Opinion Poll: 2013 U.S. Image of Japan

December 19, 2013

  1. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs commissioned Harris Interactive Inc. to conduct an opinion poll on the image of Japan in the United States from July to August 2013. This poll is the latest in a series of similar opinion polls conducted almost every year since 1960. For the “general public” group, telephone interviews were carried out with 1,000 citizens aged 18 and over who live in the United States. For the “opinion leaders” group, telephone interviews were carried out with 201 people in leading positions in the fields of government, business, academia, the news media, religion and labor unions. (The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3% for the “general public” group and plus or minus 7% for the “opinion leaders” group, at a 95% level of confidence).

    1. The percentage who perceived Japan to be a dependable partner was 76% among the general public and was 93% among opinion leaders, high figures similar to last year’s poll. 58% of the general public and 86% of opinion leaders viewed cooperation between Japan and the U.S. as “excellent” or “good”.

    2. With regard to the Japan-U.S. Security Treaty, the percentage who answered that the Treaty contributes to stability and peace in Japan and East Asia either “to a great extent” or “to a moderate amount” was 81% among the general public and 87% among opinion leaders. The percentage of those who answered that the Treaty is “very important” or “somewhat important” for the U.S. in terms of its own security was 88% among both the general public and opinion leaders. With regard to whether or not Japan should increase its self-defense capability, 64% of the general public answered “Yes, should increase”, while for the opinion leaders the figure was 72%.

    3. With regard to the impression of Japan (multiple answers possible; surveyed only among the general public), Japan was viewed as “a country with great traditions and culture” (97%); “a country with a strong economy and high technology” (92%); “a country with beautiful nature” (90%); and “a country that disseminates new culture such as animation, fashion, and cuisine to the world” (82%). With respect to areas that the public are interested in regarding Japanese culture, “Japanese food” (73%); “Sumo or Japanese martial arts such as Karate, Judo, or Kendo” (53%); “Flower arrangement” (52%) and “Bonsai” (49%) were among the most selected answers.

    4. With regard to what policy Japan should focus on in order to deepen economic ties between Japan and the U.S. (surveyed only among the opinion leaders), 95% responded that Japan should “promote technological cooperation in areas such as clean energy and high-speed railway systems”, and 92% answered that Japan should “participate in the Trans-Pacific Partnership”.

    *The previous opinion poll was conducted between February and March 2012.

    Opinion Poll: 2013 U.S. Image of Japan (Graphs (PDF)PDF / (Full Text (PDF)PDF)

(* The foregoing is a provisional translation. The date indicated above denotes the date of issue of the original press release in Japanese.)