Poll: 81 per cent regard Japan as 'peace-loving nation'

Eighty-one per cent of respondents believe Japan has pursued a path as a "peace-loving nation" since the end of World War II, according to a recent nationwide survey conducted by The Yomiuri Shimbun.

According to the mail-in survey, 61 per cent of respondents think the nation has placed priority on economic growth, while only 43 per cent believe the nation has contributed to international society. This shows many feel Japan has achieved great economic development but that its international contribution is inadequate.

Regarding wars fought during the Showa era, such as the Sino-Japanese War and World War II, only 5 per cent said they knew a lot about them, while 44 per cent said they "know about them to a certain degree" and 49 per cent said they either did not know much about them or had no knowledge of them.

Asked about how they learned about wars in the Showa Era, 60 per cent responded "at school or through textbooks."

On the topic of prime ministers repeatedly apologising over historical facts to China and South Korea, 81 per cent said they thought the apologies made up to now were "sufficient."

More people are pessimistic than optimistic about the nation's future, with 57 per cent either thinking or somewhat thinking that dark days lay ahead. Only 41 per cent believed or somewhat believed that the nation's future was bright.

When asked to choose a statement that matched their vision for the future of the nation, 59 per cent chose "we should aim at a society in which free competition is regulated to some extent to prevent gaps in incomes and assets from widening" and 38 per cent chose "we should aim at a society that encourages a free competition even though it may widen gaps to some extent."

The survey was carried out from the middle of January to the middle of February.