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Given increasing levels of global conflict and insecurity, the survey, conducted in December 2019, offers valuable insight into public views on the potential for peacebuilding to be a more prominent tool in Japan’s foreign and development policy in response to these challenges.
In this video, Callum MacLean, provides an overview of some of the key findings from the survey.
The results of the survey are encouraging. A significant majority – 77% of survey respondents – agreed that peacebuilding plays a vital role in ending conflict around the world; 63% expressed support for traditional peacebuilding measures, such as facilitating dialogue between parties to conflict. Only 43% of respondents supported the view that Japan should contribute to peace through military means. Furthermore, people recognised the need for various stakeholders, including the Japanese government, to actively engage with armed groups in the pursuit of peace.
The findings may have significant implications for Japan’s long-standing debate on whether to revise provisions under Article 9 of the Constitution, which renounces war as a means to settle international disputes involving the state. The survey suggests that there is considerable public sympathy for non-military options, and for peacebuilding policies and programmes; there is also scope for more public information and education about what this work involves and can achieve.
The findings reflect a pattern of public support for peacebuilding across other countries; the Japan survey results are similar to those of public opinion surveys in the United Kingdom, United States and Germany, commissioned by Conciliation Resources and the Alliance for Peacebuilding in June and July 2017.
The Sasakawa Peace Foundation (SPF) is one of the largest non-profit private foundations in Asia. SPF’s main activities revolve around policy recommendations, international cooperation, people-to-people exchange programmes to facilitate peace, mutual understanding and knowledge sharing with Japan and internationally. Find out more.