28.1%
12 First total eclipse over Japan for 46 years 27.5%
13 Ichiro getting 200 hits for the 9th year in a row 26.7%
14 Release of Toshikazu Sugaya 26.6%
15 General Motors’ bankruptcy 25.7%
16 Dubai shock and the yen rising to 84 yen to the dollar 25.4%
17 Yamba dam construction termination problem 25.3%
18 Japan winning the World Baseball Classic for the second year in a row 22.0%
19 Manabu Oshio arrested for drug offences 21.9%
20 Okuribito (Departures) winning the Foreign Language Oscar 21.8%

Q1A: What do you think were the important news events from 2009? (Sample size=250, twenties, multiple answer, top 5)

Rank   Percentage
1 Swine flu worldwide epidemic 64.4%
2 Michael Jackson’s death 61.6%
3 Noriko Sakai arrest for drugs 57.2%
4 1,000 yen weekend flat rate for toll roads 54.8%
5 Start of the lay judge system 53.2%

Q1B: What do you think were the important news events from 2009? (Sample size=250, thirties, multiple answer, top 5)

Rank   Percentage
1 Swine flu worldwide epidemic 68.8%
2 Michael Jackson’s death 61.6%
3 Noriko Sakai arrest for drugs 56.8%
4 1,000 yen weekend flat rate for toll roads 55.6%
5 Democratic Party of Japan’s overwhelming election victory 49.6%

Q1C: What do you think were the important news events from 2009? (Sample size=250, forties, multiple answer, top 5)

Rank   Percentage
1 Swine flu worldwide epidemic 68.8%
2 Michael Jackson’s death 60.8%
3 Democratic Party of Japan’s overwhelming election victory 58.0%
4 Start of the lay judge system 53.2%
5 Noriko Sakai arrest for drugs 51.2%

Q1D: What do you think were the important news events from 2009? (Sample size=250, fifties plus sixties, multiple answer, top 5)

Rank   Percentage
1= Swine flu worldwide epidemic 71.6%
1= Democratic Party of Japan’s overwhelming election victory 71.6%
3 Barack Obama’s inauguration 58.4%
4 Start of the lay judge system 57.2%
5 1,000 yen weekend flat rate for toll roads 50.8%

Q1E: What do you think were the important news events from 2009? (Sample size=500, male, multiple answer, top 10)

Rank   Percentage
1 Democratic Party of Japan’s overwhelming election victory 60.0%
2 Swine flu worldwide epidemic 59.4%
3 1,000 yen weekend flat rate for toll roads 53.6%
4 Michael Jackson’s death 53.2%
5 Start of the lay judge system 50.4%
6 Barack Obama’s inauguration 49.2%
7 Noriko Sakai arrest for drugs 47.4%
8 Budget screening – eliminating wasteful government spending 38.6%
9 Start of 12,000 yen cash handout 34.2%
10 General Motors’ bankruptcy 33.8%

Q1F: What do you think were the important news events from 2009? (Sample size=500, female, multiple answer, top 10)

Rank   Percentage
1 Swine flu worldwide epidemic 77.4%
2 Michael Jackson’s death 63.0%
3 Start of the lay judge system 54.8%
4 Noriko Sakai arrest for drugs 54.2%
5 Democratic Party of Japan’s overwhelming election victory 53.8%
6 1,000 yen weekend flat rate for toll roads 51.2%
7 Barack Obama’s inauguration 49.8%
8 Tatsuya Ichihashi arrested for the murder of Lindsay Ann Hawker 42.8%
9 Start of 12,000 yen cash handout 40.4%
10 Budget screening – eliminating wasteful government spending 39.0%

Q2: What items or services do you think were topical in 2009? (Sample size=1,000, multiple answer, top 20)

