Global Survey on Japan’s Soft Power

March 24, 2023

With the generous support of the Consul General of Japan in Boston, a team of researchers at Yale University and the University of Groningen recently completed a 19 country survey examining Japanese soft power promotion efforts. This report summarizes the main findings of the survey.

The key findings of the survey include:

Global attitudes towards Japan remain strongly favorable. Across the 19 countries surveyed, most respondents would prefer to cooperate with Japan on trade and security issues. Most respondents also agree with the statement that Japanese culture is “cool,” indicating that Japan’s “soft power” remains quite strong. Regionally, respondents in Asia and the Middle East have the most favorable views towards cooperation with Japan, while views in Africa and Latin America are somewhat less positive, although still positive overall.

Japanese government efforts to promote soft power are effective. Our survey also examined whether recent efforts by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan (MOFA) increase global exposure and understanding of Japanese policy and other contributions. We asked a random subset of survey-takers to watch videos created by MOFA promoting Japan’s cultural and economic dynamism, Japan’s efforts to strengthen maritime security, and Japan’s efforts to combat climate change. Each video led to significant increases in respondents’ interest in cooperation with Japan on trade and climate, and strengthened the appeal of Japanese culture.

To access the full report, please click here.