Earthquake awareness in Japan

We can predict which earthquakes graphWith the 11th anniversary of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake (Kobe and surrounding area) on 17th of January 1995 being today, I thought it would be appropriate to present this survey by the Japanese Government’s Cabinet Office regarding people’s opinions on earthquakes. Out of 10,000 people asked, 7,232 people completed questionnaires regarding earthquakes over a two week period at the end of September. Demographic information is available at the end of the survey. Note that for a change, because this was a personal interview-based survey the age spread is much broader than most of the internet-based polls I present. All questions were answered by all 7,232 respondents.

For the last few years, at least once every couple of months there has been a special on TV regarding earthquakes, covering in particular how everyone is going to die horribly when The Big One hits Tokyo. In amongst the tabloid sensationalism is, however, the occasional nugget of useful information. Two nights ago, for instance, they covered how to escape from a lift stuck between floors, then emergency toilets, including how much water is needed to flush a standard three-jobbie plus loo roll down to the nearest main sewer pipe (five litres to go 15 metres, in case you’re wondering and I’m remembering correctly).

This survey was taken before the Aneha scandal blew up, so perhaps if this survey was repeated today, the answers would be rather different.

Although the above-mentioned Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake happened before I came to Japan, I have talked to a number of people who were living in Kobe at the time, and almost everyone had some tale of personal or family-related disaster that really impressed upon me the human scale of the disaster. I recommend anyone with the opportunity to talk to someone from the area to sensitively enquire about their experiences.
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Nature-loving Japan? Part 3 of 3

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

In September of this year, the Cabinet Office Japan conducted an opinion poll, interviewing 1,896 people, 55% female regarding attitudes towards environmental issues. This rather lengthy survey will be split over three days. Now for lifestyle and car issues – people on the whole still want stuff – perhaps they hope that it will be others who make changes to their lifestyles.

Q14: Considering the high production, high consumption, high disposal society, to control consumption of natural resources, reduce waste, reuse and recycle and reduce the burden on the environment, What do you think about the promotion of measures for establishing a recycling-oriented society? Select the one that is closest to your way of thinking.

If the current lifestyle level drops, I cannot accept it 1.7%
It is best if without dropping the current lifestyle level, whilst continuing high production and high consumption, we have active promotion of waste reuse and recycling 29.3%
If waste disposal facilities or natural resources run out, we cannot avoid moving to a recycling-oriented society 21.7%
Even if the current lifestyle level drops, we should move to a recycling-oriented society 17.6%
Whilst changing the current attitudes to the importance of owning and consuming stuff, regardless of any drop to the current lifestyle level, we should move to a recycling-oriented society 14.5%
I don’t know what sort of society a recycling-oriented society is 7.1%
Other 0.1%
Don’t know 8.0%

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Nature-loving Japan? Part 2 of 3

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

In September of this year, the Cabinet Office Japan conducted an opinion poll, interviewing 1,896 people, 55% female regarding attitudes towards environmental issues. This rather lengthy survey will be split over three days. Note that only 14% sell unwanted goods – sodai gomi day is legendardy for finding discarded treasure! Last time I was in Germany I was charged 30 cents (42 yen or so) for a high quality reusable plastic bag at Spar, but the Japanese seem prepared to pay only as much as 5 yen, but perhaps they are picturing paying for the current cheap thin bags?

Q9: Do you usually endeavour to reuse and recycle? Which of the following do you try to do? (Multiple answer)

Thoroughly separate and categorise rubbish before throwing it out 82.2%
To make things easier to recycle, wash bottles, etc before disposal 63.9%
Use unneeded goods for another purpose, such as using old clothers as dusters or cloths 41.9%
Buy goods in reusable containers, like milk in bottles 17.0%
Actively purchase goods made from recycled materials 15.7%
Sell unneeded goods at second-hand shop, bazaar, fleamarket, etc 13.9%
Use old products rather than buying new ones 7.1%
Other 0.3%
Nothing in particular 6.1%
Don’t know 0.3%

