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
1Swine flu worldwide epidemic68.4%
2Michael Jackson’s death58.1%
3Democratic Party of Japan’s overwhelming election victory56.9%
4Start of the lay judge system52.6%
51,000 yen weekend flat rate for toll roads52.4%
6Noriko Sakai arrest for drugs50.8%
7Barack Obama’s inauguration49.5%
8Budget screening – eliminating wasteful government spending38.8%
9Start of 12,000 yen cash handout37.3%
10Tatsuya Ichihashi arrested for the murder of Lindsay Ann Hawker36.7%
11Japan Airlines’ government-assisted restructuring28.1%
12First total eclipse over Japan for 46 years27.5%
13Ichiro getting 200 hits for the 9th year in a row26.7%
14Release of Toshikazu Sugaya26.6%
15General Motors’ bankruptcy25.7%
16Dubai shock and the yen rising to 84 yen to the dollar25.4%
17Yamba dam construction termination problem25.3%
18Japan winning the World Baseball Classic for the second year in a row22.0%
19Manabu Oshio arrested for drug offences21.9%
20Okuribito (Departures) winning the Foreign Language Oscar21.8%

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

Rank Percentage
1Swine flu worldwide epidemic64.4%
2Michael Jackson’s death61.6%
3Noriko Sakai arrest for drugs57.2%
41,000 yen weekend flat rate for toll roads54.8%
5Start of the lay judge system53.2%

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

Rank Percentage
1Swine flu worldwide epidemic68.8%
2Michael Jackson’s death61.6%
3Noriko Sakai arrest for drugs56.8%
41,000 yen weekend flat rate for toll roads55.6%
5Democratic Party of Japan’s overwhelming election victory49.6%

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

Rank Percentage
1Swine flu worldwide epidemic68.8%
2Michael Jackson’s death60.8%
3Democratic Party of Japan’s overwhelming election victory58.0%
4Start of the lay judge system53.2%
5Noriko Sakai arrest for drugs51.2%

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 epidemic71.6%
1=Democratic Party of Japan’s overwhelming election victory71.6%
3Barack Obama’s inauguration58.4%
4Start of the lay judge system57.2%
51,000 yen weekend flat rate for toll roads50.8%

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

Rank Percentage
1Democratic Party of Japan’s overwhelming election victory60.0%
2Swine flu worldwide epidemic59.4%
31,000 yen weekend flat rate for toll roads53.6%
4Michael Jackson’s death53.2%
5Start of the lay judge system50.4%
6Barack Obama’s inauguration49.2%
7Noriko Sakai arrest for drugs47.4%
8Budget screening – eliminating wasteful government spending38.6%
9Start of 12,000 yen cash handout34.2%
10General Motors’ bankruptcy33.8%

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

Rank Percentage
1Swine flu worldwide epidemic77.4%
2Michael Jackson’s death63.0%
3Start of the lay judge system54.8%
4Noriko Sakai arrest for drugs54.2%
5Democratic Party of Japan’s overwhelming election victory53.8%
61,000 yen weekend flat rate for toll roads51.2%
7Barack Obama’s inauguration49.8%
8Tatsuya Ichihashi arrested for the murder of Lindsay Ann Hawker42.8%
9Start of 12,000 yen cash handout40.4%
10Budget screening – eliminating wasteful government spending39.0%

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

Rank Percentage
1Toll road 1,000 yen weekend flat rate61.5%
212,000 yen cash handout61.0%
3Swine flu prevention goods57.7%
4Michael Jackson’s This Is It57.1%
5Eco points, low energy home appliances55.9%
6Toyota’s Kodomo Tencho (Child Shop Manager)53.8%
7Hybrid car (Prius, Insight, etc)46.1%
8Marriage hunting, divorce hunting45.0%
9Okuribito (Departures)43.9%
10Dirt-cheap jeans42.5%
11Total eclipse tour, viewing kit41.7%
12Maneki Neko Duck (AFLAC duck/cat hybrid)34.8%
13Odaiba Gundam statue33.3%
14Windows 733.2%
151Q8432.1%
16Silver Week29.3%
17=Book of Barack Obama’s speechs24.6%
17=Mis-shaped vegetables, mis-shaped cakes24.6%
19Gyoza no Osho24.2%
20No-alcohol beer-like drinks23.9%

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

Rank Percentage
1Toll road 1,000 yen weekend flat rate61.2%
212,000 yen cash handout60.0%
3Michael Jackson’s This Is It58.0%
4Swine flu prevention goods56.4%
5Toyota’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
1Toll road 1,000 yen weekend flat rate66.8%
212,000 yen cash handout61.6%
3Swine flu prevention goods58.0%
4Eco points, low energy home appliances57.6%
5Michael Jackson’s This Is It56.8%

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

Rank Percentage
112,000 yen cash handout63.2%
2Toll road 1,000 yen weekend flat rate62.8%
3Swine flu prevention goods59.2%
4=Eco points, low energy home appliances58.0%
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
112,000 yen cash handout59.2%
2Eco points, low energy home appliances58.0%
3Michael Jackson’s This Is It57.6%
4Swine flu prevention goods57.2%
5Toll road 1,000 yen weekend flat rate55.2%

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

Rank Percentage
1Toll road 1,000 yen weekend flat rate62.6%
212,000 yen cash handout56.2%
3Eco points, low energy home appliances53.6%
4Michael Jackson’s This Is It51.8%
5Swine flu prevention goods50.8%
6Hybrid car (Prius, Insight, etc)49.8%
7Toyota’s Kodomo Tencho (Child Shop Manager)47.0%
8Windows 742.6%
9Dirt-cheap jeans39.8%
10Okuribito (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
112,000 yen cash handout65.8%
2Swine flu prevention goods64.6%
3Michael Jackson’s This Is It62.4%
4Toyota’s Kodomo Tencho (Child Shop Manager)60.6%
5Toll road 1,000 yen weekend flat rate60.4%
6Eco points, low energy home appliances58.2%
7Marriage hunting, divorce hunting57.2%
8Okuribito (Departures)49.6%
9Total eclipse tour, viewing kit46.4%
10Dirt-cheap jeans45.2%
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