Rank   Percentage
1 Toll road 1,000 yen weekend flat rate 61.5%
2 12,000 yen cash handout 61.0%
3 Swine flu prevention goods 57.7%
4 Michael Jackson’s This Is It 57.1%
5 Eco points, low energy home appliances 55.9%
6 Toyota’s Kodomo Tencho (Child Shop Manager) 53.8%
7 Hybrid car (Prius, Insight, etc) 46.1%
8 Marriage hunting, divorce hunting 45.0%
9 Okuribito (Departures) 43.9%
10 Dirt-cheap jeans 42.5%
11 Total eclipse tour, viewing kit 41.7%
12 Maneki Neko Duck (AFLAC duck/cat hybrid) 34.8%
13 Odaiba Gundam statue 33.3%
14 Windows 7 33.2%
15 1Q84 32.1%
16 Silver Week 29.3%
17= Book of Barack Obama’s speechs 24.6%
17= Mis-shaped vegetables, mis-shaped cakes 24.6%
19 Gyoza no Osho 24.2%
20 No-alcohol beer-like drinks 23.9%

Q2A: What items or services do you think were topical in 2009? (Sample size=250, twenties, multiple answer, top 5)

Rank   Percentage
1 Toll road 1,000 yen weekend flat rate 61.2%
2 12,000 yen cash handout 60.0%
3 Michael Jackson’s This Is It 58.0%
4 Swine flu prevention goods 56.4%
5 Toyota’s Kodomo Tencho (Child Shop Manager) 52.4%

Q2B: What items or services do you think were topical in 2009? (Sample size=250, thirties, multiple answer, top 5)

Rank   Percentage
1 Toll road 1,000 yen weekend flat rate 66.8%
2 12,000 yen cash handout 61.6%
3 Swine flu prevention goods 58.0%
4 Eco points, low energy home appliances 57.6%
5 Michael Jackson’s This Is It 56.8%

Q2C: What items or services do you think were topical in 2009? (Sample size=250, forties, multiple answer, top 5)

Rank   Percentage
1 12,000 yen cash handout 63.2%
2 Toll road 1,000 yen weekend flat rate 62.8%
3 Swine flu prevention goods 59.2%
4= Eco points, low energy home appliances 58.0%
4= Toyota’s Kodomo Tencho (Child Shop Manager) 58.0%

Q2D: What items or services do you think were topical in 2009? (Sample size=250, fifties plus sixties, multiple answer, top 5)

Rank   Percentage
1 12,000 yen cash handout 59.2%
2 Eco points, low energy home appliances 58.0%
3 Michael Jackson’s This Is It 57.6%
4 Swine flu prevention goods 57.2%
5 Toll road 1,000 yen weekend flat rate 55.2%

Q2E: What items or services do you think were topical in 2009? (Sample size=500, male, multiple answer, top 10)

Rank   Percentage
1 Toll road 1,000 yen weekend flat rate 62.6%
2 12,000 yen cash handout 56.2%
3 Eco points, low energy home appliances 53.6%
4 Michael Jackson’s This Is It 51.8%
5 Swine flu prevention goods 50.8%
6 Hybrid car (Prius, Insight, etc) 49.8%
7 Toyota’s Kodomo Tencho (Child Shop Manager) 47.0%
8 Windows 7 42.6%
9 Dirt-cheap jeans 39.8%
10 Okuribito (Departures) 38.2%

Q2F: What items or services do you think were topical in 2009? (Sample size=500, female, multiple answer, top 10)

Rank   Percentage
1 12,000 yen cash handout 65.8%
2 Swine flu prevention goods 64.6%
3 Michael Jackson’s This Is It 62.4%
4 Toyota’s Kodomo Tencho (Child Shop Manager) 60.6%
5 Toll road 1,000 yen weekend flat rate 60.4%
6 Eco points, low energy home appliances 58.2%
7 Marriage hunting, divorce hunting 57.2%
8 Okuribito (Departures) 49.6%
9 Total eclipse tour, viewing kit 46.4%
10 Dirt-cheap jeans 45.2%
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