Does government reflect on the mood of the people? graph of japanese statistics[part 1] [part 2] [part 3]

This rather epic survey from the Cabinet Office Japan will be split into multiple parts and posted over the next few days. Here they looked at awareness of society, covering four main areas of country and society, the state of society today, evaluation of government, and how society works. A translation of a similar survey from last year may be found here and two years ago is here.


10,000 people aged 20 or older were randomly selected from the entire Japanese population to take part in the survey. From that group, 5,494 people agreed to take part in face-to-face interviews conducted between the 7th and 24th of February 2008. 53.8% of the sample was female, 8.1% in their twenties, 15.3% in their thirties, 15.8% in their forties, 21.3% in their fifties, 21.9% in their sixties, 16.5% in their seventies, and 3.1% aged eighty or older. 74.7% were married, 11.8% were divorced or widowed, and 13.5% were unmarried.

The depression continues in this section, with Q13 dissatisfaction with the government’s KY-ness (空気が読めない, Kuuki ga Yomenai, inability to sense the mood), and Q14 showing pretty much all aspects of life not looking good and Q15 highlighting the ones particularly decaying. However, at least the final section on children was bright in outlook.

Research results

Q13: Overall, how much do you think the national government reflects on how the citizens are thinking and what opinions they hold? (Sample size=5,494)

Reflects a lot 1.1%
Reflects to some degree (to SQ) 20.6%
Don’t reflect much (to SQ) 56.3%
Don’t reflect at all (to SQ) 18.9%
Don’t know (to SQ) 3.0%

Q13SQ: What do you think they should do in order to relect the citizens’ opinions and thoughts better? (Sample size=5,266)

Politicians should listen well to the voice of the people 25.7%
Citizens should be interested in national government 20.3%
There should be more places when citizens can participate 17.5%
Citizens should make a conscious choice when voting 15.3%
Government should listen well to popular opinion 14.0%
Media should clearly express the opinions of citizens 5.2%
Other 0.6%
Don’t know 1.5%

Q14: Looking at the current situation Japan is in, which of the following areas are heading in a good direction? (Sample size=5,494, multiple answer)

Science and technology 21.2%
Communications, distribution 17.9%
Internationalisation 16.6%
Medical, welfare 15.1%
Disaster prevention 15.1%
Culture 9.9%
Traffic 9.7%
Natural environment 9.4%
Education 9.0%
Public order 8.2%
Living environment 6.4%
Diplomacy 5.8%
Resources, energy 5.7%
Defense 4.4%
Employment, working conditions 4.3%
Economic strength 3.6%
Food supply 3.2%
Land, homes 2.9%
Business climate 2.7%
Regional disparity 2.5%
National character 2.5%
Prices 1.4%
Trends in society 1.1%
Public finances 0.9%
Other 0.1%
Nothing, don’t know 27.5%

Q15: Looking at the current situation Japan is in, which of the following areas are heading in a bad direction? (Sample size=5,494, multiple answer)

Business climate 43.4%
Prices 42.3%
Food supply 40.9%
Public finances 37.5%
Medical, welfare 34.4%
Regional disparity 32.9%
Public order 31.6%
Employment, working conditions 31.1%
Natural environment 28.6%
Economic strength 25.8%
Resources, energy 25.4%
Education 24.3%
Trends in society 23.8%
Diplomacy 22.7%
Defense 18.9%
Living environment 15.9%
National character 14.8%
Land, homes 8.8%
Traffic 8.0%
Internationalisation 7.5%
Disaster prevention 5.7%
Culture 4.8%
Science and technology 3.4%
Communications, distribution 3.4%
Other 0.4%
Nothing, don’t know 3.8%

Q16: In today’s society, regarding each individual citizen’s earnings, savings, property, etc, to make a difference in their financial situations, what sort of measures should be taken? (Sample size=5,494)

Strengthen measures centered around tax and social security 35.4%
Strengthen measures centered around direct support for raising of wages 31.5%
Strengthen measures centered around indirect support for raising of wages 18.6%
Current measures are sufficient 4.4%
Other 0.4%
Nothing in particular 1.8%
Don’t know 7.8%

Q17: Ideally, how many children would it be good for you yourself to have? (Sample size=5,494)

None 0.5%
One 1.6%
Two 34.8%
Three 52.3%
Four 5.2%
Five 1.9%
Six or more 0.3%
Don’t know 2.2%

This gives an average of 2.70 children.

Q18: How many children do you actually have or have had? (Sample size=unclear)

None 3.0%
One 9.3%
Two 45.2%
Three 28.6%
Four 3.9%
Five 1.2%
Six or more 0.3%
Don’t know 8.6%

This gives an average of 2.28 children. The sample size here is not stated, but perhaps it is only married people. However, I find it surprising that only 3.0% are childless (this doesn’t agree with the demographic information provided, which said 20% were childless), but perhaps due to sampling methodology Dinkies (Dual Incomes, No Kids) were difficult to reach? Or perhaps it’s just that I’ve made a translation error!

Q19: Have you yourself felt mostly joy or mostly hardship bringing up children? If you don’t have any children, answer with whay you imagine it would be like. (Sample size=5,494)

Felt mostly joy 53.9%
Felt about equal joy and hardship 35.5%
Felt mostly hardship 5.2%
Other 0.4%
Don’t know 4.9%

Q20: What joys have you felt bringing up children? (Sample size=unclear, multiple answer)

Watching the children grow up 67.8%
Strengthening family bonds 57.8%
Growing myself while bringing up children 53.0%
Just seeing my children 43.5%
Making new acquaintances while bringing up children 37.7%
Having a fulfilling life while bringing up children 35.4%
Bringing the next generation of society 18.6%
Gaining self-confidence through bringing up children 18.4%
Experience of child-rearing being useful to work, etc 14.4%
Bringing up an heir to the house, business 9.5%
Other 0.3%
Nothing in particular 1.8%
Don’t know 3.7%

Q21: What hardships have you felt bringing up children? (Sample size=unclear, multiple answer)

Saving money for children’s future education 45.8%
Loss of my own free time 22.9%
Children’s companion’s strength, perserverance 22.6%
Can’t work how I thought I might 13.9%
Lack of breathing space at home 9.7%
Don’t know the best way to relate to children 9.2%
Difficult taking the children along when going out 7.7%
Don’t like children 1.1%
Other 1.2%
Nothing in particular 19.3%
Don’t know 4.0%

Q22: In the future, who do you think should have the biggest responsibility for bringing up children? (Sample size=unclear)

Parents and family 42.3%
Government 12.5%
Child-rearing facilities 11.6%
All citizens 10.5%
School, educators 9.2%
Neighbours 5.7%
The current situation is fine 4.0%
Other 0.3%
Don’t know 4.0%

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


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