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56% say they obtain their political information on Internet, Yomiuri-Waseda Univ. poll

  • August 11, 2017
  • , Yomiuri , p. 33
  • JMH Translation

The (mail-in) survey jointly conducted by the Yomiuri Shimbun and the Waseda University Institute for Research in Contemporary Political and Economic Affairs asked respondents what media they use to obtain information about politics (multiple answers permitted). A plurality of 56% of all respondents gave the names of one or more Internet-based media.


The breakdown of Internet-based media cited was as follows: “portal sites such as Google and Yahoo,” 36%; “news sites operated by news agencies,” 23%; “Twitter, Facebook, Line, blogs written by individuals, etc.,” 17%. Turning to non-Internet media, 70% of respondents said they used “commercial TV” to gain information on politics while 60% said they used “newspapers.”


Comparing views on policy issues by whether the pollee used the Internet or not to obtain information on politics, more Internet users than nonusers were in favor of “strengthening Japan’s defense capabilities,” “restarting nuclear power plants,” and “permitting married couples to use different surnames.” The survey also asked respondents to rate Prime Minister Shinzo Abe using “temperature” to indicate how fondly they view him, with 100 being “view warmly,” 0 being “view coldly,” and 50 being neutral. The average figures for Internet users and nonusers did not differ greatly, with 46.8 for Internet users and 47.3 for nonusers.


Arata Yamazaki, special researcher at the Waseda University Institute for Research in Contemporary Political and Economic Affairs and lecturer on political awareness at Musashino University, commented: “Internet users generally tend to be seen as ‘right wing’ and ‘pro-Abe’ because it is easy for their extreme statements to stand out. The survey results show, however, that no categorical statement can be made.”


[Polling methodology: The survey was conducted by mailing questionnaires to 3,000 randomly selected eligible voters in 250 locations nationwide on July 3. Sixty-five percent, or 1,963 people, offered valid responses among a total of 2,031 responses returned by Aug. 7.]


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