Public Opinion Survey on Diplomacy by the Cabinet Office of Japan (Abridged) (06-17)

Key Issues
  • Japan’s relations toward the United States, China and Korea (with age group breakdown)
  • Economic cooperation
  • Japan’s role in the United Nations
  • Foreign economic relations
  • Civic diplomacy and cultural exchanges
  • Government responsibility for Japanese citizens abroad
Dates Conducted

October 2006

Date Released

December 11, 2006

Methodology

The Cabinet Office of Japan conducts annual public opinion polls on Japanese attitudes toward other countries. The poll surveys 1704 males and females over the age of 20. The term (M.T.) indicates a multiple total percentage of those polled who responded to a certain answer in a multiple answer question scenario that is the topic of a further SQ.

Background

The annual Cabinet Office survey was conducted in early October 2006 shortly after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took office. Foregoing the usual first state visit of a Japanese prime minister’s tenure to the United States, Prime Minister Abe instead visited China and South Korea in an effort to strengthen the regional relationships that have been waning in recent years. The visit to China was the first that a Japanese prime minister had made for 18 months, and indicated a shift in Japanese foreign policy strategy in trying to build regional cooperation. The Prime Minister’s outreach was further accentuated by his admissions to wartime atrocities committed during World War II. At the same time however, Prime Minister Abe has pursued tough sanctions against North Korea, a reformation of the 1947 education law, and constitutional reform reshaping the future role of the Japanese military. Amicable relations between Japan and regional powers are on the rise as Japan continues to seek ways, through diplomatic means, to further move towards this end. On an economic front, this past year indicated a consistent path towards recovery as Japan experienced significant rises in its overall growth rate. This is the second-longest growth period that Japanese markets have experienced since the end of World War II.

Link to Original Source

http://www8.cao.go.jp/survey/h17/h17-gaikou/3.html

Survey

Japan’s relations with foreign countries

Q1. Do you feel close to the United States or not? (Same questions for Russia, China, South Korea, etc.) Please choose one of the following

[Note: See belowfor an age group breakdown of respondents for the questions on the United States, China and Korea.]

A) Feel close
B) Tend to feel close
C) Tend not to feel close
D) Don’t feel close
E) Don’t know

A) Feel close B) Tend to feel close C) Tend not to feel close D) Don't feel close E) Don't know
United States 35.2% 40.1 14.0 7.3 3.4
Russia 2.2 13.2 43.6 35.5 5.7
China 8.3 26.1 36.3 25.2 4.1
South Korea 12.6 35.9 28.2 18.9 4.4
Southeast Asian countries(Thailand, Indonesia, etc.) 10.2 35.4 26.7 16.4 11.4
South Asian countries(India, Pakistan, etc.) 16.3 21.3 38.7 23.1 12.7
Western European countries(France, Germany, UK, etc.) 16.3 44.0 20.7 11.0 8.0
Australia, New Zealand 21.7 40.1 17.1 12.0 9.2
Middle Eastern countries 2.1 15.4 37.5 32.3 12.7
Central and Eastern European countries (Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria, etc.) 4.7 22.0 33.9 24.4 15.1
Central and South American, and Caribbean countries (Mexico, Brazil, Jamaica, etc.) 7.1 30.0 30.7 20.3 11.9
African countries (Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, etc.) 4.5 20.5 35.4 26.1 13.5

 

Q2. Do you think the relationship between Japan and the United States is on the whole good, or not? (Same questions for Russia, China, South Korea, etc.) Please choose one of the following.

A) Good
B) Somewhat good
C) Not so good
D) Not good
E) It depends
F) Don’t know

A) Good B) Somewhat good C) Not so good D) Not good E) It depends F) Don't know
United States 36.0 46.7 9.8 1.8 2.6 3.1
Russia 1.3 19.7 47.4 20.8 3.0 7.8
China 2.3 19.4 46.8 23.9 2.5 5.1
South Korea 4.6 29.9 40.0 17.1 3.1 5.4
Southeast Asian countries(Thailand, Indonesia, etc.) 6.0 46.2 22.0 5.7 3.3 16.7
South Asian countries(India, Pakistan, etc.) 2.5 34.6 31.4 7.7 3.8 20.0
Western European countries(France, Germany, UK, etc.) 9.4 54.9 16.2 3.4 3.1 13.0
Australia, New Zealand 14.6 51.2 13.0 3.2 2.8 15.2
Middle Eastern countries 1.5 24.2 36.4 12.4 4.3 21.1
Central and Eastern European countries 2.8 32.3 28.0 7.9 3.7 25.2
Central and South American, and Caribbean countries (Mexico, Brazil, Jamaica, etc.) 4.1 41.4 22.2 6.5 3.5 22.2
African countries (Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa, etc.) 2.5 33.3 26.7 8.7 3.9 24.9

