Introduction to Data Resources for Japan

6. Public Opinion Polls

The public opinion section of the guide focuses on both summary-level and micro-level public opinion resources and archives. Copies of actual polls and survey and of raw data are difficult to obtain electronically in Japan. Printed copies of polls are available at the National Diet Library 国立国会図書館 and at Tokyo Metropolitan Library 東京都立図書館. Please note that government statistical sites frequently include information about public opinion surveys conducted by their organizations. See also the Politics and Law section.

Summary-Level Data:
Summary-level data are published data points in either print or electronic format. You would use summary-level data if you were looking for a quick statistic such as a Presidential Approval Rating.

Cabinet Office Public Opinion Polls / Surveys 内閣府 世論調査 ・アンケート (Japanese language)
Full text of selected polls and surveys conducted by the government since 1977. Finished reports are given in html or pdf format; data compilations are provided in some cases as csv files.

Election (Japanese language)
A general site providing information about elections in Japan and elsewhere. Includes a section with summary results from election-related online opinion polls 世論調査 dating to 2000. In some cases, these are linked to responses and to blogs.

goo Research goo リサーチ - インターネット調査 (Japanese language)
Browsing by category and keyword searching of summary results for public opinion surveys conducted by goo Research. goo is a major Internet search engine provider in Japan.

JPOLL (English language) image of a padlock
JPOLL, a data archive of Japanese public opinion surveys hosted by the Roper Center for Public Opinion, is a comprehensive (question-level) database that is searchable by keyword, subject, date and survey organization. Please see the JPOLL website for information about the translation process, the annotated data catalog and the user guide.

Japan Association for Public Opinion Research 日本世論調査協会 (Japanese language)
Provides a searchable index of public opinion polls mentioned in the association's publication よろん. Contains information on the topic of the poll, the time period during which it was conducted, the area where the poll was taken and its targets, survey and sampling methods, sample size, and response rate. The links section gives a selected lists of links to data organizations, researchers, and sites, especially in Japan. Includes newspaper surveys as well as those conducted by the Cabinet Office and NHK. In some cases, links to web pages with summary data are provided, but in many cases it is necessary to visit the newspaper or a library to obtain the actual data.

MDB e-Report Site (Japanese language)
Browsing and keyword searching of brief descriptions of reports on public opinion polls and surveys and marketing, business, and analyst reports published on the Web. Provided by the Market Databank (MDB).

NHK Broadcasting Culture Research Institute, NHK, 放送文化研究所 (Japanese language)
Information about polls and surveys conducted by the institute over the past few years. Survey results provided under 研究・調査. Brief English-language summaries of some reports are available under "Surveys and Research Results" on their English page. The 世論調査の結果 section lists the kinds of polls conducted by NHK. Some are available in pdf or text format. Information about the surveys and the results summary is not given.

Online Research Portal (Japanese language)
Provides brief descriptions of private-sector surveys, with contact information to survey creators and links to the webpages of the sponsoring organizations.

Print resources

Yoron chōsa nenkan 世論調査年鑑 HOLLIS record
Annual overview of national public opinion surveys since the 1950s. The Documentation Center on Contemporary Japan holds issues from 1992.

Micro-Level Data:
Micro-level data files are the numerically-coded results of individual responses to such files as the census questionnaires, public opinion surveys, etc. You have much more flexibility to work with the data and run statistical analyses on the extracted data. The data are in an unanalyzed, raw format of columns and rows, usually in ASCII format but not always. Some raw data files are accompanied by files in SPSS, SAS or other statistical software format for easier use in these packages. If you are working with only the raw data, you must consult the data documentation (codebook) and write a small program or use an extraction program to have the computer "read" in the data into a useable format.

Data Archive, Social Science Japan SSJデータ・アーカイブ (Japanese language)
The Social Science Japan Data Archive (SSJDA) collects, maintains, and provides access to quantitative data from social surveys for the academic community. The archive is maintained by a unit within the Information Center for Social Research on Japan, Institute of Social Science at the University of Tokyo. The surveys cover many subjects related to social science research including education, elections, values, health, labor and business. The data is provided in Japanese only. To access the data, researchers must complete and submit a Data Application Form and send it to SSJDA along with a blank CD-R and a self-addressed stamped envelope. More information about data deposit and data access is available on the English version of the website.

Japanese Data Library (English language) image of a padlock
The Japanese Data Library, a data archive of Japanese public opinion surveys hosted by the Roper Center for Public Opinion, is a comprehensive collection of Japanese survey data covering the time period between 1980-1998. The Japanese Data Library collection also includes data on party identification back to 1946. Please see the Japanese Data Library website for information about the translation process, the annotated data catalog and the user guide.

IQSS Dataverse Network (English language) image of a padlock
The IQSS Dataverse Network provides quantitative social science data from major international data consortia to Harvard and MIT affiliates. This data collection provides access to public opinion datasets from Japan (including the Japanese General Social Survey 2000) as well as several comparative social science datasets that include Japan (Foreign Conflict Behavior, Political Events Project, and the World Values Surveys).

Data Documentation/Codebooks: Codebooks provide information on the structure, content, and layout of a data file and the questionnaire, if any, used for the survey or study. Many codebooks are available electronically with the data file. Harvard-Yenching Library also holds a small number of codebooks in print and, in some cases, floppy disk format. These may be searched in the HOLLIS catalog using terms such as コ-ドブック, kōdobukku, or kōdo bukku.

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Page Last Reviewed: March 19, 2010