FY2018 Domestic Opinion Survey on Japan’s Diplomacy
In March 2019 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs conducted a domestic public opinion survey on Japan’s diplomacy. This survey was conducted by telephone, with responses being received from 1,000 people at the age of 18 or over in Japan’s 47 prefectures. An overview of the results of the survey is as follows.
1. When asked how they evaluated the efforts by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, former Minister for Foreign Affairs Fumio Kishida and current Minister for Foreign Affairs Taro Kono for their frequent visits to other countries as part of Japan’s “Diplomacy that Takes a Panoramic Perspective of the World Map,” 75.6% of respondents were positive in their evaluation (answering either that they “highly value them” or “somewhat highly value them”), and surpass by far the respondents who indicated a negative evaluation, which was 19.8% (answering either that they “do not rather value them” or “do not value them”).
2. When asked whether they thought that the East Asian security situation has been increasing in severity in recent years, 86.7% of respondents responded that they think the situation is increasing in severity (either “very much think so” or “somewhat think so”).
3. When asked about Japan’s efforts towards the realization of a “society where women shine,” including the holding of the World Assembly for Women (WAW!), 44.7% of respondents indicated a positive evaluation (answering either that they “highly value them” or “somewhat highly value them”). On the other hand, 36.9% of respondents indicated that they “have not heard about WAW!”
4. When asked what particular things Japan should showcase to the world at the time of the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, the most popular response, accounting for 58.8% of the total, was “Japan’s national characteristics (culture of hospitality, etc.),” followed by “reconstruction from disaster and disaster risk reduction” that 40.8% of respondents indicated.
5. When asked about the policies and initiatives of the Government of Japan to promote free trade, 76.6% of respondents indicated a positive evaluation (answering either that they “highly value them” or “somewhat highly value them”).
6. When asked about areas of greatest interest among the agenda items for the G20 Osaka Summit planned for June this year, the most popular response, accounting for 49.3%, was “the issue of marine plastic litter,” which was followed by “climate change and energy” at 48.1% and “global economy and trade” at 42.4%.
7. When asked about the Government of Japan’s decision to withdraw from the International Whaling Commission (IWC) and thereafter to conduct commercial whaling within Japan’s territorial sea and its exclusive economic zone while maintaining cooperation with the IWC, 67.7% of respondents evaluated this decision positively (answering either that they “highly value them” or “somewhat highly value them”), whereas 27.0% viewed it negatively (answering either that they “do not rather value them” or “do not value them”).
8. When asked about what areas should be given particular priority in Japan’s development assistance efforts, the most popular response, accounting for 61.0% of the total was “assistance to realize a better society, including education, health and sanitation,” which was followed by “assistance for saving lives, including food aid, recovery from natural disasters and disaster risk reduction” at 54.2%.
9. When asked about the major global challenges that Japan needs to prioritize under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the most popular response, accounting for 44.8% of the total was “education,” followed by “marine plastic litter” at 40.5%.
10. With the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 7) due to be held in Yokohama in August this year, when asked about what particular areas Japan should concentrate on in its diplomacy with Africa, the most popular response, accounting for 53.3% of the total was “contribution to peace and stability,” followed by “cooperation for poverty eradication” at 50.5%.
11. When asked about in which areas Japan should build relations with Japanese immigrants and descendants living in Latin America and the Caribbean, the most popular response, accounting for 50.3%, was “economic (business) field,” followed by “people-to-people exchanges (tourism, academic exchanges, etc.)” at 48.5%.
12. In terms of where people obtain information about diplomatic activities, the most popular response, accounting for 65.6% was “television and radio,” followed by “newspapers and magazines (incl. electronic versions)” at 43.6%.