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A record 33.9 percent of Japanese people believe that individual interests should be given priority over the interests of the entire public, a Cabinet Office survey showed Saturday.

The figure, up 2.5 percentage points from the previous annual poll in January last year, increased for the fifth year in a row. The survey started in December 1991.

According to the latest poll, people who said they should place greater value on the interests of all the population fell 2.6 points to 48 percent, down for the fourth straight year.

Of the respondents, 62 percent said they are satisfied with the current society, up 2.7 points and hitting the highest level since this question was first included in the survey in 2009. Those who are not satisfied with the society decreased 3 points to 37.2 percent.

On reasons for their satisfaction with society, 42.7 percent, the largest group, cited the quality of living, 27 percent said good mental and physical health can be maintained, and 17.9 percent said it helps them cultivate their ambition and desire for learning.

Of those not satisfied with the society, 44.4 percent said they do not have adequate financial resources or the chance for improvement, 37.1 percent said young people are finding it hard to aim for social independence and 28.5 percent cited difficulties in raising children.

Asked to explain what they are proud of about Japan and Japanese people, 56.6 percent, the biggest group, cited public safety, followed by an abundance of beautiful nature, at 55.4 percent, and excellent culture and art, which came in at 49.9 percent.

The interview-based survey, conducted between Jan. 28 and Feb. 14, covered 10,000 adults across Japan. Valid answers came from 58.8 percent.