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Nature-loving Japan? Part 1 of 3

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

In September of this year, the Cabinet Office Japan conducted an opinion poll, interviewing 1,896 people, 55% female regarding attitudes towards environmental issues. This rather lengthy survey will be split over three days. Note that the high degree of recycling of packaging and sorting rubbish is due in part to many municipalities implementing separated rubbish collection and part to most stations, convenience stores, etc, having separate bins prominently positioned. The overall feeling I get from the answers is that people do put a little bit of effort into environmental protection at a personal level, but the motivation seems to be as much just saving money as any other more altruistic goal.

Q1: In your daily lifestyle, which of the following environmental protection activities do you make effort to do? (Multiple answer)

Recycle paper, milk packs, PET bottles, cans, etc, and dispose of rubbish separately 73.4%
Don’t pour oil and food scraps down the drain 56.9%
Try not to set air conditioner too low or heater too high 50.9%
Save electricity and water, and use low energy products 46.3%
Reduce rubbish as much as possible 45.0%
As much as possible, avoid buying single-use items. 28.0%
Buy recycled paper-based and other kind to the environment products 27.0%
Try to prevent creation of noise pollution 26.7%
Don’t take a plastic bag from the shop when shopping 23.2%
Other 0.3%
Nothing in particular 7.2%
Don’t know 0.2%

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Living in Japan, part 3 of 3

[ part 1 | part 2 | part 3 ]

Continuing on from part two, the Cabinet Office, Government of Japan (that seems to be the official title anyway), conducted a wide-ranging survey regarding the people of Japan’s everyday life. This is rather a large survey, so it will be published in three parts on subsequent days. 6,924 people participated in the poll, conducted by face-to-face interviews in various areas throughout Japan. In this section, many Japanese say they want to live away from their children in their old age, and work is defined by salary.

Q13: In your opinion, normally with whom and how is the best way to live in old age?

Live with son (and wife if applicable) 15.1%
Live near son (and wife if applicable) 8.7%
Live with daughter (and husband if applicable) 5.7%
Live near daughter (and husband if applicable) 7.2%
Either son or daughter is best 10.6%
Live separate from children 38.0%
Other 1.8%
Don’t know 12.8%

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Living in Japan, part 2 of 3

[ part 1 | part 2 | part 3 ]

Continuing on from part one, the Cabinet Office, Government of Japan (that seems to be the official title anyway), conducted a wide-ranging survey regarding the people of Japan’s everyday life. This is rather a large survey, so it will be published in three parts on subsequent days. 6,924 people participated in the poll, conducted by face-to-face interviews in various areas throughout Japan. In this section, the Japanese reveal themselves to be rather materialistic, and even though the first part saw people most worried about their old age, living for today takes priority.

Q7: When you have had free time recently, what sort of activities have you performed? (Multiple answer)

Listening to radio or watching television 55.2%
Enjoying hobbies 40.8%
Leisurely resting 37.6%
Reading newspapers and magazines, etc 34.1%
Spend time with friends 30.0%
Enjoying things as a family group 29.9%
Going shopping 26.6%
Sports and other physical activities 19.0%
Going on trips 18.6%
Using computer or mobile phone to find out information, read mail, etc 16.3%
Absorbing knowledge 7.0%
Community or voluntary work 6.3%
Other 2.0%
Don’t know 0.7%

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Living in Japan, part 1 of 3

[ part 1 | part 2 | part 3 ]

The Cabinet Office, Government of Japan (that seems to be the official title anyway), conducted a wide-ranging survey regarding the people of Japan’s everyday life. This is rather a large survey, so it will be published in three parts on subsequent days. 6,924 people participated in the poll, conducted by face-to-face interviews in various areas throughout Japan. Most people are basically happy to some degree, but the shadow of ill-health and old age hangs over many people.

Q1: Compared with this time last year, how is your home life?

Improving 4.0%
About the same 68.9%
Getting worse 26.1%
Don’t know 1.1%

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