Asahi Shimbun Interview General Opinion Poll (“Love of Country” Opinion Poll)(07-2)

Asahi Shimbun Interview General Opinion Poll (“Love of Country” Opinion Poll)

Dates Conducted

December 2 and 3, 2006

Date Released

January 25, 2007 (Morning edition of the Asahi Shimbun)

Methodology

The poll was conducted, coinciding with the January 5, 2007, Morning Edition’s “Regular Citizen Opinion Poll,” by student interviewers. The polled population was selected using a two-layer random sample method extracting 3,000 voters nationwide that were polled on December 2 and 3, 2006. In all, 1,805 people responded, a 60% response rate. The respondents were 47% male, and 53% female.

Key Issues

  • Patriotism (“love of country”)
  • Reaction to foreign invasion
  • Reflecting on colonial past

Background

After taking office as prime minister, Shinzo Abe has enacted two laws that have altered the face of a pacifist and reserved postwar Japan. A revision of the 1947 Fundamental Education Law and the upgrading of Japan’s Defense Agency to a Defense Ministry are all steps towards what Prime Minister Abe believes is necessary for Japan to be a more “beautiful country.” The new Education Law will reintroduce “love of country,” “public spirit,” and “tradition” into school curricula and give public officials a greater role in controlling the educational process. The upgrading of the Defense Agency to a ministry status gives the military a voice in legislation for the first time since World War II. These changes have concerned some as Japan exchanges its reticent international identity for a more assertive one.

Disclaimer

The Mansfield Foundation is responsible for the translation of this Asahi Shimbun poll, subject to the Mansfield Foundation Terms of Use.

 

Survey

Q1. This is a strange question but, do you feel that it was good to be born in Japan, or do you feel it was not good.

Good 94%
Not good 3

 

Q2. “Love of country” will now be addressed. To what degree do you feel that you have “love of country”? (Choose just one. The numbers within the ( ) are results from a poll taken in April, 2005.)

To a great extent 20% (24)
Have it more or less 58 (56)
Do not really have it 17 (16)
Do not have it at all 3 (2)

 

Q3. In your everyday life do you think about “love of country”?

Regularly 10%
Sometimes 64
Rarely 42
Never 13

 

Q4. Do you or do you not think that the Japanese people should more strongly have a “love of country”?

Think they should 63%
Don’t think they should 27

 

Q5. If a foreign army attacked, would you fight, run away, or give in?

Fight 33%
Run away 32
Give in 22

 

Q6. Do you or do you not think that the “love of country” is something that should be taught in school?

Think it is 50%
Don’t think it is 41

 

Q7. How do you think the Japanese people should approach Japan’s attacks and colonial rule over Asian nations in the past?

Need to deeply reflect 32%
Need to more or less reflect 53
Not really a need to reflect 9
No need to reflect 2

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