NHK has been conducting the “Survey on Japanese Value Orientations” every five years since 1973. From the latest survey, this article presents the results on politics, nationalism, daily lives, fundamental values, etc. The key findings are as follows.
- Since the launch of this survey there has been a longitudinal decline in those who feel that public actions and opinions such as voting and demonstrations wield impacts on national politics.
- Regarding the Emperor, those who “respect him” have been increasing since 2008, marking the highest in 45 years (41%) in this survey, outnumbering those having “favorable feelings” or “no particular feelings.”
- With a rise in the number of foreign residents, contact with foreigners is increasing. However, interest in international exchanges is declining.
- Regarding a question on which comes first, work or leisure, “work-first” was the most-cited answer in the 1970s, but those who cherish “work-leisure-balance” increased in the period between the 80s and the early 90s, and it has been the most-cited answer since 1988.
- As to human relationship at work, with relatives, and with neighbors, there has been a longitudinal decrease in those who wanting close relationship in the all three categories.
- The level of satisfaction with life in general has been rising over a long period. In the latest survey, those “satisfied” account for 39%, and the figure becomes 92% when including “rather satisfied.”
The overview of the survey series reveals changes in public attitudes in every question fields, which is especially notable in “family and gender relations.” Meanwhile, some sentiments such as “It is natural to use honorific expressions for older people” and “I’m happy having been born in Japan” are shared by many and keep the almost same percentages.