Young lack self-confidence, poll finds

Kyodo

While young Japanese hope to contribute to their country, they feel short of self-confidence and are pessimistic about the future, according to a new Cabinet Office survey.

The online survey, conducted last November and December and covering people aged between 13 and 29 in Britain, France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Sweden and the U.S., received responses from around 1,000 individuals in each country.

According to the survey, 86 percent of U.S. respondents said they had confidence in themselves, ranking top among the seven countries, while 71.5 percent of the respondents in South Korea answered likewise, ranking sixth. Among Japanese respondents, the figure stood at only 45.8 percent.

Japan also placed at the bottom for those responding that they possess positive characteristics, at 68.9 percent, compared with 93.1 percent in the United States, which ranked first.

Asked if they see hope for the future and will be happy when they are 40 years old, the proportion of Japanese replying affirmatively was lowest for both questions, at 61.6 percent and 66.2 percent.

Meanwhile, 54.5 percent of the Japanese respondents hope to do something useful for their country, the top figure among the seven nations. The figure was particularly high among those in their late teens to early 20s.

But compared with people from the other countries, fewer Japanese respondents believe they will be able to change society to some degree by themselves, at 30.2 percent.