Rates dropping, but majority of smokers don’t plan to quit

Japan has always been a smokers’ paradise, although things are slowly changing. This survey from DIMSDRIVE Research revealed a number of interesting facts about smoking in Japan.

Most restaurants in department stores are now all non-smoking, and most of the major chain restaurants are decreasing or even eliminating smoking spaces, although even when there is a separate smoking area, often just one person can soon stink out the whole place out.

Conversely, unless it is a healthy-themed restaurant, privately-owned cafes and restaurants are most likely to be smoking OK. Things are changing for the Olympics but quite half-heartedly. As can be seen in Q1, almost three in four people over seventy are current or ex-smokers, and there are a whole lot of politicians in that age group, so they don’t really seem to care about rocking the boat.

Note that due to excessive advertising from Japan Tobacco, public perception of the largest smoking problem has been twisted to mean accidentally poking kids with cigarettes as illustrated by this advert:

smoking puts kids eyes out

Women more sceptical about the progress of gender equality

This interesting survey from @nifty looked at gender equality, with a bonus question at the end about same-sex marriage.

I’m for equality in general, of course, but against gender equality in election candidates. More women should be encouraged into politics, but the approach should be more about making it less of a boys club, and adopting sensible hours for conducting business.

Almost everyone follows North Korea news, majority affected by it

@nifty released this timely survey on North Korea.

It is interesting to see what bothers the Japanese about North Korea. Note that in Q1 the wooden boats refers to wooden fishing boats that get swept to the Japanese coast.

Here’s a detail from a mural in a film studio in North Korea – I think the guy with the rifle is Japanese holding North Koreans prisoner:

Detail of Film Studios Mural

Most new adults on LINE and Twitter, just one in four on Facebook

With today being Coming of Age Day in Japan, let’s look with Macromill Research at what 2018’s new adults think about things.

I was quite surprised to see how low the usage percentage was for Facebook, although I have heard before that in America “only old folk use Facebook”, so I suppose Japan would catch up. I’m not on LINE and only auto-post the blog to Twitter, yet active on both Twitter and Google+, so I suppose I must be one of these old folk!

Here’s a typical scene from around town with the women dressed up to the nines for the Coming of Age ceremony:

Four beauties

Seven in ten young Japanese woman would like a foreign husband

The company TOBE recently bought out a matchmaking service in Hawaii that mainly matches Japanese women with American men, so to celebrate (?) conducted a survey into Japanese women’s views on foreign partners via their love and relationship web site https://aikatsu.jp.

These figures are quite higher than I might have expected, but given the survey being an open survey, I’m not sure how much weight we can put on the answers.

I doubt they’ll be getting many international weddings held here:


Election views

The election may be over, but this survey from @nifty took a look at views regarding this election and elections in general.

Sound trucks here are usually actually cars or just light trucks that drive around both town centres and residential areas blasting out usually nothing more than the candidate’s name and maybe their age; apparently election law forbids broadcasting about policies from a moving vehicle during the 10 days of official campaigning; doing it from a stationary truck or standing on a street corner is fine, however. As useless as it sounds, all parties do it, giving people little peace during the campaign.

By the way, note that percentages with one decimal place are exact values, but with no decimal places are estimates read off graphs.

Here’s a typical sound truck – the extra hands are waving at passers-by, the “29” on the front is the age of the candidate; for younger candidates the typical poster has the age in a bigger font than the party name.

megaphone madness

Almost one in four bought tickets for this summer’s national lottery

Katte2Q took a look at Japan’s tax on the stupid, takarakuji, Japan’s national lottery.

Note that Japan’s lottery differs from many around the world, in that it is a raffle (that is, numbered tickets) with fixed-value prizes rather than the more common pattern of picking six numbers from 1 to 50 to win a share of a pot. Actually, that other kind is also offered by the same organisation, but it is the four or so times per year big raffle that is the format that people think of when they hear mention of the lottery.

The national lottery annoys me greatly, in particular the advertising. The main lottery features many big names in story-driven adverts that must run up a significant production and salary budget to produce, and last year their scratch cards featured a kid’s cartoon character, and the year before was based around being addicted to one more scratch…

Here’s an advert from more innocent times:


Thirties Japanese answer “How is babby formed?”

There is a notorious Yahoo! Answers question, “How is babby formed?” that I have used as the introduction to this survey from Nissin into getting pregnant activities.

Nissin is the company behind Chicken Ramen and Cup Noodle, and their excuse for this survey was launching a new supplement for supporting baby-making for both male and female, featuring folic acid, zinc and lactic acid.

Rather predictably, but probably in line with much of the rest of the world, it seems that infertility or poor fertility is mostly a woman’s problem.

This sign says “Do not feed the monkeys”, but what the pregnant monkey is doing there is a mystery to me!

Please do not feed the monkeys

Retirement in Japan

It’s something we’ll all (hopefully, although Trump seems to be trying his hardest to save us from that worry…) have to face, retirement, the subject of this survey from @nifty.

I just recently started our company pension scheme, and I’ve managed to reconnect myself with one of my UK private pensions, and after a visit to a financial adviser last month, she informed us we had enough to survive, although enjoying might be a different matter… Most Japanese companies still have a hard retirement age of sixty, and some (like my employer) with schemes to reemploy people on rolling yearly contracts at no doubt reduced wages.

I skipped translating question seven, as it was a list of famous people who are growing old ideally; top for men was Tokoro George then Tamori, and for women it was Sayuri Yoshinaga followed by Tamori. However, my ideal, who features nowhere in either the male or female top ten, would be Beat Takeshi. I’d love to be as talented to basically not give a care about anything or, as is more probably true, to be able to appear to not give a damn.

Here’s some random Japanese people enjoying their retirement:

Energetic Seniors

Majority of Japanese kids have dinner without father

The free infant care magazine miku recently published a survey titled preventing second-hand smoke, although most of the survey was actually about mealtimes.

This summer I’d be in the “other” category for breakfast. I’m usually toast in winter, cereal in summer, but this year I’m on energy bars.

Here’s a typical traditional Japanese breakfast, although this typical of what is served at traditional inns; I don’t know how many of the 40% who eat rice-centric breakfasts actually eat something as grand as this:

手作りの豆腐や, 天日干しの網代干物, 定番の温泉卵, 朝食, リーズナブル 舟盛プラン, 磯の宿 まきた, 磯の宿, 熱海温泉, 熱海, 日本, Breakfast, Atami, Japan