 

Q3. If you have interest in any North Korean issues, please indicate as many of the following as apply.
(M.T.=554.6%)

A) Political system 44.5%
B) North-South issues 22.9
C) Negotiations to normalize Japan-N. Korea diplomatic relations 30.3
D) Japanese abductee issues 86.7
E) Suspicious boat issues 43.8
F) Nuclear development issues 79.5
G) Missile issues 71.5
H) Illegal activities, including drug smuggling 46.0
I) So-called "settlement of the past" 18.6
J) Refugee issues 20.7
K) Food aid 35.7
L) Japanese spouses' visit to their home town 18.8
M) Sightseeing 5.4
N) Economic exchanges, including trade 11.7
O) Cultural exchanges 6.3
Q) Sports exchanges 7.3
R) Others 0.9
S) Nothing special 2.9
T) Don't know 0.9

 

Q4. How do you obtain information about foreign and international relations issues? Please choose as many as apply from the following.
(M.T.= 308.5%)

A) News 94.0%
B) News programs 71.4
C) Variety shows 36.7
D) Daily newspaper 63.1
E) Evening newspaper 12.0
F) Weekly publication 10.4
G) Specialized magazines 2.3
H) Government publications 3.1
I) Internet 13.7
J) Other 0.2
K) Nothing in particular 1.6

 

SQ. For those who answered that you obtain information in the categories other than “nothing in particular” in Q4, in what areas do you feel your sources are insufficient in providing information? Select as many as apply from the following. (N=1,677)
(M.T.=175.1%)

A) Objectivity of the information 26.5%
B) Background of the issue 29.1
C) Conditions of the country in which the event occurred 30.6
D) Easy to understand explanations 29.4
E) Specialized analyses and comments 12.2
F) Popular public opinions 22.4
G) Other 0.4
H) None in particular 24.6

 

Economic cooperation

Q5. Developed countries provide economic cooperation, including financial aid and technical assistance, for developing countries. From a variety of levels, what do you think about Japan’s economic cooperation in the future? Please choose one of the following.

A) Should advance cooperation actively 23.1%
B) Current level of cooperation is sufficient 45.2
C) Should cut cooperation as much as possible 22.1
D) Should stop completely 3.2
E) Don't know 6.5

 

SQa. For those who answered, “should advance cooperation actively” in Q5, why do you think that way? Choose as many as apply from the following. (N=393)
(M.T.= 320.4%)

A) It is developed countries' humanitarian obligation to help developing countries 57.0%
B) It can contribute to stability of developing countries and world peace 64.4
C) Japan, as a country with a huge trade surplus, has a responsibility to help developing countries that suffer from accumulated debts, etc. 22.9
D) Economic cooperation is an important tool for Japan's diplomacy 38.4
E) Without political stability and economic development in developing countries, the Japanese economy cannot advance 34.6
F) Economic cooperation for developing countries can help Japan secure stable energy resources 33.3
G) Japan will be isolated if only Japan does not provide economic cooperation 17.6
H) Japan should use its technology and experience to solve developing countries' environmental issues, etc. 49.1
I) Others 1.0
J) No specific reason 1.8
K) Don't know 0.3

 

SQb. For those who answered ”should cut cooperation as much as possible” or “should stop completely” in Q5, why do you think that way? Choose as many as apply from the following. (N=430)
(M.T.= 256.3%)

A) Japan's domestic economic condition is not good 67.2%
B) Type of actual economic cooperation is not clear 34.9
C) There are many cases in which Japan's current economic cooperation is ineffective due to lack of consideration for local situations and needs 30.2
D) Do not feel that Japan's economic cooperation is appreciated by developing countries 31.6
E) Economic cooperation is not fully utilized as Japan's diplomatic tool 23.7
F) Current economic assistance is inefficient, in such areas as coordination with related agencies, management and operation of donated equipment, etc. 15.3
G) Japan's financial situation is not good 49.3
H) Others 2.3
I) No specific reason 0.5
J) Don't know 1.2

 

Japan’s role in the United Nations

Q6. Currently more than 100 countries send personnel for UN peacekeeping operations (PKOs). Japan has participated in international humanitarian assistance activities, such as PKOs in Cambodia, Golan Heights and East Timor; refugee relief activities in Rwanda, Afghanistan, Iraq and Sudan; and international election monitoring activities in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo and East Timor. Do you think Japan should participate in these humanitarian contributions to international society, including PKOs, in the future? Choose one of the following.

