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More people in Japan perceive China negatively, survey finds

The Japan Times

The proportion of people in Japan with a negative perception of China came to 89.7%, an annual survey by Japanese and Chinese organizations showed Tuesday. The share was up 5.0 percentage points from the previous year, rising for the first time in four years, according to the survey conducted by the groups including Japan's Genron NPO. Regarding the reasons, many of the respondents cited Chinese ships' repeated intrusions into Japanese territorial waters around the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea. China claims the Japanese-administered islands, which it calls Diaoyu. China's actions that are inconsistent with international rules and its behavior in the South China Sea were also cited as reasons.

More than half of Japanese young people not interested in studying overseas, survey shows

The Japan Times

A government survey has found that over half of youths and young adults in Japan do not want to study abroad. The finding was included in the 2019 white paper on children and young people, which was adopted at a Cabinet meeting Tuesday. When asked whether they want to study abroad in the future, 53.2 percent of Japanese respondents said they do not, the highest figure among the seven nations covered in the study. Germany and Britain were a distant second and third, with 35.5 percent and 34.8 percent, respectively, saying they do not want to study abroad. Regarding whether they want to live abroad in the future, the proportion of people wishing to stay in their home country forever came to 42.7 percent for Japanese respondents, also the highest among the seven countries.

Survey finds 31% of older Japanese have no close friends

The Japan Times

Over 31% of Japanese aged 60 or older say they do not have any close friends, according to a government survey involving older populations in Japan, Germany, Sweden and the United States. In the survey conducted by the Cabinet Office, 31.3% of the Japanese respondents said they did not have any close friends of any gender outside their families, a figure far higher than 14.2% among U.S. respondents, 13.5% among those from Germany and 9.9% among Swedish participants. Although the survey covered only four countries, the results suggest Japan's older people tend to live without close social interaction beyond the family unit. As the country's population rapidly grays, calls are growing for efforts to prevent such people in Japan from living in solitude. Asked about their interactions with neighbors, 20.0% of Japanese respondents said they consult with their neighbors or are consulted by them, while 5.0% said they help each other when they become sick.

Young adults less inclined to wed, have kids as economy sinks: poll

The Japan Times

Fewer people in their 20s hope to marry and have a child, according to the latest National Institution for Youth Education survey. "The issues of economic disparity and poverty seem to dampen" young people's interest in starting families, said Yoichi Akashi, director of the institution's Research Center for Youth Education. The institution compared the results of its latest survey from fiscal 2015 with the previous one from fiscal 2008. The latest one, whose results were announced on Nov. 1, was conducted online on 4,000 men and women in their 20s to 30s across Japan in December 2015. The 2008 survey covered 2,400 people aged 18 to 29.


The Japan Times

A Kyodo News survey shows that some 56.9 percent of respondents have positive expectations for Renho, the new leader of the Democratic Party, while 38.4 percent do not. The poll, released Sunday, shows support for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Cabinet at 55.7 percent, up from 52.9 percent in the previous survey in August, with the disapproval rating standing at 30.0 percent. The battle between Renho and Abe will really start when the Diet opens an extraordinary session Sept. 26. Regarding ratification of the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact, 73.2 percent of the survey's respondents said the government should continue discussing the matter even after the upcoming Diet session ends.