Disappearing old folk in Japan

What is the main cause of the flood of unlocatable old folk? graph of japanese statisticsA story this summer that started off as a tragedy when a family were found to have had their ‘111 year old’ father’s bones lying around the house and turned into farce later when a 200 year old man turned up was lost old folk in Japan, the subject of a not-so-recent survey from goo Research, conducted on behalf of the Mainichi Shimbun.


Between the 27th and 29th of August 2010 1,071 members of the goo Research online monitor group aged twenty or older completed a private internet-based questionnaire. No further demographic information was given.

I’m sure the Mainichi Shimbun must have published a fuller version of this survey.

The story had two components – first, people dying but their families not notifying anyone so that they could collect the pensions or just their general incompetence with the system for registering deaths; that is a serious social problem that needs to be addressed. Second, local governments for whatever reason not tidying up their internal paperwork, so that when people went missing such as at wartime or when they died or moved but the proper procedures were not followed, orphaned resident register entries were created but these records were never looked at until the first story broke, thus producing the flood of ancient phantoms.

Majority don’t want election candidates to Tweet or email

Should email and Twitter be allowed during election campaigns? graph of japanese statisticsWith the election for the upper house upon us, although the government has lifted the ban on political party web pages (they used to have to blank) so the candidates are now able to update their blogs, etc, email and Twitter remains banned. To see what people think, goo Research, in conjuction with the Mainichi Shimbun, took a look at what people thought of internet-based election campaigns.


Over the 8th and 9th of June 2010 1,079 members of the goo Research online monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. All were of voting age, but no further demographic breakdown was given.

Note that as usual for this kind of report, don’t knows have been eliminated, so I cannot give a sample size for each of the questions.

At least one candidate is ignoring the ban, however.

Two-thirds oppose Japanese holiday move

This rather short survey from goo Ranking, in conjunction with the Mainichi Shimbun, into staggering long holidays (certainly not staggeringly-long holidays!) found quite a surprising (to me at least) amount of opposition to spreading the two annual five-day spring and autumn holidays across a number of weeks so that different regions of the country are on holiday at different times.


Between the 12th and 14th of March 2010 1,060 members of the goo Research monitor aged 20 or older completed a private internet-based questionnaire. Further demographics information was not provided.

I’m all for the idea as currently everything is so busy for one week, with traffic jams and airlines, hotels etc charging a premium just because they, so I just end up staying at home.

As with a lot of these surveys, I cannot really figure out the mindset of these people who oppose the idea.

Note that I suspect that the don’t knows and can’t says have been eliminated from the below results.

12,000 yen cash handout – vast majority would rather see it spent elsewhere

Are you happy about being able to receive the 12,000 yen cash handout? graph of japanese statisticsWith the date for the 12,000 yen handout to all residents of Japan getting closer (perhaps…), here’s a short look at opinions on the cash handout in a survey conducted by goo Research in conjunction with the Mainichi Shimbun.


Betwen the 23rd and 25th of January 2009 1,056 members of the goo Research monitor panel aged 20 or older completed a private internet-based questionnaire. No further demographic information was given.

This whole cash handout business has been nothing but a farce since it was first announced. Originally it was going to be a tax cut, but that does not benefit non-taxpayers, so it became free money. However, some of the issues that have come up are the method of distribution – currently it is envisaged that everyone has to go to their local city office, but that means cities need to employ lots of extra staff, and it’s been estimated that another 25% or so overhead is needed to get it distributed. Then the Prime Minister himself first said he wouldn’t take it, then he was saying he hadn’t ruled out that he would, then he would, and I think the latest situation is that he is undecided again.

One of the blogs I regularly read on Japanese politics talked about this in detail; a representative article on this matter from GlobalTalk 21 is here.

National tests, league tables widely favoured in Japan

Should educational ability league tables be published? graph of japanese statisticsI’m not really up on the issues myself regarding national testing, but I am against the whole culture of testing in Japan. I am all for publishing the results of regular examinations, but not tests for the sake of tests. However, I would appear to be very much in the minority according to the results of this survey into national educational level testing, conducted by goo Research in conjunction with the Mainichi Shimbun.


Between the 17th and 19th of October 2008 1,075 mmbers of the goo Research monitor group aged twenty or older completed a private online questionnaire. No further demographics information was provided.

I’m a bit confused in Q1 why there is an answer “both the school and local authority level”, as it is a trivial task to take the school results and sum them up by area. Also, Q1SQ1 and Q1SQ2 should really be multiple choice questions and there are no “don’t knows”, so I suspect there has been some post-processing of the results for presentation.

