Opinion Poll: Russian Image of Japan (Outline of Results)

July 28, 2010

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs commissioned a Russian research company to conduct an opinion poll on the image of Japan in Russia from March 9-19, 2010. This poll is the latest in a series of similar opinion polls following those conducted in 2001 and 2004. The outline of the results is as follows. (The sampling error is plus or minus 5% at a 95% confidence interval. The figure in the previous poll was plus or minus 4.1% .)

  1. General views

    In this survey, 50% responded that they had “moderate interest” or more in Japan and 21% responded that they had “no interest.”

    With regard to Japan-Russia relations, 90% of the respondents answered that Japan-Russia relations were “extremely important” or “important,” about the same level (89%) as in the previous poll. Additionally, 73% responded that Japan-Russia relations were “excellent” or “good,” an increase compared to the previous poll (63%), and 15% responded that they were “bad” (8% in the previous poll). Top areas for relations to be strengthened were “diplomatic relations/security” (31%), “trade/investment” (23%), and “science/technology” (23%).

    With regard to the situation of bilateral cooperation in the Far Eastern and Eastern Siberia regions, 49% answered that it was “insufficient and there should be more cooperation”.  In the Far Eastern region (excluding Sakhalin Oblast),this figure was 59% , which was higher compared to the other areas.

    With regard to trust in Japan, 41% responded that they had “trust,” while 38% answered “no trust.”

    As for negotiations on the Northern Territories, 76% responded that they were “aware” that negotiations on the attribution of the Northern Territories are ongoing (67% in the previous poll), and 47% said they were “aware” of the positions of both countries (38% in the previous poll). Additionally, 42% responded that they “knew” the fact that a peace treaty had not been signed after World War II (33% in the previous poll), and 56% responded that they “didn’t know” that (63% in the previous poll). This shows an increase in awareness on the Northern Territories issue. While 32% thought that “the two countries should come to an agreement”, 53% thought that “the Northern Territories should continue to belong to Russia.”

  2. Other Points

    Regarding areas of interest in Japan, “culture/arts” (31%), “science/technology” (24%), and “history” (22%) ranked highest. In the area of “culture/arts,” 43% responded that they were interested in “lifestyle,” 22% in “martial arts,” 14% in “movies,” 12% in “traditional arts,” and 11% in “pop culture.”

    As for visits to Japan, 95% responded that they had “never visited Japan” (2% “have visited Japan”), and 72% gave the reason for not visiting as the “costliness of travel.”

    With regard to positive attributes of the Japanese people, “hard-working” (68%), “maintain their traditions/culture” (41%), and “cooperative” (28%) ranked highest.

    Of countries with which respondents had a sense of affinity, France ranked highest at 21%, followed by Germany at 16%, the United Kingdom at 11%, the United States at 10% and Japan at 8%.

    With regard to which country would be an important partner for Russia in the future, “China” ranked highest at 33% and ”Japan” came joint-fourth with France at 8%.