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Nearly Half of Japanese Have Not Been to the Sea During the Past Year: Poll (1) [2022/08/04]
22.07.1520E3808CE6B5B7E381A8E697A5E69CACE4BABAE3808DE381ABE996A2E38199E3828BE6848FE8AD98E8AABFE69FBBE8A898E88085E799BAE8A1A8E4BC9A20(1).jfif
At a press conference on July 15, 2022, in Tokyo, I announce the findings of The Nippon Foundation’s awareness survey on the ocean alongside Mr. Mitsuyuki Unno (right), executive director of the foundation.


Ahead of Marine Day, a Japanese national holiday observed this year on July 18, The Nippon Foundation conducted an awareness survey on the ocean between June 10 and 15.

The online poll, covering 11,600 men and women aged between 15 and 69 across the country, found that nearly half (45%) of respondents had not been to the ocean during the past year.

The figure represented an increase of 12 percentage points over a similar survey in 2019, raising concern about a decline in people’s attachment to the ocean. I announced the results at a press conference on July 15 alongside Mr. Mitsuyuki Unno, executive director of the foundation.

We launched the survey in 2017 to look into changes in people’s feelings and perceptions toward the ocean and how they are affected by changes in social trends and circumstances, to provide information for planning future projects. (Originally designed to be held every two years, the poll was postponed in 2021 due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.)

The latest poll found that one reason fewer people are going to the sea is that compared with three years ago, people’s outdoor activities have declined by a substantial 43% due mainly to the pandemic.

As a result, people’s “affection” for the ocean declined as shown in responses to questions such as, “I feel close to the ocean,” which fell to 37% from 44% in 2019.

In addition, of those who had not been to the ocean during the past year, 59% feel that “the ocean is important for their life and culture,” much lower than those who had been to the ocean (81%).  

On the other hand, no decline was seen in the number of people who “want to go to the ocean,” standing at 73% vis-à-vis 72% in 2019.

When asked about childhood ocean experiences, 70% said it is important for their children to experience the ocean. Nevertheless, a great majority of parents (83%) replied that they were “unable to give their children sufficient ocean experiences.”

The latest survey, however, showed some bright spots when it said that people’s awareness of ocean issues, such as unregulated overfishing and ocean plastic debris, rose around 10 percentage points over 2019, while the number of people engaged in activities to protect the ocean increased about 6 percentage points. The awareness of these activities among people who had been to the ocean was also higher by more than 5 percentage points than those who had not.

Respondents were also asked new questions about their level of interest in the Umi-to-Nippon Project (The Ocean and Japan Project) which The Nippon Foundation launched in 2017 with an eye to renewing the bonds between Japanese people, especially children and young people, and the ocean, and to pass on clean and beautiful oceans to the next generation.

The poll showed that roughly 40% are interested in the Umi-to-Nippon Project, with the highest number of people showing interest in an initiative to develop offshore wind power generation (45%), followed by that to discover new species of sea life globally (43%), map the entire ocean floor (42%), understand shallow waters (41%) and develop fully autonomous navigation (34%).

Generally, respondents under the age of 20 showed more interest in the project than older generations.

(To be continued)


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Posted by Y.Sasakawa at 09:39 | OCEAN | URL | comment(0)
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