Archive for Society

Only a minority want smoking banned in cafes

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Japan is still very much a smoker’s paradise despite being outnumbered by non-smokers, as this survey from Nifty into smoking revealed.

Demographics

Between the 24th and 30th of January 2014 5,098 members of the Nifty monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. No further demographics were given.

You can even get tobacco tea from a vending machine in Japan:

In Q6, banning smoking on pavements (sidewalks for my American readers) illustrates the strength of JT, Japan Tobacco, and its advertising, which has convinced the public that despite Q5 showing that most people are aware of the health issues, impoliteness and the risk of poking children in the eye outweighs taking said children into a smoky cafe and puffing away; as many a foreigner says, Japan must be the only country where it is often easier to smoke inside than outside. Next, banning smoking in bullet trains would be low-priority for me, as on the main Tokyo-Osaka run all the newer trains are non-smoking, but have a smoking room, which I actually think is worse. With a distinct smoking car, it is easy to avoid; with a room, if you happen to get a seat nearby and beside a smoker, their fumes after their visits will be pretty obnoxious.

Where I’d like to see smoking banned is parliament; then I will know that the government is really serious about tackling the issue.
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The scent of early middle-age Japanese men

Do you notice the smell of men in their thirties and forties? graph of japanese statisticsAn interesting, I suppose, survey from Lucido, a brand of men’s toiletries, where they conducted a survey into women’s perceptions of the smell of men in their thirties and forties.

Demographics

During the month of December 2013 534 women aged between 25 and 49 years old completed a private (I think) internet-based questionnaire. No further demographics were provided.

This male age band was chosen because one’s youthful hormones are fading, but are yet to be overtaken by old person smell, a smell which Lucido have named “Middle Fat Smell”, with an associated web site, which no doubt explains that said smell can be countered by ample application of Lucido’s product.

Actually, my wife has recently started mentioning that I smell (in a good way, she assures me!), although I do worry that I am developing Old Person Smell. However, this Scientific American article assures me that in blind sniff tests, it was actually rated more pleasant than young folks!
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Four in five twenty year olds on LINE

How many friends do you have? graph of japanese statisticsjapan.internet.com recently published the highlights of a survey by Macromill into 2014’s new adults, where they chose to focus on SNS and friends.

Demographics

On the 5th of December 2013 Macromill interviewed 500 members of their monitor panel who would be coming of age (20 years old) in 2014 through a private internet-based questionnaire. The sex split is not noted, but Macromill usually have a 50:50 ratio.

Note that in Q3 and the pie chart above, the Japanese word for “friend” used is a word that usually refers to real-life friends. Facebook friends use a different word, so the number reported was not just a simple totting up of one’s followers.
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Airbnb, etc, almost unknown in Japan

Do you know about traveller-oriented empty room matching? graph of japanese statistics

japan.internet.com recently reported on a survey by goo Research into traveller-oriented empty room matching services, and little recognition was registered; it is not clear from the question wording, however, whether they dropped the best-known brand name along with the rather wordy survey title.

Demographics

Between the 22nd and 26th of November 2013 1,082 members of the goo Research online monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 53.9% of the sample were male, 14.0% in their teens, 15.2% in their twenties, 21.8% in their thirties, 17.5% in their forties, 14.7% in their fifties, and 16.8% aged sixty or older.

This year I am on our block of flats’ management committee, and I keep meaning to bring up at the meetings a proposal to change the residents’ contract to outlaw the renting of rooms through Airbnb and similar schemes. Currently, commercial activity that involves visitors is forbidden, and a neighbour in fact fell foul of the regulations as she was running a craft school in her living room, so she was asked to hold her classes elsewhere. I sort-of agree with the Airbnb concept, but NIMBY! I also think it encourages the black economy, so I cannot approve of illegal sub-letting, regulation-dodging and no doubt tax-avoidance. And having foreigners in our building would no doubt bring down the property values.
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What Japanese love about Japan

@nifty, an internet service provider and portal in Japan, conducted a survey into attitudes regarding Japan. Each question was made as a separate post, so I’ll include links inline.

Demographics

Between the 15th and 21st of November 2013 5,264 members of @Nifty completed a private internet-based questionnaire. No further demographics were provided.

