Results of the national opinion survey on the Japanese language


The Agency for Cultural Affairs (Japan) has conducted national opinion surveys on the Japanese language since 1995. The 2002 survey was conducted in November/December 2002 to gather data on problems about people's abilities to use the Japanese language, people's opinions on the current situation of reading, and the levels of recognition, understanding, and use of idioms and Katakana words [words of foreign origin], to serve as a reference in policy-making on Japanese language. The survey method was by individual interviews of 3,000 people of aged 16 years old over the nation. Twenty-two hundred people answered (73.3%).

Asked how many books they read in a month (not counting magazines and manga [comics], 37.6% answered "none," 58.1% answered "1-10," 2.6% answered "11-20," 0.7% answered "21-30," and 0.4% answered "over 30 books." To the question, "What are the good points about reading?" 55.3% of the respondents checked "being able to gain new knowledge and information," 39.0% "heightened sensitivity," 35.1% "being able to sense excitement," 28.8% "it develops imagination and fancy," and 28.4% "being able to learn a wealth of words and expressions."


(2003.12.31 update)