Nearly 40 percent of people responding to a survey said they feel that security in Japan is deteriorating, the government said Saturday.

The survey, conducted in January by the Cabinet Office, asked 10,000 men and women about areas in life they think are changing for the worse and things they are proud of in Japanese society. The response rate was 68.9 percent.

About 39.5 percent of respondents said they think domestic security is deteriorating, up from 30.7 percent in the previous survey in December 2002, while 20 percent said they feel proud of well-maintained public security, down by 6.9 percentage points.

Respondents were allowed to give multiple answers.

The Cabinet Office said there is increasing anxiety over possible terrorist attacks following the dispatch of troops to Iraq.

The number of people saying domestic security is deteriorating has doubled in the past five years, while those saying the word “peace” represents the current social situation decreased 4.1 points to 45.9 percent, the lowest since the first survey in 1975.

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