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ECONOMY

Opinion poll & results from Yomiuri survey on foreign workers

  • May 5, 2019
  • , Yomiuri , pp. 12-13
  • JMH Translation

Main questions & answers (%)

 

Q: Do you feel that you see more foreigners day to day recently?

 

Yes

74

No

19

No answer (N/A)

7

 

Q: Do you have opportunities to interact with foreigners in your daily life?

 

Yes

48

No

51

N/A

2

 

Q: (Only to those who responded “yes” to the previous question) What kind of foreigners do you interact with? Select as many as you wish.

 

Technical interns working in the agriculture industry or at construction sites, factories, and the like

16

Convenience store and restaurant workers

63

Social welfare facility and medical institution workers

7

Business people working in business districts

9

Colleagues at your workplace

20

International students

13

Children commuting to school

11

Tourists

39

Neighborhood residents

17

Friends and acquaintances

13

Other answers (O/A)

10

N/A

0

 

Q: Do you think it is good or bad that there are more foreigners living in Japan?

 

It is good  

13

It generally is good

58

It generally is bad

24

It is bad

2

N/A

3

 

Q: Have you ever sensed barriers when interacting with foreigners residing in Japan? If so, what are the barriers? Select as many as you wish.

 

Language barrier

69

Differences in culture, religion, or values

48

Differences in lifestyle

45

Difficulty to approach them because they gather in groups

19

The thought that I am inept with foreigners

16

O/A

2

Nothing in particular (NIP)

9

N/A

1

 

Q: Do you feel uncomfortable with the following? Give a separate answer to each question.

 

Having foreigners living in your neighborhood

Very uncomfortable

7

Somewhat uncomfortable

46

Not very uncomfortable

36

Not uncomfortable at all

11

N/A

1

 

Working with foreigners

Very uncomfortable

5

Somewhat uncomfortable

35

Not very uncomfortable

42

Not uncomfortable at all

15

N/A

2

 

Receiving nursing care from foreigners        

Very uncomfortable

18

Somewhat uncomfortable

41

Not very uncomfortable

30

Not uncomfortable at all

10

N/A

1

 

 Q: Have you been following the issue of accepting more foreign workers in Japan?

 

Closely following

23

Generally following

48

Generally not following

23

Not following

4

N/A

1

 

Q: Are you in favor of or opposed to Japan’s accepting more foreign workers?

 

In favor

57

Opposed

40

N/A

3

 

Q: What positives do you think will arise from admitting more foreign workers? Select as many as you wish.

 

It will resolve the worker shortages and stimulate the economy

68

My local economy will pick up with increased consumption

16

It will rectify depopulation in regional areas

27

There will be more people to participate in neighborhood associations and festivals

7

Tax revenues can be expected to rise with the increase in workers

18

It will lead to a population increase as more people settle in Japan

16

There will be more international exchange, and intercultural understanding will improve

47

Corporations will become more globalized

23

O/A

1

NIP

12

N/A

1

 

Q: What negatives do you think will arise from admitting more foreign workers? Select as many as you wish.

 

More Japanese will be unemployed, and wages will decrease

39

Productivity will not improve because investment in robots and other labor-saving methods will not move forward

5

Public safety will deteriorate

57

Differences in lifestyle will lead to more problems in communities

63

Social security outlays, including medical expenses, will increase

25

The influx of foreigners will no longer be limited

31

Japan’s traditional culture will be spoiled

16

Prejudice and discrimination against foreigners will spread

14

O/A

1

NIP

9

N/A

1

 

Q: Do you think your local government has a system in place to support foreign workers in working and living in Japan?

 

Yes

18

No

76

N/A

6

 

Q: What do you think the national and local governments should focus on in particular in admitting more foreigners into Japan? Select as many as you wish.

 

Enhance support for foreign workers in living in Japan, including interpreting and consultation services

57

Develop the social security system with a focus on foreign workers, including healthcare and pensions

38

Support foreign workers and their families in adapting to Japanese society, including offering Japanese language education and assistance in participating in community events

46

Develop facilities so that foreign workers can maintain their religion, culture, and lifestyle, and conduct awareness-building activities for neighbors

23

Monitor wrongdoing, such as nonpayment of wages

41

Enhance collaboration with countries sending workers, including weeding out malicious brokers

53

Rigorously screen candidates, including checking their Japanese language ability

19

Control the number of foreign workers admitted so that increasing the number of foreign workers does not make it hard for Japanese to find jobs

40

Enhance surveillance of visa overstays and crime

63

O/A

1

NIP

4

N/A

1

 

Q: Of industries identified as having a labor shortage, which do you think foreign workers will be particularly helpful in? Select as many as you wish.

 

Agriculture, forestry and fisheries

53

Civil engineering and construction

44

Manufacturing

41

Transport industry, including cargo trucking

15

Restaurant industry, including family restaurants

16

Retail industry, including convenience stores and supermarkets

23

Tourism and hotel industries

17

Building cleaning industry

17

Domestic help services industry

5

Nursing care industry

35

Medical institutions

10

O/A

1

NIP

16

N/A

2

 

Q: Are you in favor of or opposed to allowing” immigrants,” foreigners who immigrate to Japan with the intent of residing permanently?

 

In favor

51

Opposed

42

N/A

7

 

Q: In Western countries that actively accept foreign workers as immigrants, political parties and politicians with an “anti-immigrant” policy are gathering support. If Japan were to accept immigrants, do you think the same phenomenon would occur?

 

Yes

76

No

18

N/A

6

 

Polling methodology: The survey was implemented on a mail-in basis, with a total of 3,000 persons chosen from among all eligible voters throughout the country (at 250 locations on a stratified two-stage random-sampling basis). The questionnaire was sent out on March 12 to those chosen for the survey, and completed surveys were sent back by 2,200 persons by April 18. Valid answers were obtained from 2,103 persons (70%), excluding answers from those not subject to the survey.

 

Breakdown of respondents: Male, 50%; female, 50%. Age 18–29, 12%; 30s, 12%; 40s, 19%; 50s, 17%; 60s, 19%; 70 and over, 21%.

 

Note: Figures rounded off. The total percentage of numerical values in graphs and tables may not add up to 100%. “0” indicates that the figure was below 0.5%.

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