How Japan views the outside world: part 2 of 2


Should Japan participate in PKO, similar activities? graph of japanese statistics[part 1] [part 2]

The Cabinet Office Japan recently conducted a survey looking at diplomacy in Japan. This is a regular yearly survey, and last year I translated it in two parts, here and here.


3,000 adult members of the Japanese public were selected at random from resident registries to be interviewed face-to-face between the 9th and 19th of October 2008. From the sample, 1,826 people, or 60.9%, were available and completed the survey. 54.1% of the sample were female, 10.0% were in their twenties, 15.9% in their thirties, 15.6% in their forties, 20.3% in their fifties, 21.9% in their sixties, and 16.3% aged seventy or older. Additionally, 4.6% had lived overseas for more than three months, another 57.3% had travelled overseas, and 38.1% had never been overseas.

The section on North Korea was conducted before the recent news that wouldn’t have surprised many westerns following the story, namely that North Korea finally had enough about Japan going on about the abductees and have said they’ll refuse to recognise Japan at the upcoming 6-party (or should that now be 5-party?) talks due to this issue, a stance that I must agree with, quite frankly. However, Q3 shows the abductees is still the most important issue for the Japanese, but I’d love to see a more detailed survey on why.

Research results

Q3: Which of the following matters regarding North Korea are you interested in? (Sample size=1,826, multiple answer)

Japanese kidnappings problem88.1%
Nuclear problem69.9%
Missile problem51.5%
Political regime41.2%
Defectors issue40.4%
Negotiations to normalize diplomatic relations between Japan and North Korea25.7%
North-South issues20.7%
Trade and other economic exchange, cultural, sports exchange11.2%
Nothing in particular2.6%
Don’t know0.5%

Q4: Developed countries give economic aid such as loans and technical assistance to developing countries. Thinking about the various facets, what should Japan do regarding economic aid? (Sample size=1,826)

Should proactively offer aid (to SQ1)30.4%
Current levels of aid are fine43.9%
Should decrease aid if possible (to SQ2)18.5%
Should stop aid (to SQ2)3.3%
Don’t know3.8%

Q4SQ1: Why do you think Japan should proactively offer aid? (Sample size=556, multiple answer)

To help solve developing countries’ environmental problems, Japan’s techniques and expertise should be applied50.9%
To contribute towards stability of developing countries, to further the aims of global peace47.5%
As a developed nation there is a humanitarian duty to support developing countries46.8%
Economic cooperation is an important means for promoting Japanese diplomacy45.9%
If developing nations have neither political safety nor economic development, Japan’s economy will not grow42.4%
Aid for developing countries helps towards securing energy resources42.1%
As the world’s second-biggest economy, Japan’s international responsibility is to help developing nations suffering from accumulated debt32.7%
If Japan only is not cooperating economically, she will be isolated internationally21.9%
No particular reason0.4%
Don’t know0.5%

Q4SQ2: Why do you think Japan should decrease or stop offering aid? (Sample size=398, multiple answer)

Japan’s domestic economy is in bad shape71.9%
Japan’s finances are in bad shape49.2%
It’s not clear what sort of economic aid is being offered43.2%
Don’t feel Japan’s economic aid is valued by the developing countries32.4%
Current economic aid is not sufficiently meeting the needs of the area, and not enough of a benefit comes from it in many cases27.9%
Economic cooperation as a means for promoting Japanese diplomacy is not producing sufficient results22.6%
Use and management of current economic cooperation with regard to equipment provisioning and relationships, etc, is not effective in many cases17.1%
No particular reason1.0%
Don’t know1.3%

Q5: United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (PKO) are currently active in over 100 countries. Japan also has resources active in Cambodia, Golan Heights, East Timor, and other PKOs, and is also helping refugees in Iraq, etc, and has been involved in monitoring elections in places like Kosova. In order to contribute to the international community, in the future should Japan participate in PKO and other such activities? (Sample size=1,826)