A) Should participate more actively than before 25.4%
B) Should participate at the current level 50.6
C) Should participate but at a minimal level 14.6
D) Should not participate 2.6
E) Others 0.6
F) Don't know 6.3

 

Q7. At the United Nations, discussion is moving forward on expanding the Security Council in order to strengthen its functions and enhance the representation of each region at the council. What do you think about Japan joining the permanent members of the Security Council? Choose one of the following.

A) Support 43.8%
B) Tend to support 31.4
C) Tend to oppose 6.9
D) Oppose 2.2
E) Others 0.1
F) Don't know 15.5

 

SQa. For those who answered, “support” or “tend to support” in Q7, why do you think that way? Choose one of the following. (N=1,282)

A) Japan should actively contribute to world peace since it has become an economic superpower. 18.6%
B) It is peculiar that Japan cannot be a part of important decision-making processes while it makes enormous financial contributions to the United Nations. 34.1
C) Helps world peace, as Japan does not have nuclear weapons and has pacifism as its basic principle 26.7
D) Japan can reflect its ideas on important UN decisions 10.8
E) Will allow Japan to help UN activities more actively 7.7
F) Others --
G) Don't know 2.1

 

SQb. For those who answered, “tend to oppose” or “oppose” in Q7, why do you think that way? Choose one of the following. (N=156)

A) Once Japan becomes a permanent member of the Security Council it will have to make even greater financial contributions to the UN than now 29.5%
B) Once Japan becomes a permanent member of the Security Council, it will have to actively participate in the UN's military operations 28.2
C) Can make enough international contributions in such non-military areas as economic, social and environmental areas without becoming a permanent member of the Security Council 17.9
D) Should revise the Constitution before Japan becomes a permanent member of the Security Council 5.8
E) Don't support the United Nations per se 9.6
F) Others 4.5
G) Don't know 4.5

External economy

Q8. On which areas do you think Japan should focus when it promotes its economic relations with foreign countries? Choose as many as apply.
(M.T.= 230.6%)

A) Promotion of liberalization of trade and investment, including utilization of such mechanisms as free trade agreements (FTAs), economic partnership agreements (EPAs) with specific countries and regions, and World Trade Organization (WTO) initiatives. 29.6%
B) Securing energy resources 65.0
C) Securing food 37.3
D) Promotion of direct investment to Japan 8.8
E) Support for Japanese corporations' overseas activities 26.2
F) Protection of intellectual property rights, including patents 16.8
G) Promotion of tourism to Japan 14.7
H) Promotion of understanding about Japanese economy among foreign countries (more active public relations) 22.4
I) Others 0.2
J) Don't know 9.6

 

Cultural Exchange

Q9. In which areas in its cultural exchanges with other nations do you think Japan should put more emphasis? Choose up to two from the following.
(M.T.= 183.9%)

A) Scholarly, cultural, and arts exchanges 16.9
B) Youth exchanges 31.6
C) Student exchanges 18.8
D) Sports exchanges 26.7
E) Exchanges at the regional level, such as citizen groups, and local governments 10.6
F) Introducing Japanese traditional cultural (flower arranging, tea, kabuki, etc.) 14.8
G) Introducing contemporary Japan (correctly depicting contemporary Japan abroad through performances, exhibitions, and images) 16.7
H) Introducing to the Japan of foreign cultures 10.4
I) Japanese language diffusion 6.6
J) Promotion of Japanese studies in foreign countries 4.2
K) Intellectual exchanges (holding seminars, symposiums, and exchanges with collaborative research organizations) 8.2
L) Cooperation in the preservation of foreign historical artifacts and remains 9.6
M) Providing funds for purchasing the equipment and facilities needed for cultural activities free of charge 2.1
N) Other 0.2
O) Don't know 6.5

 

Protection of Japanese nationals

Q10. What do you think about protection of, and support for, Japanese nationals who have encountered such incidents as traffic accidents, crimes, terror, and sickness overseas? Choose one of the following.

