South Korean teens happier: survey

Japanese teenagers are less happy with themselves and with school than their South Korean counterparts, according to survey results released Saturday by the Japan-Korea Cultural Foundation.

The results reveal low self-esteem among Japanese children and a lack of hope for the future.

The survey was conducted in 1998 and 1999 on some 1,600 high school juniors and seniors in Seoul and Pusan, and approximately 4,800 Japanese counterparts in all parts of Japan.

Three of four South Korean junior high school students said they like themselves, while only half of the Japanese students said they do.

Two of three South Korean junior high school students said they enjoy going to school, compared with 50 percent of Japanese students.

More South Koreans than Japanese also said they have many friends, are trusted by others, study hard during class and look forward to recess.

Seventy-nine percent of high school juniors and seniors in South Korea said they foresee themselves playing an active role in society in the future, whereas only 34 percent of their Japanese counterparts shared that view.

And while 86 percent of the South Korean students said they believe they will have happy families in the future, only 47 percent of the Japanese thought so.

Among high school seniors intending to get into top universities, 86 percent of the South Koreans said they think they will succeed in their jobs in the future, compared with 58 percent of the Japanese.

Ninety-three percent of these high school seniors said they believe they will have happy families in the future, compared with 73 percent of the Japanese.