Opinion Poll: Image of Japan in the Central Asia Region
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan conducted an opinion poll on the image of Japan in four countries in Central Asia (the Republic of Uzbekistan, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, and the Republic of Tajikistan), commissioning to the Business Information, Social and Marketing Research Center (BISAM) Central Asia, between February and March 2015. An overview of the poll is as follows (PDF).
1. Regarding the relationships with Japan, 85% of respondents answered “friendly” or “somewhat friendly,” and 78% said they “felt familiarity” or “felt moderate familiarity” with Japan, indicating that a positive image on the relations with Japan is commonly held.
2. As for which country is the most reliable, Russia was rated the highest at 63%, followed by Japan (14%), China (3%) and the Republic of Korea (3%). Furthermore, asked which countries are currently important partners for Central Asian countries, 75% answered Russia, followed by China (35%) and Japan (23%), among 12 major countries comprising the U.S. and countries in Asia and Europe (Multiple answer).
3. 70% of respondents said it is beneficial to strengthen ties between Japan and Central Asia via commemorative events, such as the 10th anniversary since the establishment of the “Central Asia plus Japan” Dialogue, held last July and attended by H.E. Mr. Fumio Kishida, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan, and the foreign ministers of all five Central Asian countries.
4. Regarding their image of Japan, the most popular answers across the four countries overall were “a country with a strong economy and advanced technology” (72%), and “a country with great tradition and culture” (35%), indicating that Japan is viewed as a technologically advanced country rich in tradition. Furthermore, in response to a question regarding which aspects of Japan are of interest, the principal responses were “science and technology” (40%), “culture” (25%), and “economic cooperation” (21%), confirming that respondents’ image of Japan generally matched their areas of interest.
*Multiple answer approach
5. Concerning the advance of Japanese companies into their countries, 90% responded that they “welcome” or “rather welcome” it, showing that the advance of Japanese companies is seen as positive.
- Surveys of 300 people aged 18 or over in each country (1,200 people in total) were carried out, mainly by telephone. Some face-to-face interviews were used in rural areas in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
- The possibility was considered to conduct the survey in the Republic of Turkmenistan in the Central Asia region, but this was not realized due to local situations.
- This is the first opinion poll the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has conducted in Central Asia on Japan.