Survey in the Russian Federation of the Public Opinion on Japan
The survey of the Public Opinion on Japan was conducted in the Russian Federation in September 2004 and the main points of the survey are as follows. This survey was conducted following the previous survey that was held in March 2001. The degree of reliability of the survey results is 95% and the sampling error is ± 4.1%.
In this survey, 37% of respondents said their view toward Japan was favorable, which was well above the percentage of those who responded their view toward Japan was unfavorable (3%). On a country-by-country basis, the percentage of the respondents who said their view toward Japan was favorable was the third from the top, tied with the US, following France and Germany. 32% of the respondents said that Japan was a trustworthy country.
Compared to the previous survey, the percentage of those who said that Japan was a trustworthy country is roughly the same (34%:previous survey). However, the number of the respondents who said their view toward Japan was favorable has fallen from 45% in the previous survey. The number of the respondents who said they were interested in Japan has decreased from 48% to 40% in this survey, and the percentage of those who responded that they were not at all interested in Japan has increased from 27% to 40%.
Regarding Japan-Russia relations, 89% (94%:previous survey) acknowledge that they are important, and 63% (61%:previous survey) highly evaluate current bilateral relations as being favorable. As for fields in which bilateral relations should be strengthened, many respondents cited diplomacy and security as well as science and technology in particular.
Although Japan is not perceived as a military threat (41%), some respondents believe Japan could become a threat in the future (34%). The residents of Moscow City and Moscow Region have the strongest tendency not to perceive Japan as a military threat (46%), which is similar to the result of the previous survey (41%). However, many respondents of the Khabarovsk Region and Sakhalin perceive Japan as a threat. Particularly in the Khabarovsk Region, a total of 69% responded that they either perceived Japan as a "threat" or "possible threat in the future."
Many Russians (67%) are aware of the existence of the Northern Territories issue. Although 39% of the respondents express understanding toward resolving the Northern Territories issue through mutual agreement, 48% believe that the Four Northern Islands belong to Russia, now and in the future.
The "Japanese Culture Festival in Russia 2003" was widely known among the Russian people (36%).
The impression that Russian people have of Japan is that it is an "advanced technology superpower" and a "society rich in tradition and culture." Their impression of Japanese people is that they are "had-working."
2. Specific Findings
Numbers indicate the percentage of all respondents. Only the main questions and main responses have been shown below (numbers within parentheses are results from the previous survey conducted in March 2001).
(1) Degree of interest in Japan
- The number of Russians who is interested in Japan declined from the previous survey (March 2001) (48%→40%). The number of respondents who said they were "not interested in Japan" increased (27%→40%). The respondents who have indicated a high level of interest in Japan are aged 30s-50s, highly educated and have high incomes. Fields concerning Japan in which respondents have a high level of interest are industry and technology, history and traditional culture, and nature, climate and tourism.
- As was the case in the previous survey, Central Television was the respondents' main source of information on Japan. Although over 60% of the respondents thought Japan was attractive, only 20% said they "wanted to travel to Japan," mainly due to economic reasons.
(a) Degree of interest in Japan (Question 1)
|Interested in Japan
|Not at all interested in Japan
(b) Fields of interest (Question 2)
|Industry and technology
|History and traditional culture
|Nature, climate and tourism
||14% (not included as a choice in the previous survey)
|Fashion, manners and ethics
(c) Frequency in which respondents come in contact with information on Japan (Question 3)
|More than several times a month
|Less than several times a year
(d) Sources of information on Japan (Question 4)
(e) Experience of having visited Japan (Question 6)
|I have visited Japan
|Relatives have visited Japan
(f) Japan's attractiveness, wish to visit Japan (Question 7) (this question was not included in the previous survey)
|Japan is attractive and I would like to visit Japan
|Japan is attractive, but I cannot visit Japan
|Japan is not attractive and I do not wish to visit Japan
(g) Japan's attractiveness (Question 8) (this question was not included in the previous survey)
|History and traditional culture including shrines and temples, tea ceremony and flower arrangement
|Advanced science and technology and products
(h) Reason for not visiting Japan (Question 9) (this question was not included in the previous survey)
|Cannot afford financially
(2) Sense of affinity toward Japan
- Regarding the respondents' sense of affinity toward another country, Japan was the third (10%) from the top, tied with the US, after France (25%) and Germany (17%).
