The latest government survey on national character has found that 83 percent of Japanese, if they were to be reborn, would choose to live in Japan rather than anywhere else.

The results of the 13th Nihonjin no Kokuminsei Chosa (Survey on Japanese National Character), announced last Thursday by the Institute of Statistical Mathematics, show that the ratio of people who would opt to live in Japan in their next life rose from 77 percent in the previous poll in 2008.

Conducted from October to December 2013, the survey drew valid responses from 3,170 people aged 20 to 85, according the institute, which is affiliated with the education ministry.

They were asked about their personal lives and interpersonal relations, tracking social and cultural values shared by people in Japan. The poll is conducted every five years.

People who said they love their country were particularly prominent among those in their 20s, with the ratio rising from 59 percent in 2008 to 73 percent in 2013.

The institute also said there was an increase in people placing more emphasis on emotional well-being than material wealth, attributing the trend in part to the March 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake.

Politeness was mentioned as one of the most highly regarded virtues that describe the character of the Japanese people by 77 percent of respondents, the highest figure since the first survey was taken in 1953.

However, the survey also showed that the number of younger people who are frustrated with their daily life is on the rise. While 50 percent of all respondents said they have felt nervous or frustrated, the ratio was particularly high among women in their 20s and 30s, drawing a response rate of 75 percent.

It also found that although most respondents are satisfied with their standards of living, around 25 percent, regardless of age group said they do not feel their efforts are rewarded.

More than 60 percent said they feel apprehensive about natural disasters. It was the first time that such a question was included in the survey.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.