University of Tokyo

Survey Number 0838
Survey Title Public Opinion Poll on Internationalization and Citizens' Political Participation, 2009
Depositor Shunsuke Tanabe, and Mitsuru Matsutani
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Educational Purpose Available for both research and instructional purposes.
Period of Data Use Permission One year
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Summary The image of “the Japanese” as Japanese nationality holders comprising an ethnic group both native to Japan and residing in Japan is being shaken. Along with the progress of globalization, the number of settled foreigners living in Japan, and, vice-versa, the number of Japanese living abroad has been continuously increasing, and inconsistencies between residence and nationality are expanding. Furthermore, there are signs of change in the principle of matching nationality and voting rights, such as a proposal to give local voting rights to foreign residents, issued within the Democratic Party, which became the ruling party after the general election of the House of Representatives in 2009. This situation raises questions about the so-called “myth of an ethnically homogeneous nation” that seemed natural in Japan after the war, indicating that Japanese nationalism has begun to enter a new phase.

There are a variety of problems concerning people’s actual state of nationalism, the influence this has on their consciousness and political behavior toward foreigners, the idea of granting voting rights to foreigners, the relationship between exclusion of foreigners and support for political parties/politicians, and nationalism in contemporary Japan. This survey was conducted to empirically clarify the current state of these problems through an analysis of social survey data targeting the general public. The characteristics are the following two points.

First, this survey consisted of two types of survey that were conducted separately, a survey where the target area was the entire country of Japan (hereinafter referred to as the “national survey”), and a survey where the target area was Tokyo and Osaka (hereinafter referred to as the “Tokyo/Osaka survey”). The question items for the two surveys were generally the same, but regarding the latter, we put different question items regarding the gubernatorial elections of both Tokyo and Osaka, which were important analysis subjects from the viewpoint of nationalism and political behavior.

Second, in order to make maximum use of the problem concerns of this survey, we provided many question items as follows. In addition to basic information such as gender, age, marital status, academic background, occupation, etc., as items related to individual respondents’ attributes, items relating to the nationality of parents of the respondent were prepared. There were many items regarding opportunities and frequency of contact with foreigners. For items concerning consciousness towards foreigners, we also asked about approval or disapproval of the increasing number of foreigners by country of origin, approval or disapproval of the granting of rights to foreigners, and what could be the impact of an increasing number of foreigners. Regarding political behavior and consciousness, there were items on voting in the general elections of the House of Representatives in 2005 and 2009, political parties usually supported and positive feelings about political parties and politicians. In addition, there were many question items on positions such as values and economic inequality, and it was possible to verify from this survey a great deal of information to clarify people’s state of nationalism.
Data Type quantitative research
quantitative research: micro data
Universe National survey: men and women aged 20 to 80 years old who are Japanese nationals residing in Japan 
Tokyo/Osaka survey: Men and women aged 20 to 80 years old who are Japanese nationals residing in Tokyo or Osaka.
Unit of Observation Individual
Sample Size
Responses Response Rate
National survey 3610 43.4%
Tokyo/Osaka survey 977 32.6%
Date of Collection 2009-10 ~ 2009-12
National survey: October to December, 2009
Tokyo/Osaka survey: October to December, 2009
Time Period 2005 ~ 2009
Spatial Unit Japan
National survey: 30 cities and wards across Japan from Hokkaido to Kyushu  
Tokyo/Osaka survey: Chuo-ku (ward), Bunkyo-ku, Meguro-ku, Suginami-ku, Nerima-ku, and Machida-city in Tokyo and Ikuta-ku, Higashi-sumiyoshi-ku, Toyonaka-city, Takaki-city, Hirakata-city, and Kishiwada-city in Osaka
Sampling Procedure Probability: Stratified
Probability: Stratified: Disproportional
Probability: Multistage
Two-stage stratified random sampling used the pollbook
*250 people in each ward and city (600 people in two locations with a high proportion of Nikkei Brazilians and one location with a high proportion of Zainichi Chinese) extracted from voter registration lists
Mode of Data Collection Self-administered questionnaire: Paper
Mail survey (self-administered)
Investigator Shunsuke Tanabe and Mitsuru Matsutani
DOI 10.34500/SSJDA.0838
Sponsors (Funds) Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology-Japan Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research
Related Publications (by the Investigator) Please refer to the abstract in Japanese.
Related Publications (based on Secondary Analysis) List of related publications (based on Secondary Analysis)
Documentation Questionnaires 【 National Survey 】 【 Tokyo Survey 】 【 Osaka Survey
Frequency Tables 【 National Survey 】 【 Tokyo/Osaka Survey
Major Survey Items [Common items in both the national and Tokyo/Osaka data]
(1) Respondent attributes: gender, age, marital status, highest level of educational attainment, employment status, occupation/occupation type, size of employer by number of employees, job title, parents’ nationality, income
(2) Experience traveling overseas/opportunities for contact with foreigner: experience traveling overseas, English conversation skills, frequency of contact with foreigners, frequency of contact with foreigners in area of residence, participation in volunteer work to help foreigners living in Japan presence of foreigners living within respondent’s sphere of daily life

(3) The 2009 (the 45th) general election of the House of Representatives: political party of the candidate voted for in the electoral district, political party voted for for proportional representation, political party voted for for proportional representation in the 2005 (the 44th) general election of the House of Representatives
(4) Opinions: approval or disapproval of the increase in the number of foreigners living within respondent’s sphere of daily life (by country of origin), impact of the increase of foreigners living in Japan, opinion about the rights and living support for foreigners living in Japan, opinion about the rights the Japanese government should grant for long-term resident foreigners (or intending to be long-term resident) in Japan, things important in considering someone Japanese, positive feelings about each country, the international status of each country
(5) Politics in general
Political party supported, positive feelings about political parties and politicians, respondent’s opinion and value, opinion and position on economic inequality, change in respondent’s economic situation, household income (comparison with the general public), life satisfaction level, opportunity to improve standard of living in Japanese society, perception of respondent’s own status

[Items only in the Tokyo/Osaka data]
(A) Gubernatorial elections and support: candidate voted for in the Tokyo gubernatorial election in April 2007,support for the Governor of Tokyo Shintaro Ishihara who won the election, reasons, and evaluation of policies, candidate voted for for the Osaka gubernatorial election in January 2008, reason for supporting the Governor of Osaka Toru Hashimoto, who won the election and evaluation of policies
(B) Feeling and thoughts: self-evaluation of sociability, anxiety, etc.
*For details of survey items, please refer to the questionnaire.
Date of Release 2013/01/30
Topics in CESSDA Click here for details

Political behaviour and attitudes
Cultural and national identity
Topics in SSJDA Politics/Administration/Election
Version 1 : 2013-01-30
Notes for Users Variable and value labels are written in Japanese.