Survey reflects general optimism

Japan news January 2018

The Hakuhodo Institute of Life and Living (HILL), the research arm of Japan’s second-largest advertising agency, released the details of its 2018 Living Mood Survey. Conducted via the Internet over five days in early October, the survey queried 3,900 adults aged 20–69 living in 11 cities.

In response to how the economy would fare in 2018, 21% of the subjects predicted it would “become worse”, considerably less negative than the 30.2% who made similar predictions for 2016. Likewise, optimistic predictions for 2018 accounted for 14.6% of replies, 2.1 percentage points higher than the number who gave that response for 2017.

While some 60% responded that they did not foresee major changes in the year ahead, 31.3% said they expected to encounter more enjoyable things in 2018—3.7% higher than last year. That figure, moreover, was almost three times the percentage (12.2%) of those giving negative predictions.

As for items to be given the highest priority in the year ahead, the top five (with multiple replies counted) were “sleep/rest” (80.7%), followed by “health” (79.6%); “hobbies and recreation” (74.5%); “time with family” (70.2%) and “savings and investment” (66.3%).
The survey also asked, “What would you definitely like to start doing?” In descending order, with the responses from men shown before those from women, the replies were:

  • Exercise, gymnastics, physical training (36.2/39.9%)
  • Hobbies and studies (27.2/31.4%)
  • Save money (24.3/32.4%)
  • Walking/jogging (24.2/26.1%)
  • Moonlight at a part-time job (24.5/26.1%)
  • Go on a diet (19.0/27.9%)
  • Obtain certification or licence (21.3/20.7%)

The survey also asked, “What would you definitely like to stop doing?” The top seven replies were:

  • Wasting money or engaging in impulse buying (33.7/43.1%)
  • Excessive eating or drinking (34.4/32.6%)
  • Maintaining relationships out of obligation (20.2/34.8%)
  • Keeping late hours (18.6/29.4%)
  • Having a disordered lifestyle (22.3/25.6%)
  • Eating confectionery (13.5/25.2%)
  • Overuse of smartphones (13.8/24.5%)