The Briefing of Japanese Society

Written on 24th February, 2016
Although this is our view, it is the result of over 10 years experiences of youth and community engagement in Japan and other countries such as Australia, South Korea and United states.
Compared with Western Countries, it is not easy to see the active citizenship in Japan.
According to the survey on young people in 7 countries including France, Germany, Japan, South Korea, Sweden, United Kingdom and United States, done by Cabinet Office of Japanese Government, you can see some facts on activism.
"Young People who wants to join the activities to solve social issues"
Japan                                44.3%
South Korea                      60.4%
United States of America   64.3%
United Kingdom                 57.1%
France                               76.2%
Germany                            50.9%
Sweden                              52.9%
The survey "平成25年度 我が国と諸外国の若者の意識に関する調査" by Cabinet Office of Japanese Government [2013]
"Young People who are interested in volunteer activities"
Japan                                35.1%
South Korea                      56.9%
United States of America   61.1%
United Kingdom                 50.6%
France                               42.6%
Germany                            50.4%
Sweden                              42.8%
The survey "平成25年度 我が国と諸外国の若者の意識に関する調査" by Cabinet Office of Japanese Government [2013]

 

"Young People who believe that social change is possible by their participation"
Japan                    30.2%
South Korea                      39.2%
United States of America  52.9%
United Kingdom                 45.0%
France                               44.4%
Germany                            52.6%
Sweden                              43.4%
The survey "平成25年度 我が国と諸外国の若者の意識に関する調査" by Cabinet Office of Japanese Government [2013]
When you want to collect petitions in Japan, you must face the difficulty.
Actually, When member of Wake Up Japan collected the petitions at university, he could not collect well. And his friends showed negative response.
I think this is because of the absent of people's participation in democratization and the experience that student mobilization went to terrorism after 1970s.
United States occupied Japan and gave Japan "democratic system" at 1945 and Cold War turned out to be the opportunities that Japan achieved economic growth. People tends to think "given" but they do not think "do". 
As I mentioned, the student mobilization happened during cold war. A lot of students joined it and were supported by people. But they showed bloody faces and became terrorism after 1970s. And we studied about it at school and then, people regards mobilizations as negative image.  
As its effect, young people don't want to join social movements.
In this context, NGOs as well as INGOs such as Save The Children, World Vision, and Plan International focused on fundraising here in Japan although Some of them started to invest advocacy work in these days. In Japan, most people regards the international development or charity working as upper-middle classes activities.(I think this is vital issue to change at the era of "inequality". )
And Campaigning is not popular here in Japan.
In the other thing, I think people in Japan tends to personalize the issue instead of "socialize".  
According to Teach For Japan, 65% of High School Students in Japan does not have the self-confident. When people fails something, they tend to think it is because of their own responsibility too much. I think this is the one of reasons of high number of suicide.
When you come to Tokyo, it might be difficult to see that homeless people ask money. People tend to regard the severe situation caused by social injustice as the result of individual' efforts.