Okonomiyaki

When a friend came over to Japan recently I took him out to a basic restaurant for okonomiyaki (see the pic above), and he loved it. It was a pokey little place with just the one counter/hotplate and 12 seats, the chef cooking right in front of us, ciggie smoke clogging the air, ice-cold beer. He loved it, as did I, as I hadn’t been to such a simple, honest place for so long; before I got married, I used to frequent a local okonomiyaki shop, visiting at least once a week.
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Social matching services; few Japanese users, even fewer success stories

Do you know about Social Matching Services? graph of japanese statisticsI’d not heard of the term used in this survey by goo Research and reported on by japan.internet.com, namely social matching services, but once I read the survey I had a vague recall of having heard about it somewhere long ago.

Demographics

Between the 15th and 18th of October 2013 1,078 members of the goo Research monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 54.0% of the sample were male, 13.8% in their teens, 15.4% in their twenties, 21.2% in their thirties, 17.2% in their forties, 14.8% in their fifties, and 17.5% aged sixty or older.

Looking at the sites in Q1SQ1, they seem to be a mix of work-related networking, expanding one’s circle of friends through shared hobbies and interests, and just plain old dating. I could be interested in the second option myself, and perhaps the first, but I don’t really have the free time or more particularly energy to do that.
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Coping with English-speaking tourists

About how much do you think you understand when foreign tourists engage you in English conversation? graph of japanese statisticsThe online English conversation lesson site hanaso recently released a survey into dealing with foreign tourists in English.

Demographics

Over the 29th and 30th of August 2013 437 people who had had the experience of being engaged in English conversation by a foreign visitor to Japan. The sample was of both sexes and between the ages of 20 and 59, but no further information was offered. Judging by other surveys on their site, I think that the sample was taken from site users.

Note that since (I presume) the sample comes from English language learners, I would guess that they are more proactive and positive in their English and tourist views, therefore it would be difficult to extrapolate to the general population. However, since I occasionally hear English conversation teachers complaining about the backward and insular views of their students, I feel the results here indicate that these opinions may be the result of confirmation bias rather than actually representative.
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When Japanese prepare for their own deaths

Do you think End of Life Activities are needed? graph of japanese statisticsA popular buzzword these days is 終活, shuukatsu, or basically End of Life Activities, specifically activities relating to tying up loose ends, such as funeral and burial arrangements, before one shuffles off one’s mortal coil, or gets too doo-lally to do so. This survey was conducted by SBI Holdings, a financial company spun off from the SoftBank group.

Demographics

Over the 6th and 7th of September 2013 550 people completed an internet-based questionnaire. All of the sample were aged sixty or older, and there was a 50:50 male and female split.

The survey also had questions on Respect for the Aged Day (16th of September this year) and, more interestingly, on priority seats on the train or bus, and how people feel being offered one.

These End of Life activities are often talked about on television, but mostly with respect to people organising their own funerals and buying cheap plots that they don’t want to burden their children with, but I very rarely hear mention of writing a will. Looking at Q1SQ, writing a will should be first done on reaching adulthood, or at least on getting married – but no, I haven’t. Buying your grave can wait until post-retirement, however.
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Two-thirds of Japanese open to robo-nursing

Would you want to be cared for by a Care Robot? graph of japanese statisticsThe Cabinet Office of Japan recengtly conducted a survey looking at care robots.

Demographics

Between the 1st and 11th of August 2013 3,000 members of the public with Japanese nationality were randomly selected. 1,842 of them (61.4%) chose to answer the questionnaire at face-to-face interviews. Further demographic breakdown was not provided.

Before you get the idea of robo-nurses into your head, as can be seen in the preamble to Q4 it is more just technology to assist the carer and the cared-for rather than the science-fiction image of autonomous androids tending to their human wards.
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Japanese support the Tokyo Olympic bid three to one

What do you think of the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics bid? graph of japanese statisticsWith the IOC decision this weekend, DIMSDRIVE Research published their survey on 2020 Olympics and bid activities, finding that although one in three are ambivalent about the whole affair, three to one of the remaining two-thirds favour it.

Demographics

Between the 6th and 19th of August 2013 7,311 members of the DIMSDRIVE monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 58.8% of the sample were male, 4.6% were in their teens and twenties, 16.4% in their thirties, 31.7% in their forties, 26.9% in their fifties, 14.9% in their sixties, and 5.6% aged seventy or older. Unfortunately, there was no breakdown of the area of residence of the respondents, but DIMSDRIVE usually has around 40% from the Tokyo and surrounding Kanto area.

I’m personally in favour of the bid, partially out of a desire to feel schadenfreude towards those I find are campaigning against Tokyo due to personal dislike of Japan or due to excessive Fukushima-related scaremongering. Indeed, I suspect that the deciding factor will be whether science can triumph over nuclear irrationality, but I also worry that the Japanese team will not be very good at getting the scientific, factual case across.
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