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Japanese Increasingly Concerned About the Environment

Wednesday, October 24, 2007 Posted: 05:49 PM JST

Japanese people concerned about environmental issues increased to 64.4 from 48.5 percent during the past year. Those interested in global warming issues jumped to 92.9 from 81.3 percent. This according to "Environmental Awareness Survey 2007," a survey conducted by major advertising company Hakuhodo.

The survey has been conducted annually since 2004 and the Internet-based survey in March this year targeted 520 men and women aged 18 or older in the Tokyo metropolitan and Hanshin (Osaka and Hyogo) areas.

The respondents' environmental concerns are evident in their behavior. Nearly 90 percent of respondents said they conduct energy saving activities such as "making an effort to turn off lights when not needed" or "setting the air-conditioner at a lower temperature." Those who refuse plastic bags or excessive packaging when shopping increased to 61.2 from 51.9 percent, and those who "carry their own shopping bags" rose to 42.7 from 34.4 percent. These answers show an increase of more than 10 percent.

Generally speaking, women are more positive than men for these efforts. Men versus women ratios are most divergent in "refusing plastic bags when offered (men 51.5 percent, women 70.8 percent) and carrying their own shopping bags (men 30.8 percent, women 54.6 percent.)

The percentage of people who buy products from companies that are making proactive efforts to tackle environmental problems increased to 26.3 from 18.5. To the question "Who do you think should take the responsibility to solve problems of global warming?" the answers were in the following order: "national governments of the world" (91.5 percent), "Japan" (38.3 percent), "individuals" (24.2 percent), "corporations" (14.0percent),"local government authorities" (0.8 percent). This survey suggests that many people consider individual responsibility to be more important than corporate.

First published in October 2007 by Japan for Sustainability (JFS).

Keywords: national_news

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