A) Individuals or home companies/organizations should be responsible for dealing with them on their own. 6.9%
B) Individuals or home companies/organizations should deal with them on their own as much as possible, but if they cannot, the government, embassies and consulates should provide protection and support. 40.3
C) Even if individuals or home companies/organizations can deal with them on their own, the government, embassies and consulates should actively provide protection and support. 23.1
D) Under any circumstance, the government, embassies and consulates should provide protection and support 24.9
E) Other 0.5
F) Don't know 4.2

 

Roles that Japan should play

Q11. Mainly, what roles do you think Japan should play in the international community? Please choose up to two of the following.
(M.T.= 180.6%)

A) Contributions to maintaining world peace such as cooperation toward peaceful resolutions of regional conflicts, disarmament, and non-proliferation 44.0%
B) International cooperation to protect internationally universal values, such as freedom, democracy and human rights. 20.0
C) Humanitarian support for refugees and displaced people (especially children and women) 26.8
D) Contributions to advancing a healthy world economy 16.8
E) Cooperation to advance developing countries 14.3
F) Contributions to solving global issues such as global environmental problems 45.4
G) Contributions to international cultural exchanges, such as cooperation in preserving cultural heritages throughout the world. 5.3
H) Others 0.1
I) Don't know 7.9

 

Fact sheet

F1. Gender

Male 47.1%
Female 52.9

 

F2. Age. How old are you?

20-24 4.6%
25-29 5.3
30-34 5.6
35-39 7.2
40-44 8.5
45-49 6.7
50-54 8.2
55-59 11.5
60-64 10.6
65-69 12.4
70- 19.5

 

F3. Occupation. What is your occupation?

Self-employed
Agriculture, forestry and fishery 2.6%
Business, engineering and service 6.1
Freelance 1.0
Family business employee
Agriculture, forestry and fishery 1.2
Business, engineering and service 1.7
Freelance 0.5
Employee
Manager 2.6
Expert, technician 2.1
Clerical worker 16.3
Laborer 20.8
Unemployed
Housewife 24.8
Student 1.9
Others 18.4

 

F4. Overseas Experience. Have you been to a foreign country? Please choose one of the following.

A) Have lived in a foreign country for longer than three months 3.3%
B) Have been to a foreign country 51.8
C) Have never been to a foreign country 44.8

 

Age group breakdown for Q1

United States

A) Feel close B) Tend to feel close C) Tend not to feel close D) Don't feel close E) Don't know
Total 31.9% 41.3 12.9 9.2 4.7
20-29 25.9 45.3 17.6 8.2 2.9
30-39 29.2 50.9 12.5 6.3 1.1
40-49 35.4 43.2 12.3 7.4 1.8
50-59 33.2 44.7 13.4 6.7 2.1
60-69 34.7 33.6 11.7 11.5 8.5
70- 29.7 33.4 11.7 14.8 10.3

China

A) Feel close B) Tend to feel close C) Tend not to feel close D) Don't feel close E) Don't know
Total 6.5% 25.9 33.2 30.2 4.2
20-29 8.2 31.2 31.2 27.1 2.4
30-39 5.9 30.6 35.1 26.9 1.5
40-49 6.7 25.3 35.4 30.2 2.5
50-59 6.4 23.8 39.8 28.9 1.1
60-69 4.6 23.8 30.1 33.6 7.9
70- 8.3 24.5 25.9 32.4 9

South Korea

A) Feel close B) Tend to feel close C) Tend not to feel close D) Don't feel close E) Don't know
Total 12.5% 38.7 24.8 19.5 4.6
20-29 18.2 42.9 22.4 13.5 2.9
30-39 14.0 44.6 25.1 14.4 1.8
40-49 15.1 39.6 26.0 16.8 2.5
50-59 9.9 38.5 28.1 21.1 2.4
60-69 10.4 35.2 25.1 21.3 7.9
70- 11.0 34.1 20.0 26.2 8.6

Disclaimer

The Mansfield Foundation is responsible for the translation of this Asahi Shimbun poll, subject to the Mansfield Foundation terms of use (see below).

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