Also ranks 128th in overall “World Giving Index.”

Japan may have one of the “strongest” passports in the world for its citizens, but when it comes to helping others, it ranks nearly at the bottom compared to other countries.

The Charities Aid Foundation recently released their World Giving Index for the last year. It ranks 144 countries in three different categories: helping a stranger, donating money to charity, and volunteering time.

And when it comes to the “helping a stranger” category, Japan gets a surprisingly bottom-of-the-barrel rank of 142 out of 144.

▼ “Please, sir! Help me. My children are in that burning building!”
“Enh… it can’t be helped.

Of course, it should be noted that Japan performed better in the other two categories. It came in at 99th for donating money to charity, and 56th for volunteering time, which while nothing spectacular are still a huge improvement over third-from-last.

One other important fact is that the rankings are based on the percent of the population that has done the good deed, not the actual number of people having done it.

So, for example, while Japan may be 56th in the world for volunteering time because only 23 percent of the population volunteers, that’s 23 percent of a big population. Going by sheer numbers, Japan is actually 6th in the world for volunteering time with 26 million people.

▼ Maybe the real story isn’t as bad as the numbers make it seem.

Still, being 144th in the world at anything isn’t something to be excited about. Here’s how Japanese netizens reacted:

“What is the reason behind us behind so cold? No wonder everyone in the world thinks we’re that way.”

“This is especially true in Tokyo. When I went overseas, I was shocked at how kind people were to me.”

“No one has any time to help strangers. But when people do need help, we give what we can.”

“It’s because they ran the survey using Western ways of thinking. What we think of as ‘helping’ is different from them. To us, it’s just normal.”

That last netizen likely hit the nail on the head. Some have pointed out that it’s likely not the case the Japanese people don’t help strangers, it’s just that they wouldn’t have the self assertion to say that they have done so on a survey like this.

Plus, what counts as “helping a stranger” can vary immensely between cultures. Does giving a welcome gift to a new neighbor count? Does giving someone directions count? Or does it have to be something extreme, like saving them from a car?

Lastly, there’s also the fact that the top five countries for helping strangers are Libya, Iraq, Kuwait, Liberia and Sierra Leone. They all have unstable governments, so maybe Japan’s low ranking says more about its stability than anything else.

Whatever the case, perhaps Japan should worry more about other rankings compared to other countries, such as Finland’s amazing education system, or America’s superior Pokémon theme song.

Source: CAF World Giving Index 2018 via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso (1, 2) (Edited by SoraNews24)
Insert images: Pakutaso (1, 2)
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!