June 2012

How the Great East Japan Earthquake Changed the Japanese

From a Public Opinion Survey on Disaster Prevention, Energy and Basic Sense of Values

Koichi Takahashi / Miki Masaki

The Great East Japan Earthquake, which turned out to be an unprecedented catastrophe, caused enormous damage not only to the residents of the afflicted areas but also to many people in the rest of Japan.

The survey revealed that, after experiencing the quake, each household has strengthened disaster prevention measures, but few people say their earthquake preparedness is thorough enough. While many Japanese worry about the possible occurrence of another major quake and are concerned about the safety of their family members, not a few families are yet to decide on where to meet in case of emergency. Many Japanese are negative about nuclear power generation and look toward natural energy.

More Japanese think that people have good reason to get married and have children or want to have more time to communicate with family members as they feel they do not have enough interaction with the family. There is also a slight increase in those who think they should have closer relationship with neighbors so that they could talk to and help each other whenever needed. Those who have become interested more in society than in personal matters have increased, with the increase of more down-to-earth respondents who want to build a prosperous future based on solid planning.

The NHK Monthly Report on Broadcast Research