Just one in five Japanese is optimistic about the country’s future and less than half the population believes that Japan is a functioning democracy, according to a survey that canvassed views on these issues in India and Indonesia as well.
The figure of 20 percent of Japanese who are optimistic about the future contrasted with more than 60 percent in India and Indonesia who felt the same.
The survey was carried out by private institutions in the three countries and the results were released Aug. 19.
Many respondents in Japan cited an aging population and a sluggish economy as reasons for being pessimistic. The survey results also highlighted a general distrust of the current state of party politics.
Genron NPO of Japan, the Center for Strategic and International Studies of Indonesia and the Observer Research Foundation of India contacted 1,000 people each in the three respective countries in June or later for the survey.
Only 20.7 percent of the respondents in Japan said they were either “optimistic” or “slightly optimistic” about the future of their country, whereas the corresponding ratios stood at 65.3 percent in Indonesia and 75.9 percent in India.
Among the various reasons for being pessimistic about the future, the commonest in Japan, cited by 84.7 percent of the respondents, was a lack of effective measures being presented to cope with the rapidly aging and shrinking population.
In Japan, 46.7 percent of the respondents answered in the affirmative when they were asked if they believe democracy is functioning. The corresponding figures for Indonesia and India were 47.1 percent and 65 percent, respectively.
When asked their reasons for believing that democracy is dysfunctional, the largest portion of the respondents who said so in Japan, at 60.2 percent, said that politicians are not confronting the challenges facing society because they are more intent on winning elections.
Only 15.5 percent of the Japanese respondents answered in the affirmative when they were asked if they had positive expectations for political parties, a figure that indicated a deep distrust of party politics.