• Kyodo News

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More than 80 percent of Japanese aged 18 to 24 said they were proud of their nationality, according to the results of a government survey on youth attitudes taken in Japan and four other countries between 2007 and 2008.

The results, released Saturday, showed 81.7 percent of the Japanese were proud of their nationality, up 9.1 points from the previous survey six years ago. That’s a marked improvement, since the response rate hasn’t exceeded 80 percent since the 1977-1978 survey, the Cabinet Office said.

Around 1,000 young people aged between 18 and 24 in Britain, France, Japan, South Korea and the United States were interviewed for the survey.

According to the results, 91.2 percent of Americans surveyed said they were proud to be Americans, followed by 84.1 percent of Britons, 81.7 percent of Japanese, 78.0 percent of South Koreans, and 77.1 percent of the French.

When asked what it is that makes them proud, 59.4 percent of the Japanese cited “history and cultural legacy” and 44.7 percent said “culture and art.”

Meanwhile, the portion of respondents who pointed to Japanese citizens’ “international point of view” as a source of pride stood at 27.8 percent.

While the survey highlighted a clear increase in young people proud of Japanese history, culture and art, some critics have said that the Japanese have become “inward-looking,” partly due to the economic slump.

Only 43.9 percent of Japanese respondents, however, said they were “satisfied with the society surrounding them.

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