Survey in the Russian Federation on Opinions Toward Japan

August 2001

The following are the main points of the FY2000 survey in the Russian Federation on opinions toward Japan.

1. Overview of Results

(1) Almost half of Russians (48%) possess an interest in Japan and more than one third (34%) trust Japan. In terms of the countries with which Russians hold the most familiarity, Japan (11%) follows the French Republic (19%), the Federal Republic of Germany (14%) and the United States of America (12%). 61% of Russians evaluated current Japan-Russia relations as favorable and 94% consider friendly relations with Japan important.
(2) Greater than 82% of Russians are aware of the Northern Territories issues, but more than half (58%) of these people do not know that Japan and Russia have not concluded a peace treaty. 48% of Russians believe that the four islands should continue to belong to Russia, and 42% are of the opinion that mutual agreement should be reached between Japan and Russia regarding this matter.

(3) A region-specific breakdown of opinions toward Japan reveals that interest in Japan is high in Moscow City and Moscow Region (53%), the Far East (56%) and Sakhalin Region (67%). There is also a favorable public image of Japan in these regions (55%, 50% and 61% respectively). As regards the territories issues, while the opinion that a mutual agreement should be reached is comparatively strong (42%) in Moscow, 61% of the respondents in the Far East Region and 74% in the Sakhalin Region believe that the territories should continue to belong to Russia.

2. Specific Findings

(1) Degree of Interest in Japan
- "Interested in Japan": (48%)

"Not interested in Japan": (51%)
- Matters of Interest in Japan:
Industry/technology (35%), history/tradition and culture (27%)

(2) Availability of Information on Japan
- Information on Japan is "insufficient" (including "insufficient in parts"): (66%)
- Principal methods of acquiring information on Japan:
Central Television (87%), Central Radio (20%), Central Newspapers (19%)

(3) Degree of Favorable View Toward Japan
- "Favorable" (45%)

"Partially favorable and partially unfavorable" (24%)

"Unfavorable" (2%)
- Countries with which Russians hold the most familiarity:

France (19%), Germany (14%), the United States (12%), Japan (11%), the United Kingdom (8%)

(4) Sense of Trust Toward Japan
- Japan is a: "trustworthy nation": (34%)

"untrustworthy nation": (29%)

(5) Image of the Japanese People and Japan
- "Advanced technology superpower" (51%)

"Society rich in tradition and culture" (30%)

(6) Japan-Russia Relations
- Friendly relations with Japan are "important": (94%)
- Current Japan-Russia relations are: "favorable": (61%)

"bad": (11%)

"don't know": (28%)
- Japan and Russia have not concluded a peace treaty:

"know": (38%)

"did not know": (58%)
- Bilateral talks continue on the attribution of Etorofu, Kunashiri, Shikotan and the Habomai islands:

"know": (82%)
- "These islands should continue to belong to Russia": (48%)
- "Both countries should reach an agreement on these islands": (42%)

3. Overview of the Survey

(1) Period conducted: March 2001

(2) Survey methodology:
The survey was conducted through interviews on a total of 3,300 men and women aged 18 years or over. Five regions were targeted for the survey: Moscow City and Moscow Region, Central European Russia, Ural and Siberia, the Far East and Sakhalin Region. The survey was conducted by the opinion survey company "Public Opinion Fund."

(3) Reliability of the survey: The degree of reliability is 95%. The sampling error lies within the below figures:
Moscow City and Moscow Region: +/- 6.1%
Central European Russia: +/- 6.5%
Ural and Siberia: +/- 6.5%
Far East: +/- 5.7%
Sakhalin Region: +/- 6.4%
National average: +/-6.4%

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