And whether the world out there holds any interest for them at all.

The unique blend of traditional culture and contemporary makes Japan one of the most fascinating countries in the world, and so it is no small wonder that many older Japanese people are proud to be its citizens.

But what about the younger generation? How does Japan stack up against the world in their minds?

Philanthropic organization Nippon Foundation’s online survey conducted on 1,000 teenagers between the ages of 17 and 19 sheds light on this issue with a broad range of topics.

▼ Perhaps the most interesting is what they thought about Japan.

Among the reasons given by people who thought Japan was great, about half said it was because the country is peaceful, free of strife where citizens can simply enjoy meals in peace. Other reasons included safety, good water quality, and excellent influenza outbreak countermeasures. Many were aware of Japan’s unique culture, as well as the abundance of delectable cuisine.

Of the 6.7 percent who disliked Japan, some cited economic inequality, sexual discrimination, the rise of black companies, and difficult living conditions as factors in their responses.

▼ When asked about the things Japan is best known for,
the top five were as follows. (Multiple entries allowed)

Pumping out outstanding anime like One Piece and Dragon Ball, Japan has indeed kept the world entertained with its constant supply of awesome animation.

▼ Teenagers these days are also very aware of Japan’s shortcomings.
(Multiple entries allowed)

Gender inequality is very evident in the country, with men often holding positions of power, and many other outdated ideas.

The Nippon Foundation survey is the 14th such, and it also touches on whether young Japanese people are interested in countries other than their own.

▼ For example, do they want to live abroad in the future?

Knowing more than half of respondents hope to explore the world out there is a very heartwarming thought.

▼ Of the people who indicated interest in going abroad, these were their top five reasons.
(Multiple entries allowed)

Japanese students often come into contact with other cultures early in their childhood, mostly from assistant language teachers at school who offer them a glimpse into another country.

▼ Those not interested had valid reasons, too. (Multiple entries allowed)

Once you get used to Japan’s 24-hour convenience stores, trains that arrive on time, cleanliness, and relatively low level of crime, it is pretty difficult to imagine living anywhere else.

Nippon Foundation’s survey affords an intriguing peek into the minds of young Japanese people, and it is refreshing to see that young Japanese people are quite aware of their nation’s strengths and weaknesses. Not to mention that a healthy percentage of teenagers wish to journey into lands to see what other cultures offer. That could certainly explain why Japanese female students greatly prefer visiting Korea over their own Disneyland.

Source: Nippon Foundation via Nico Nico News, Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso
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