(a) Degree of favorable view toward Japan (Question 10)
|Partially favorable and partially unfavorable
(b) Countries toward which respondents have a sense of affinity (Question 11)
(3) Degree of trust
- One in three people responded that they believed that Japan was trustworthy. The percentage is especially high among highly educated people aged 18-30s.
(a) Degree of trust toward Japan (Question 12)
|Japan is trustworthy
|Japan is untrustworthy
(b) Reason why respondents can trust Japan (Question 13)
|Long history of exchange
|National character of Japanese people
(c) Reason why respondents cannot trust Japan (Question 14)
|National character of Japanese people
(4) Impression of Japan and Japanese people
- The respondents have the impression of Japan that it is an "advanced technology superpower" and a "society rich in tradition and culture." The impression the respondents have of Japanese people is that they are "hard-working."
(a) To which of the following is Japan's regime closest? (Question 15)
||25% (not included as a choice in the previous survey)
||11% (not included as a choice in the previous survey)
(b) Impression of Japanese society (Question 16)
|Advanced technological superpower
|Society rich in tradition and culture
(c) Character of Japanese people (Question 17)
|Tend to stick together
(d) National character of Japanese people and Russian people (Question 18) (this question was not included in the previous survey)
|They are alike
|They are not alike
(5) Japan-Russia relations
- Over 90% of the respondents acknowledge that Japan-Russia relations are important. More than 60% highly evaluate current bilateral relations as being favorable.
- The respondents who do not perceive "Japan as a military threat" far outnumber those who perceive Japan as a "threat" (41% and 13% respectively). However, 34% of the respondents "perceive Japan as a possible military threat in the future." The sense of wariness is strong in the Khabarovsk region and Sakhalin.
- The respondents gave diplomacy and security as the number-one field in which Japan and Russia should strengthen relations (40%).
(a) Importance of Japan-Russia relations (Question 19)
|Not important at all
(b) Evaluation of Japan-Russia relations (Question 20)
(c) Fields in which Japan and Russia should strengthen cooperative relations (Question 21)
|Diplomacy and security
|Science and technology
|Trade and investment
(d) Degree to which Japan is perceived as a military threat (Question 22)
|Not a threat
|Possible threat in the future
(6) Northern Territories issue and peace treaty issue
- 67% of the respondents are aware of the existence of the Northern Territories issue. Nearly half of respondents assert that the Four Northern Islands are Russian territory. This tendency that is noticeably high in the Far East region (65%) and Sakhalin (84%). Meanwhile, many respondents of the young generation, aged 18-30s, take the position that the Northern Territories issue should be resolved through mutual agreement between Japan and Russia (39%).
(a) The fact that a peace treaty has not been concluded between Japan and Russia (Question 28)
|I did not know
(b) Negotiations concerning the attribution of the Four Islands (Question 29)
|I know about them
|I did not know about them
(c) Japan and Russia's positions on this issue (Question 30)
|I know about both
|I do not know either
|I only know about Russia's assertion
|I only know about Japan's assertion
(d) Way of thinking about the issue of the attribution of the Four Islands (Question 31)
|Belong to Russia, now and in the future
|Both countries should reach a mutual agreement
|There are legitimate grounds for them to belong to Japan, and should therefore belong to Japan
- The "Japanese Culture Festival in Russia 2003" was widely known among the Russian people (36%).
(a) "Japanese Culture Festival in Russia 2003" (Question 32) (this question was not included in the previous survey)
|I know about it
|I heard about it
(b) Evaluation of Japan-Russia cultural exchange (Question 33) (this question was not included in the previous survey)
(c) Fields of Japanese culture in which respondents have an interest (this question was not included in the previous survey)
|Life and culture (flower arrangement, tea ceremony, etc.)
3. Overview of Survey
(1) Implementing agency: Public Opinion Fund
(2) Period of implementation: September 9-29, 2004
(3) Regions where the survey was implemented and number of people surveyed:
Moscow City and Moscow Region (600 people), Central European Russia (920 people), Ural and Siberia (600 people), Far East (900 people), Sakhalin (600 people)
Total: 3,620 people (age 18 years of over)
(4) Form of implementation: Interviews by researchers
(5) Reliability of the survey: The degree of reliability of the survey results is 95% and the sampling error is ± 4.1%.
Back to Index