Should proactively participate25.1%
Should continue the current level of participation51.6%
Should participate, but reduce level of participation16.0%
Should not participate3.1%
Don’t know3.6%

Q6: There are currently discussions underway within the United Nations regarding expanding the UN Security Council to better represent some regions. What do you think about Japan becoming a permanent standing member of the UN Security Council? (Sample size=1,826)

Agree (to SQ1)41.5%
Agree to some extent (to SQ1)37.3%
Disagree to some extent (to SQ2)7.0%
Disagree (to SQ2)1.6%
Don’t know12.5%

Q6SQ1: Why do you think Japan should become a standing member of the UN Security Council? (Sample size=1,440)

Japan is a major contributor to UN finances, so it is strange that she is not included in important decision-making29.9%
As a peaceful non-nuclear state, Japan can usefully contribute towards world peace26.9%
As an economic power, Japan should proactively take part in the plans for building world peace19.2%
Japan’s opinion can be reflected in important decision-making by the UN13.0%
If Japan were a standing member of the UN Security Council, it could more proactively contribute towards various UN activities9.9%
Don’t know1.1%

Q6SQ2: Why do you think Japan should not become a standing member of the UN Security Council? (Sample size=158)

Even not being a standing member, Japan can sufficiently contribute internationally towards non-military areas such as economic, societal, and environmental issues31.6%
If Japan becomes a standing member, she would have to proactively participate in UN military operations24.1%
If Japan becomes a standing member, financial contributions towards the UN would increase22.8%
Don’t agree with the existence of the United Nations10.8%
If Japan becomes a standing member, the constitution would need to be amended7.0%
Don’t know3.2%

Q7: In order to develop economic relations with other nations, into which areas do you think emphasis should be placed? (Sample size=1,826, multiple answer)

Energy supply security68.2%
Food supply security52.7%
Promotion of the removal of trade barriers (including FTA, EPA, WTO activities)28.8%
Support activities of Japanese companies overseas27.9%
Promote understanding of the Japanese economy view of other countries22.1%
Guarding of patent and other intellectual property rights18.8%
Promote tourism to Japan20.7%
Promotion of direct investment into Japan8.3%
Nowhere in particular1.2%
Don’t know3.6%

Q8: In order to develop cultural exchange with other nations, into which areas do you think emphasis should be placed? (Sample size=1,826, multiple answer)

Youth exchange57.7%
Sports exchange48.8%
Scholar, artist, etc exchange40.4%
Introduce traditional Japanese culture to the world (ikebana, tea ceremony, kabuki, etc)34.3%
Cooperating in preserving overseas cultural heritage31.5%
Introduce modern Japan to the world27.2%
Knowledge exchange (seminars, symposiums, etc)26.0%
City, prefectural-level exchange21.7%
Spread the Japanese language19.5%
Promote Japan research overseas17.6%
Nothing in particular1.4%
Don’t know2.7%

Q9: What roles do you think Japan should play in international society? (Sample size=1,826, multiple answer)

Contribute towards the resolution of global issues such as climate problems66.5%
Including support personel, contribute toward the promotion of international peace, put effort into peaceful settlement of regional disputes, disarmament and non-proliferation51.8%
Humanitarian aid for refugees42.2%
Collaboration towards the growth of developing nations37.7%
Contribute towards the development of a robust world economy35.0%
Support international efforts to the spread of universal values such as freedom, democracy, fundamental human rights and the rule of law29.8%
Contribute towards international cultural exchange through preservation of global heritage, etc21.5%
Nothing in particular1.1%
Don’t know3.3%

[part 1] [part 2]

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1 Comment »

  1. Usman Makhdoom said,
    March 16, 2009 @ 16:10

    I’m very curious – why on earth would you agree with North Korea refusing to recognise Japan because of it ‘going on’ about the abductees, particularly when Japan sinks a lot of money in aid into that communist barbaric shithole?

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