Opinion Poll: 2008 Brazil Image of Japan Study (Summary)

April 11, 2008

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs commissioned an opinion poll “2008 Brazil Image of Japan Study” in January 2008, and the main points of its results are as follows.  This survey was implemented in commemoration of the Japan-Brazil Year of Exchange and the 100th Anniversary of Japanese Emigration to Brazil that started in January 2008.  In the poll, the samples were taken from Brazilians in general.


1.  Results Overview

(1) In this survey, 74% of the respondents answered that Japan and Brazil maintained friendly relations, and about 90% expected bilateral relations to be maintained and strengthened in the future.  It was reconfirmed that a positive image of Japan-Brazil relations widely existed in Brazil.

(2)  Compared with other countries, Japan (58%) came second after the U.S. (78%) as the best-known country.  Almost half of the respondents (46%) answered that Japan was the most promising country in Asia.  Brazilian respondents showed stronger expectation for Japan and a sense of friendliness as compared with the other Asian countries, China (45%) and India (11%).  Furthermore, a supermajority of the respondents (75%) support Japan’s permanent membership of the United Nations Security Council.

(3) In the background of the high evaluation of Japan, Japan’s contribution to Brazil’s economic development (72% of the respondents answered positively) and Japanese descendants’ contribution to Brazilian society (81% answered positively) were prominent factors.  As for fields of Brazilians’ interest in and expectation of Japan, science and technology came first.  


2.  Overview of the Survey

(1) Period conducted: January, 2008

(2) Survey method: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs commissioned IBOPE, Inc., a private surveying agency in Brazil, to conduct a face-to-face survey.

(3) Target Samples: about 1,000 citizens in three major cities of Brazil: Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Brasilia


3.  Result of Survey (Specifics)

(1) Japan-Brazil Relations

(a) 74% of the respondents answered that the Japan-Brazil relations are favorable and about 90% said the relationship is being maintained /strengthened.  78% said they trusted Japan.

(b) Nearly half of the respondents named Japan as a promising country in Asia in the future, in first place and higher than China and India (Japan 46%, China 45%, India 11%).  About one third of the respondents also mentioned Japan as the country with which Brazil should strengthen relations (U.S. 45%, Japan 34%, China 20%).

(c) 72% answered that Japan is contributing to the economic development of Brazil.  91% said they welcomed Japanese companies’ business in Brazil, and as fields in which they expected Japanese companies to invest in the future, they named heavy industry such as automobile and energy plant (41%), clean energy and environment (40%) and agriculture (30%). For economic cooperation from Japan, Brazilians showed expectations in wide-ranging areas, such as health (54%), education (38%), environment (35%), industrial development (28%), agricultural and rural development (23%) and energy development (17%).

(d) Some 75% of the respondents answered that Japan should become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council because Japan’s existence as an economic power would reinforce the effectiveness of the function of the UNSC (55%).  Besides that, there were other reasons such as sharing common values including democracy and human rights (34%), large contribution to international peace and security (24%), expectations for Japan’s future role for international peace and security after it would become a permanent member of the UNSC (23%).  


(2) Interest in Japan

(a)  In Brazil, Japan is the second well-known country next to the U.S. (U.S. 78%, Japan 58%, China 27%).  Major information sources about Japan are TV (72%) and the Internet (30%).

(b) As to things they know about Japan, about half of the respondents mentioned science and technology (47%), followed by Japanese food (24%) and traditional culture and history (15%). Respondents cited science and technology (35%), education (27%) and Japanese food (24%) as something they want to know more about Japan.  Knowledge about science and technology scored the highest point (46%) as what they expect of Japan, which indicates people in Brazil have a high interest in Japan’s science and technology.

(c) As the cultural fields in which the respondents have particular interest, they cited Japanese food (31%), followed by Japanese architecture and gardens (25%) and sports (22%).


(3) Images about Japan and the Japanese

(a) Most of the respondents have a positive image that Japan enjoys advanced technology, living standard and economy.  (Of the respondents, 39% imagine Japan as a country with high technology country, 32% as a country with high living standards, and 26% as economically advanced.)

(b) Brazilians regard the Japanese as courteous and diligent people.

(Of the respondents, 45% regard the Japanese as diligent, followed by 37% as efficient, and 35% as courteous.)

(c) About the Japanese residing in Brazil, 69% of the respondents said that they coexist in harmony with Brazilians, adjusting themselves to Brazil, and 81% reply that Japanese Brazilians are contributing to Brazil.