Japan last for police trust and legitimacy

Central Research Services Inc recently published a survey looking at victims of crime, etc in Japan, and comparing it with similar surveys from Europe.


In 2011 2,000 people over the age of 15 were randomly selected from resident registers to take part in the survey. At the end of May all bar those from two sampling points in Tohoku that were affected by the earthquake were interviewed face-to-face, and the remaining people were interviewed at the end of July. In total 1,251 responded to the questionnaire, with 50.5% of the sample female and 49.5% male. The age breakdown was not given.

These are really very surprising figures for me! I didn’t expect Japan to be so low on police legitimacy, for one thing. Recently there has been a spate of reports of police uselessness when responding to crimes, miscarriages of justice, etc which would have influenced public distrust of the overall criminal justice system, but questions on direct interactions with the system would suggest that even the average bobby on the beat is a bit bent.

Note that the European data was taken from European Social Survey, 2009, “Trust in Justice: European Social Survey”.

When Japanese truly come of age

With today being a public holiday for the annual Coming of Age Day, where everyone who had their 20th birthday in the last calendar year gets tarted up in their best togs and get together in their local town hall to listen to boring speechs. However, although they statatistically became adults in the previous year, goo Ranking took a look at when people felt they truly reached adulthood.


Over the 25th and 26th of November 2011 1,074 members of the goo Research online monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 57.4% of the sample were female, 11.6% in their teens, 14.7% in their twenties, 26.9% in their thirties, 25.0% in their forties, 11.1% in their fifties, and 10.7% aged sixty or older. Note that the score in the results refers to the relative number of votes for each option, not a percentage of the total sample.

Here’s some new adults with a random dude:

Me with Kimono girls

And here’s a local mayor trying to get hip with the kids:

For my part, I felt I became an adult when I moved out of university dorms and started flat sharing, which incidentally was just round about my 20th birthday. Note that this doesn’t feature in the list below – for some reason flat-sharing is not popular at all in Japan.

Booze and fags and Japanese kids

Under-age drinkingRather than just another survey on consumer interests, here’s something a bit different, a look at recent trends in smoking and drinking rates amongst Japanese schoolchildren. The multiple surveys were conducted and analysed by Central Research Services.


I only have concrete demographics for the 1996 and 2000 surveys; both surveys asked students at about 70 to 90 junior and senior high schools, getting over 100,000 replies both times, representing over 60% of the students enrolled in each institution.

The remarkable drop in smoking and drinking rates is quite surprising, and I must admit to being a bit skeptical about the results on first reading. However, the survey report referenced a paper entitled Decrease in the prevalence of smoking among Japanese adolescents and its possible causes: periodic nationwide cross-sectional surveys (English) that tried to explain the huge drop. Their conculsion is as stunning as the statistics themselves – more schoolchildren have no friends, thus no peer pressure to indulge in such underage vices.

Photo from Don’t fry leeks,please on flickr.

Yahoo! JAPAN’s 20 most clicked-through headlines of 2008

Yahoo! JAPAN recently annouced the results of a number of their “Best of 2008”, and one of the categories was the most clicked-through headline from Yahoo! News. The data was collected from all headlines displayed through Yahoo! NEWS between the 1st of November 2007 and 31st of October 2008.

You’ll notice that all of them are basically domestic stories, and most of the topics are either (or both) entertainment or death-related. You will note that nothing about politics, such as the minor matter of a change in prime ministers appears in the list, but in Japan’s defense I wonder if because these topics might have multiple reports, the clicks per story get diluted.

Click-through each link to find some English reporting on the story.

Winning the year-end jumbo lottery

If you won 300 million yen in the lottery, would you quit your job? graph of japanese statisticsHere’s a bit of a short survey that has rather interesting results; iShare looked at the end of the year Jumbo Lottery.


Between the 21st and 25th of November 2008 430 members of the CLUB BBQ free online email forwarding service completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 50.5% of the sample were male, 13.3% in their twenties, 54.4% in their thirties, 23.5% in their forties, and 8.8% in their teens or fifty or older.

First a lottery tip: if you can spare 300 yen, buy just one ticket. This measurably changes your odds from absolutely zero to infinitesimal. Buying a second leaves your odds still infinitesimal, so don’t bother.

Next, the lottery does seem to have a lot of misconceptions surrounding it, mainly focussing on the drawing method and the relatively small first prize, leading many to think that it’s even more of a tax on the innumerate than the average one. However, the term “lottery” is misleading, as most people imagine the pick six from fifty-type schemes that are prevelant in the west, whereas Japan’s is more like a raffle – all the sold tickets go into a hat and winners are drawn from there, so if it is a sell-out all the prizes (in theory) will be claimed.

This year there are 70 first prizes of 200 million yen (roughly 2 million US dollars), 140 almost-first prizes of 50 million yen, 6,930 almost-almost first prizes of 100,000 yen, 140 second prizes of 100 million yen, 700 at 5 million yen, and so on, assuming they sell all 70 blocks of tickets. In total, there are 700 million tickets for sale (about 6 per man, woman and child) for a total value of 210 billion yen. I make that just over 99 billion yen in prize money, or 47.3% of the sales, leaving just under 111 billion yen in the pot. Once television and print advertising, sales overhead, amakudari-inflated old-boy director salaries, and everything else are paid for, that leaves a little bit left over (can anyone point me to figures for administration costs on the lottery?) for good causes, but I have little idea what they fund.

Oh, there’s a headline figure of 300 million yen advertised as the top prize, but I’m not really sure how one ticket can get the extra 100 million.

So, back to the survey.

Japan’s busiest railway lines

In yesterday’s post I pondered out loud about whether or not the line I commute on is the busiest one in the Osaka area or not, so I decided to look for some statistics. With surprisingly little effort, I found the data for last year, 2007, for Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya areas.

The degree of crowding was averaged over one hour over all the trains passing through the segment between two stations, and I presume also averaged over the year. As a baseline, 100% is full, not just all seats taken, but also the straps and a few people around the doors. 150% is touching shoulders, but can still easily read a newspaper. 180% is bodies touching, but can just manage to read. 200% is just a bit too close, but you can still just manage a magazine or book. 250% is sardines.

So without further ado, here they are for the main lines around each of the cities:

New under-the-radar Q&A site making waves

There was a short report on IT Media about a new female-oriented site that is threatening to break into the big time. This under-the-radar idiom is お化けサイト, obake saito, or ghost/monster site. At least I hope that’s what the meaning is! The site is entitled 発言小町, hatsugen komachi, or in Read more…