Poll compares economic inequality

JIJI

High-income earners are less concerned about economic inequality than low-income earners, a survey by the Japanese Trade Union Confederation (Rengo) has revealed.

In the online survey in January, 1,500 people aged between 15 and 59 were asked which type of society they would prefer — one that is affluent overall but embraces major economic inequality, or one in which economic growth is slow but inequality is small.

Of all respondents, the antiegalitarian society was backed by 37.2 percent, and the egalitarian society by 42.8 percent.

By income level, however, support for the unequal society outpaced that for the equal one among respondents with annual incomes of ¥5 million or more, although the group accounted for only about 28 percent of all respondents.

“The survey indicated that people in general oppose an unequal society,” a Rengo official said.

Of respondents with annual income of ¥1 million to ¥1.99 million, 49.1 percent supported the equal society, far higher than 29.9 percent who support the unequal society. But the margin stood at only 0.6 percentage point among those with ¥4 million to ¥4.99 million in annual income.