National

Younger Japanese prefer advice via email and social media over face-to-face

Jiji

Young people in Japan prefer to use email and social media over face-to-face talks when seeking advice about issues they worry about, including interpersonal relationships, a government survey has found.

According to the 2020 white paper on children and youths, adopted at a Cabinet meeting Friday, the proportion of respondents in the survey who said they want to use email and social media when seeking support from public consultation services and experts stood at 30.8 percent and 26.4 percent, respectively.

The proportion came to 22.6 percent for people who said they prefer telephones and 21.0 percent for those who they said would most like to visit a consultation facility for face-to-face talks.

The proportion of people aged 15-19 who cited a preference for social media was especially high, at 32.2 percent, overwhelming the 18.4 percent who wanted to hold direct consultations at facilities.

Meanwhile, 11.1 percent of all respondents said they do not want to use such face-to-face services.

“Some young people may think that such services are useless while others may not know about the services,” a Cabinet Office official said.

The survey, conducted by the government agency in November and December last year, covered a total of 10,000 people aged between 13 and 29. Multiple answers were allowed in the survey.

The white paper also noted that the city of Hamamatsu, in Shizuoka Prefecture, began consultations services for young people through the Line free messaging app. In just two weeks, the number of consultations over the app exceeded half of the face-to-face consultations the city provides at its offices a year.

Hamamatsu’s use of social media “exposed untapped demand for consultations,” the report said.

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