Vast majority of Japanese not getting enough exercise

Why don't you get enough exercise? graph of japanese statisticsHere’s a quickie survey report published and conducted by goo Research. in conjuction with the Mainichi Shimbun, into exercise habits.


Over the 25th and 26th of September 2008 1,079 members of the goo Research monitor pool over the age of twenty were randomly selected and completed an internet-based questionnaire. A more detailed demographics breakdown was not given.

Q1SQ1 was just a single answer question, but I’d have to answer all five, including the other category! As for school sports day sports, I’d probably go for the egg-and-spoon race once again.

Metabolic syndrome may affect three in ten Japanese

Do you think you have metabolic syndrome? graph of japanese statisticsThe health topic of the last couple of years in Japan has most certainly been Metabolic Syndrome, having certain characteristics associated with being fat that make you more prone to lifestyle diseases like heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Many countries have slightly different diagnostic measures; for Japan it is a waist greater than 85 cm for men, 90 cm for women; triglycerids greater than 150 mg/dL and/or HDL cholesterol of under 40 mg/dL; blood pressure greater than 130 over 85; and glucose level of 110 mg/dL or more.

With the recent introduction of mandatory screening for MetS (to use the official abbreviation), goo Research in conjunction with the Mainichi Shimbun decided to investigate what people think of these metabo examinations.


Between the 4th and 6th of April 2008 1,088 members of the goo Research monitor group over the age of 20 completed a private internet-based questionnaire. Further demographic data was not provided. Note that the sample size for some of the questions are not given and that answers have been abbreviated.

I’ve been chosen as a guinea pig for our company screening, but I might have forgotten to attend the test. I’ve lost the bit of paper, I think, and it looked more like an excuse to try to sell me life insurance.

Note that the new screening system is not just getting diagnosed as fat, but also includes health improvement advice and instruction.

Kanji ability in children and adults

What do you do when you cannot write a kanji? graph of japanese statisticsWith the ubiquity of mobile phones and computers with kanji input abilities, both the need to remember and the opportunities for writing kanji, the Japanese language’s main script, has decreased. In addition, worries about education includes whether children are really learning kanji correctly. Thus, goo Research, in conjuction with the Mainichi Shimbun, conducted a survey into kanji ability.


Between the 25th and 27th of May 2007 1,101 randomly selected internet users aged 20 or over (presumably chosen from goo Research’s monitor pool) completed this survey. More detailed demographic information is not available.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m studying for the Kanji Kentei examination in order to up my ability, particularly from the point of view of writing. Reading is relatively easy, and with a computer to aid you, electronic entry is not that bothersome at all, yet even my wife, who was always top of the class in school with kanji, occasionally forgets how to write even relatively common characters and has to resort to an electronic dictionary to crib the correct character from.

Japanese broadly support Akachan Post, wish for education for would-be parents

Do you agree with the establishment of 'Akachan Post'? graph of japanese opiniongoo Research, in conjuction with the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper, published the results of a very timely and interesting poll on the topic of, as it is known in Japanese, Akachan Post, Baby Post, or a place to drop off babies anonymously. The first in Japan opened at the Jikei Hospital in Kumamoto just last month ago, and has already received one rather inappropriate delivery.


The demographics for this survey are not terribly well-reported. All that is given is that between the 27th and 30th of April 2007, 1,092 members of the goo Research monitor group aged 20 or above successfully completed a private online questionnaire.

This survey is a little short, but I was surprised by nearly two-thirds supporting the baby drop-off services, and nearly half the sample wishing in fact to see more Akachan Posts. I was pleased to see that people consider education the best way of managing the problem of abandoned children.

Mariners’ Ichiro beats Yankees’ Godzilla and Red Sox’ Dice-K

Will reform of the draft system stop illegal activity? graph of japanese opinionWith both the 2007 Japan Professional Baseball and the 2007 US Major League Baseball seasons underway, and with wall-to-wall Japanese television coverage of the exploits of the local players in the Major League, goo Research, in conjuction with the Mainichi Shimbun, performed a survey that looked at reformation of the professional baseball draft system in Japan. This article contains just the highlights of the fuller survey that they conducted.


Between the 23rd and 26th of March, members of goo Research’s online monitor group were randomly selected and 1,089 of them successfully completed a private internet-based questionnaire.

As well as the US careers of Ichiro Suzuki, Hideki Matsui and Daisuke Matsuzaka, the other big baseball-related topics are plans to reduce the length of time before becoming eligible for Free Agency from the current nine years, and to reform the draft system to prevent, or at least reduce, problems occuring from cases such as amateurs receiving dodgy handouts from the Seibu Lions.