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Thursday, 15th September 2011
In Japan Entertainment News,

Nuclear incidents cause shift in values among young Japanese

A new survey reveals that the earthquake and nuclear disaster that beset Japan earlier this year has led to a shift in attitudes among the country's young citizens.

According to a poll carried out by members of the Soka Gakkai student division in the Tohoku region of northern Japan, since the triple tragedy of earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster that began in March 11th 2011, young people in Japan have significantly shifted their focus from material gain to altruism.

The survey, which questioned more than 500 students in 47 universities and vocational schools in Miyagi, Fukushima and Iwate (the prefectures most directly affected by the disasters), as well as Akita, Yamagata and Aomori, found that students' main career motivation is now helping other people (18.8 per cent), attaining a stable life (17.7 per cent) and working for the community (16.8 per cent).

Previously, the key purpose for finding a career had been to earn money (23.2 per cent).

One in five (19.9 per cent) respondents said that their views had also changed about nuclear power (this figure rose to 23 per cent among young people from areas affected by the tragedy), while 18.1 per cent of people stated that their view of the importance of helping others had evolved.

Just over 17 per cent of young people said that they now have a greater appreciation for the essentials of everyday life such as food, shelter and clothing.

Almost half (45 per cent) of respondents said the stronger bond between people has been a positive outcome of the disaster, while a third (34.2 per cent) said the event had made them more acutely aware of the importance of preparing for a natural disaster.

Hironobu Nakamura, the leader of the Soka Gakkai Tohoku student division, said: "Many of our student members...wanted through this survey to listen to and broadcast the voices of their peers.

"Before the disaster many people were commenting on the lack of human connections in Japanese society. The results clearly indicate how much people value these connections now."

The Soka Gakkai is a grassroots Buddhist organisation with more than eight million member households across Japan.

Posted by Susan Ballion  

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