A large majority of Japanese believe the nation needs to create a more welcoming environment for foreign residents, but that it should remain prudent in letting more refugees into the country, a government survey has shown.

The Cabinet Office released on Friday the results of a public survey conducted every five years. This year it included, for the first time, questions about refugees and foreign residents.

Seventy-four percent of respondents said the country needs to enhance living conditions for foreign residents, pointing to a need to strengthen points of contact for consulting on matters related to daily life, such as residence status procedures, medical treatment, child care and legal protection to ensure safe working environments, as well as multilingual support and disaster preparedness.