Opinion Poll on Japan in Seven ASEAN Countries

April 18, 2014

  1. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs commissioned IPSOS Hong Kong Limited to conduct an opinion poll on Japan in the seven ASEAN countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and Myanmar) in March 2014. (The poll was conducted online with about 300 literate respondents aged 18 years or older in each country.) The results of the poll are as follows.

    1. On how they viewed their country’s relations with Japan, more than 90% of the respondents answered “friendly” or “somewhat friendly.” In addition, more than 90% answered that they considered Japan to be “a trustworthy friend” or “trustworthy, but with some reservations.” These answers indicate the widespread establishment in the ASEAN countries of a positive image about their relations with Japan. Moreover, Japan was ranked first as “the most reliable country” with 33% of the respondents who selected Japan among 11 countries including the United States and China.

    2. When asked which country is currently considered as an important partner for ASEAN from among the 11 countries of Asia, Europe, and the United States, the respondents ranked Japan first (65%), followed by China (48%), and the United States (47%)(multiple answers). The respondents also ranked Japan in the first place (60%) as the country which would be their important partner in the future, followed by China (43%), and the United States (40%).

    3. With regard to Japan’s “proactive contribution to peace” policy, 90% of the respondents answered that the policy was valuable for peacekeeping of Asia region including ASEAN.

    4. On their image of Japan, the most popular answer among the respondents in all seven ASEAN countries was “a technologically developed country” (81%), followed by “an economically-advanced country” (62%), which shows that Japan retains its strong image as an affluent and developed country that stands at the leading edge of science and technology. In addition, the joint second most popular answer was “a country with beautiful natural scenery” (also 62%), the third was “a country in rich culture” (59%), while the fourth was “a country which transmits/spreads anime/fashion/culinary and other contemporary cultures around the world” (44%). As can be seen from these answers, the respondents were very interested in Japan’s natural beauty and culture (traditional and contemporary). In addition, the fields where the respondents wanted to know more about Japan were first “science and technology” (58%), followed by “way of life and way of thinking” (56%), and then their “foods culture” (53%).

    5. 92% of the respondents in all seven countries gave the positive answer that Japan was playing an active role in the development of Asia, 89% responded affirmatively that Japan’s economic and technological cooperation was helpful, and 95% indicated that they welcomed the expansion of Japanese companies into their countries. In addition, when asked to rank the areas where they most wanted Japan to contribute to in the ASEAN region, the respondents ranked highest the areas of “economic and technological cooperation” and “trade promotion and private investment,” indicating that they highly evaluated and had expectations for the economic aspects of Japan’s international contribution in particular.

    6. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has commissioned opinion polls for the ASEAN region seven times in the past (1978, 1983, 1987, 1992, 1997, 2002, and 2008).