Japanese Public Support For Official Development Assistance
Public opinion surveys conducted since 1977 in Japan are usually interpreted as showing decreasing support among the Japanese population for Official Development Assistance (ODA), and possibly, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Cabinet Office of Japan have justified recent cuts in ODA funding levels on this basis. However, these interpretations have been based on the assumption that Japanese ODA funding levels have been static over time, which is manifestly incorrect. Here, we take proper account of the changing levels of ODA funding over time to demonstrate that changing survey response rates merely reflect changing ODA funding levels and that Japanese attitudes to ODA have been remarkably constant over the last few decades. We do this by reverse engineering survey results to derive the Japanese population’s preference distribution for ODA funding levels over time.
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