Japan children ‘least treasured’: study

Japanese parents do not treasure their children anywhere near as much as their American and Turkish counterparts, according to a comparative survey conducted by a Japanese researcher.

Yoshimasa Nakazato, a professor of social psychology at Toyo University, said that around 58 percent of Japanese mothers who responded to the survey said they treasure their children, compared with 93 percent in the U.S. and 79 percent in Turkey.

Only 52 percent of Japanese fathers said they treasure their children, well down from 91 percent in the U.S. and 79 percent in Turkey

Some 71 percent of mothers and 68 percent of fathers in Japan said they love their children very much. Some 96 percent of mothers and 95 percent of fathers in the U.S. and 93 percent of mothers and fathers in Turkey responded the same way.

Japanese children generally reflected the attitudes shown to them by their parents.

Only 42 percent of children in Japan said they respect their mothers, while just 37 percent said they respect their fathers. In the U.S., 91 percent of children expressed respect for their mothers and 83 percent for their fathers, while 94 percent of Turkish children said they respect both parents.

Nakazato said Japanese need to be aware of the abnormal state of relations that exists between parents and their children and called on parents to make an effort to share their feelings with their offspring.

Nakazato launched the survey in June 2001. It covered 2,000 parents and 1,400 children in Tokyo and Aomori, Chiba and Ibaraki prefectures, 500 parents and 500 children in the U.S. and 900 parents and 500 children in Turkey.